The first quarter itelligence Insights: Finance Technology Survey 2017 results have supplied us with some interesting insights into the finance profession and what technology trends organizations are focusing on. To stay competitive and gain key business insights, we found three trends that finance professionals agree need to be improved when it comes to technology to stay competitive.
1. Finance Automation
The need for improved technology in finance automation was an obvious and common theme in the survey results and was most apparent when we asked survey participants what is the biggest factor impacting the speed of your close cycle. The most popular answer, with 35% of respondents, was highly manual processes that lack automation. The amount of time wasted on manual processes is not only time and associated employee salaries lost, but also opportunity lost where a key business decision could have been made that changed the course of the company, getting ahead of the competition before a trend. Today’s global competition is quick to act, and companies must be able to gather and act on data quickly to remain competitive. Many companies start their journey into automating their finance processes by automating their cash flow and intercompany reconciliations.
2. Need for Speed
Nearly one third of survey respondents said it takes several days to make changes to key business planning assumptions and then see the results in their reporting. With the fast pace of business, the need to be able to alter assumptions and provide new analysis with these changes is crucial to organizations. When market conditions change, you need to know how this affects every aspect of your business, from your supply chain, sales pipeline, production costs, labor costs and more. Having the capability to nimble in a timely fashion allows you to be ready for any scenario that could come at you quickly and make the right decisions to guide your company through to a favorable outcome.
3. Better Data Accuracy
Less than one third of survey respondents felt their data was very reliable. In today’s world, the need for accurate and consistent data is more apparent than ever. When we asked survey takers what the biggest factor impacting the speed of their close cycle, 31% said multiple sources of data creating inconsistent and inaccurate data. Inaccurate data leads to poor business decisions throughout the organization. In a world where we are collecting data from multiple sources, including, financial, operational and supply chain systems, it’s the companies who can harmonize this data to get a complete picture of the organization’s performance that will thrive.
Finance technology is vitally important to the digital transformation taking place today. If your organization wants to remain competitive and transform with the times, you will need to stay up-to-date with the latest finance technology. Download our white paper on achieving a faster financial close to get started.