By Michael Hickins
Learn how Oracle Cloud for Finance is the most complete application suite.
Learn how finance agility can give your organization a competitive advantage.
Along with the CEO, the CFO is the only corporate executive liable to end up wearing an orange jump suit if things don’t go right – one important reason among many to make sure that things go really right.
Timely and accurate closing of the books is clearly at the top of every CFO’s list, and in most cases, it takes the finance department weeks to accomplish that arduous task. Internal controls and procedures are an ongoing bear that auditors look at closely. CFOs must also keep pace with changing regulatory regimes and accounting practices around the world.
That doesn’t leave a lot of bandwidth for what CFOs could be doing: analysis, collaborating with the lines of business, and providing critical, cross-functional insights to the C-suite and the LOBs. Automating as many of the traditional finance processes and tasks as possible —like the monthly close — can free up time for finance to turn its organization-wide view of the business into a catalyst for competitive advantage.
Automation can not only make closing the books easier; it can enable finance to do a close far more frequently, which in turn provides a real-time view of where the company stands. According to Rebecca Wettemann, vice president at Nucleus Research, “the ability to close the books close to every day allows you to make course corrections more quickly, and identify areas that are problematic before they boil over into a crisis.”
With tasks like this no longer taking an inordinate amount of time, finance leaders can focus resources on strategic aspects of the business.
But the advantages don’t stop there. Automating traditional finance tasks can provide a range of benefits:
Boards of director and CEOs are increasingly looking to CFOs to provide accurate, timely information that enables strategic thinking, and automating the table stakes allows CFOs to shift their organization’s focus to do just that.