The opportunities presented through data analytics have extended the reach of financial reports and analytics, but is this enough for CFO’s today? Financial analysts and CFOs are notoriously focused on data for reporting, risk assessments and for determining possible scenarios.
One of the primary issues that CFOs now isn’t the lack of access to reports for financial decisions but the challenging process in generating these reports. This laborious manual activity generally involves a team of financial analysts aggregating and incorporating information into spreadsheets to apply to particular questions and scenarios.
When applying this approach, CFOs lack complete access to consolidated reporting and the availability of all insights from the data in front of them. By taking this approach, analytical tools can come into their own and make data easier to navigate and appreciate promptly.
To reach this point, data from multiple areas must be consolidated into a singular database via an automated system. This approach will save financial analysts considerable time and eliminate the potential human errors associated with this process. The final result is a dashboard containing a data summary and the capability to look into each data set in more detail. This approach allows finance teams to generate multiple reports and scenarios based on this accurate and organised data.
There are cases where finance teams have spent considerable time consolidating financial information from various data sets manually. After exporting and reconciling data, finance teams would spend further time ensuring the information was accurate and well prepared for the company to use. Transferring to automated data consolidation enables teams to make instant comparisons and create reports through one platform.
Switching to automation may not be the solution for all of the reporting requirements in finance but data consolidation combined with automation can generate more data from multiple sources quicker and save employees considerable time. The biggest challenge with applying this process is the caution of many businesses to place their trust in automated data consolidation. Financial executives have been reliant on generating reports manually via spreadsheets for years and are hesitant to transform the entire system in such a short period.
This cautious approach is a big reason why IT and other technology leaders must know about business changes when planning to implement automation for analytics. As with many analytics and automation plans, finance must be a core element in the project and be a priority in how businesses process change to take full advantage of automation.
With the support of automation, a data consolidation is a vital tool in transforming how finance does business, but implementing it is critical to a successful transition. IT and Finance are vital in launching a new process and ensuring it receives full support across the business, starting with the CFO.