Moving to an on-demand close is vital to every finance transformation initiative. In our first post, we discussed how enabling on-demand financial close with a data-driven, digital approach helps you manage talent and glean actionable insights. 

Leading organizations are making transactional and manual
tasks invisible, and analytical and judgmental tasks more intelligent. In record
to report, there has been remarkable success by automating reconciliations and
intercompany reporting streams. Soon, many of these processes will run like a
utility, leading to touchless tasks.

With machine learning, computational linguistics, and
computer vision, the finance function is becoming more intelligent by embedding
analytics at its core.

During a recent webinar, we
polled finance professionals
and discovered that 80% say their top
challenges include high workload, rework, manual effort, and a lack of access
to real-time data. Most respondents also agreed that their organizations do not
have the financial tools and resources to achieve continuous close.

To provide accurate and timely financial information that supports business leaders in decision making, we have developed a road map to help accounting and finance teams provide accurate and timely financial information that supports leaders in decision making, while transforming that addresses these challenges and transforms your financial close and reporting.

But this is not a one-size-fits-all approach, as every
organization needs a different mix of digital, process, policy, and industry
knowledge related to the financial close.

Here are three key areas to consider as you embark on your financial close transformation journey.

Get the Foundations Right

Good processes allow you to weather the unknown and make
significant changes to your financial close.

During a presentation
at the 2018 InTheBlack conference
, Victoria Hernandez, accounting
and external reporting leader at Mondelēz International, says the key to
overcoming unknown issues depends on how fast you react—and how good your base
processes are. You can measure these by how quickly they get you back on track.

Mondelēz International improves its base process through centralization,
harmonization, and automation. Constant communication enables the team to work
across time zones without impeding the financial close process.

Adopt New Policies &
Controls

In addition to the high dependency on technology and
computing power, data, policy, and controls also play important roles.

Every accounting and finance organization should consider:

  • Nurturing an agile team of people and machines
  • Adapting current business policies to better
    support on-demand close

    • For example, require that monthly activities
      like data reconciliation and validation reviews or quarterly corporate
      allocations and charge-outs happen more regularly with automation technology
  • Adopting dynamic controls
  • Creating consumer-grade user experiences

Embed New Ways of Working

By bringing together business and accounting-transaction
life cycles, you ensure there is only one way of recording across accounting and
management books.

Analyzing disparate data sources with advanced computing
capabilities and employing predictive analytics enables you to make more
informed business decisions. Adopt AI solutions to manage, solve, and predict
exceptions.

Redefine the Future of R2R: Propel
the Business

Another webinar poll found that most organizations are using
automation to close the books on time. Mondelēz International, for example, has
seen significant impact from transforming its R2R function, such as increased
process standardization and reduced finance costs, close efforts, and time to
report.

Redesigning the close process means getting away from
multiple accounting systems, manual spreadsheets and reconciliations, and
disconnected data. A faster, efficient close has automated controls, streamlined
processes, and aligned systems and organizational structures.

Give your team the ability to focus on more value-adding
activities, generate greater trust in reported numbers, and deliver the quality
insights that create an agile finance function.

Register for InTheBlack 2019 to learn more about on-demand financial close and accelerate your digital finance transformation. Visit Genpact for more insights.


The post How to Unleash a Faster, Smarter Financial Close appeared first on BlackLine Magazine.