Planning better and working smarter is something pretty much everyone aspires to do both at work and in their personal lives. This couldn't be more true for CFOs and those in finance departments. A recent article on CFO.com by Colin Hare and Lana Klein emphasizes the need for forward-thinking analytics to help drive growth and profitability, and to pave the way for better communications and relations between the CFO and other CxOs.
A second recent article by John Parkinson mentions the need for more than just backwards-looking reporting. He points out that new ERP systems are providing CFOs and finance departments with real-time dashboards and analytics that provide powerful alternatives to the static reporting of yesterday. Business Intelligence has been incorporated into the new ERP systems, and provide finance professionals the ability to do a good bit of their own analysis, without the need for IT involvement or costly 3rd party specialists.
The key is to take advantage of this new functionality. According to Parkinson, many businesses are still in the habit of looking backwards at static reports. Real-time data and the ability to drill down to a granular level provides real insight into business processes and how they're working. Another important piece, perhaps the most important according to Parkinson, Hare, and Klein, is to know what you're looking for. A real effort needs to be put into deciding what information you need, what are the key perfomance indicators, what questions are you trying to answer?
At AcctTwo, we implement ERP and cloud-based financial software, and we see the importance of forward-looking analytics every day for our customers and in our own business. We've gathered a list of requirements that every business should look for from their financial software. Stay tuned for those...
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