Reimagining your financial close: bottom line to the frontline

05 AUGUST 2020 | BLOGS

According to a survey by McKinsey, about 60 % of CFOs spend most of their time on traditional financial process and not enough time providing strategic and analytical insights

For the first time in decades, the role of the finance organization is undergoing a disruptive change. The pandemic put a new light on the role of the CFO. They are not only responsible to maintain the financial health of the organization through unprecedented disruption, but to drive business continuity and become more efficient in the repetitive, rule-based processes that are critical to the business.

A new mandate

CFOs today are expected to use disruptive technologies, data and innovation to improve the performance of their team and to have more influence on driving strategic change and transformation efforts for the business. According to a survey by McKinsey, about 60 percent of CFOs spend most of their time on traditional financial process and not enough time providing strategic and analytical insights.

To free up time for strategic and transformational efforts while improving speed and agility, they need to center their focus around automation, integration, and analytics such as digitization of Monthly/Quarterly Close and reconciliation efforts.

“Cloud-based automation tools can help achieve reconciliations with one click and take the process from days to minutes.”

Where to start

Reconciliation process is a stressful and deadline driven process that is expected to function flawlessly.  Accuracy and speed are critical components of the process and missing deadlines or lack of quality output can have a severe impact on the business. Most organizations still rely on spreadsheets and labor-intensive manual processes that require input from many people/brokers across the organization which can cause or introduce errors.  The level of interconnected and complex processes across the organization in different functions also contribute to the challenge. This is a tedious exercise that requires several people to spend multiple days integrating data from dozens of spreadsheets.

A path to digitization

Automation is easy to Implement

There are sophisticated, cloud driven tools available today that help automate repetitive tasks, enabling finance to free up critical time and resources to devote to other strategic efforts. Clients who implement cloud-based automation tools can complete their reconciliations with one click and take the process from days to minutes.

Overcoming data silos

Data stored in siloed systems and isolated spreadsheets further add to the complexity making the reconciliation process highly inefficient. The manual process drains productivity and confidence in data accuracy.

Connected data means smarter business decisions. Businesses need sophisticated automation solutions with pre-built connectors that integrate seamlessly with existing infrastructure. These connectors link data from isolated systems, third-party, public, or internal sources and bring it in one place in minutes without predefined requirements, allowing businesses to operate on a single version of truth. It also allows them mix and match different data sets and perform real-time analyses on extremely large volumes of data at the click of a button.

Analytics provide deeper insights

Relying on spreadsheets for complex reporting is more time consuming than people realize. According to a report by Adaptive Insights CFO Indicator, over 60% of CFOs spend close to 5 days on analysis.

When users are not spending ages on manually collecting data, they naturally have more time to focus on more strategic work. Analyzing data enables users to look beyond what is happening to understand why. The sooner they know why, the sooner they can plan a course of action to take advantage of opportunities or minimize losses.

Eka’s platform driven reconciliation solutions offer advanced analytics with sophisticated aggregations, configurable dashboards and visualization of KPIs. The solution sifts through large and complex data to identify key metrics such as volumes through different channels, fees paid, payment delays, etc., enabling businesses to be proactive and react smarter and faster to discrepancies or market disruptions.

Risk and error free reconciliations

The transformative benefits of modern financial solutions go beyond automating repetitive tasks. It allows users to perform continuous reconciliation where data is processed constantly in real-time in the background, flagging off discrepancies to users at any frequency they desire. In doing so, users also benefit from eliminating the risk of manual errors while gaining instant visibility with real-time alerts and accurate and complete financial reconciliation.

Highly adaptable workflows

Modern solutions are highly configurable and help businesses to adapt to newer processes faster.  Every company works differently. Each reconciliation lifecycle represents dozens of activities and processes that take it from start to finish. The advantage of configurable workflows is that it allows a company to define its own rules where they can give pre-set instructions in terms of how they want to transform the data from one step to the next in the lifecycle,  and then have the software automate them. Modern reconciliation solutions such as Eka’s let businesses configure workflows with zero coding involved. Its configurable business rules let users create custom rules or logic for one-to-one matching or grouping for GLs as per business requirements.

Digitizing operational finance is easier said than done, however, there are significant tangible benefits to implementing modern technology in increasing speed, reducing errors and freeing up time for strategic and transformation efforts. Financial close and reconciliation processes are a great place to start.

At Eka, we have implemented our reconciliation solutions for many clients and have been able to reduce their financial close and reconciliation process time by over 50%, while achieving 100% accuracy.  We would like to help you define and easy path forward. Learn more about Eka’s cloud platform and Reconciliation Solutions by clicking here.

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