Learn how Oracle Cloud for Finance is the most complete application suite.
Learn how finance agility can give your organization a competitive advantage.
While data analytics play an increasing role in finance, many teams still find that critical finance information and specific processes remain spread across staff and lines of business. These unintentional disconnects can cause real problems, including offering varied views of business performance and forecasts.
But finance-specific Centers of Excellence (CoEs) can be a game changer, helping to consolidate data and reporting around specific areas and improving the efficiency and agility of your finance team.
"Centers of Excellence can offer tremendous benefit. They provide more consistent reporting and save people from doing the same things in different ways, which ends up costing the organization time and money," says Donald Anderson, Oracle's director of Organization and Talent Development.
How CoEs Change the Finance Game
In a study conducted by the American Institute of CPAs and sponsored by Oracle, researchers identified the key traits of "agile finance leaders"—executives who were driving finance transformation at their organization. The research revealed that 81% of these leaders had created centers of excellence around key modern finance initiatives, such as financial planning and analysis, compared to just 56% of the other finance leaders.
At Oracle, for example, the shift toward a subscription-based cloud services business model meant big changes for the company's finance team. During that transition, Ivgen Guner, Oracle's senior vice president of finance, reviewed existing processes and extended her team's responsibilities into new areas, such as monitoring metadata used for reporting and creating universal dashboards.
This evolution lead to one of the organization's key initiatives: Creating a CoE focused on critical finance systems. "It's critical that our metadata matches territories to our management hierarchy," Guner says. "That's complicated because our sales pipeline is based on sales territories but our forecasts are based on cost centers."
Finance-related CoEs make it possible to headquarter your company's subject matter expertise in one place. It's not only convenient, it also ensures that everyone is on the same page about core objectives, such as finance skills development or project accounting. More importantly, CoEs drive the development of best practices, which can help your organization standardize finance-related processes and data analysis. The result: Key decision makers gain a reliable, one-stop shop for their most important finance information.
Creating Finance-Specific CoEs
CoEs have myriad benefits. But how can you set them up effectively in order to reap those rewards? Here are three tips for establishing finance-specific CoEs: