Savvy CFOs reap rewards with finance governance technology.

Author:Senter, Ryan

Regulatory compliance pressures and demands to meet accelerating financial reporting deadlines are taxing accounting resources like never before. If finance departments haven't reached a breaking point, they may be near it--and they may be cutting corners to complete tasks. In such an environment, it's no wonder companies are becoming increasingly prone to costly financial reporting errors and omissions.

With performance expectations high and getting higher, it is naive to think financial operations--the last stop on the financial data train--can single-handedly deliver faster and more accurate reports, although history proves they will try, often to their own, and their shareholders,' detriment.

What are the available solutions? Before outputs can change, inputs and processes must also change. Routing and keystrokes must be reduced. Verified data should be expedited. Bottlenecks need to be identified and eliminated. And checklists should roll up to avoid redundancy and allow the chief financial officer to focus on exceptions.

Tech Tools to the Rescue

Fortunately, help is available from automated reporting tools and finance governance technology. These systems are already making a big difference for organizations that have implemented them. Such technologies have the potential to deliver fundamental improvements to many organizations, regardless of size, industry or status (public, private, nonprofit, etc.). Adoption rates, however, aren't nearly where they should be. Why? It could be because many organizations are either unaware that such technology exists, or more likely, have yet to grasp its value fully.

And even when a decision is reached to incorporate finance governance technology and the purchase is made, implementation has its own hurdles. Organizations need to plan effectively to address training requirements together with the cultural changes that come with the introduction of any new technology. However, when considering the potentially dire consequences for failing to adapt to the current business environment and address financial reporting and regulatory compliance challenges in the most effective manner, now is the time to find the most efficient way to incorporate finance governance technology and put it to work for you.

Accuracy and Efficiency

Finance governance technology helps minimize--and in some cases, can eliminate--the pervasive problems associated with the end-of-period close. This includes the maddening scramble to reconcile disorderly accounts; lack of documentation; frustrating delays; and little, if any, visibility of work progress or actions taking place across the enterprise.

The implementation of finance governance systems establishes sound, standard processes and creates an automated checklist with step-by-step directions to complete tasks properly, promising accuracy and efficiency. Furthermore, such tools essentially tackle two challenges at once: In...

To continue reading