Don’t compromise ease-of-use when it comes to streamlining financial consolidation.
The strategic importance of consolidated financials
Although financial consolidation is primarily associated with the loading and processing of actual transactions from G/L systems for external reporting purposes, many companies realize the vital role that financial consolidation solutions play in supporting performance management and decision-making. This includes:
- Management reporting: financial consolidation solutions delivers a trustworthy set of clean financials at the right granularity level required for meaningful performance analysis.
- Budgeting and forecasting baseline: many companies utilize consolidated financials for seeding budgeting and forecasting.
- Predictive forecasting: Historical actuals, obtained through monthly consolidation cycles, create a perfect training set to train ML algorithms and generate forecasts through inference.
- Consolidated budgets and forecasts: More and more companies are planning at a very detailed level, and they want to consolidate their plans to perform intercompany reconciliations, support alternative ownership structures, and create journal entries.
Why is ease of use so important in financial consolidation solutions?
With a progressive shift from statutory reporting to performance management, financial consolidation solutions have expanded dramatically in recent years. As organizations deal with increasing amounts of financial data and the need for faster and more accurate insights for decision-making, lean, easy-to-use financial consolidation software becomes paramount to increasing efficiency, accuracy, and overall success. Benefits include:
- Greater accuracy: User-friendly solutions facilitate data collection, validation, and reconciliation, reducing the likelihood of mistakes and improving the overall integrity of financial data.
- Fewer resources: Recent market dynamics have created a headwind to “do more with less.” Intuitive user interfaces allow finance teams to complete monthly reporting cycles with fewer resources and reduce the learning curve, enabling new users to take over consolidation and reporting tasks in less time.
- Better collaboration: By providing accessible and user-friendly features, consolidation solutions can foster better collaboration between finance users, bringing the right people in the consolidation process at the right time and driving efficiency to close the monthly reporting cycles faster.
- Lower reliance on IT: Prioritizing ease of use in financial consolidation encourages business users to take ownership of the process, reducing their reliance on the IT department and empowering them to continuously adapt to market dynamics and emerging needs.
The key factors contributing to ease of use
Many vendors claim to prioritize ease of use in their consolidation solutions, but they are often stuck with outdated and rigid user interfaces, configurations that require intensive coding, and uninspiring reporting and analysis capabilities.
So how can finance teams see through the smoke and mirrors before making costly decisions? It really comes down to a few simple elements:
- Sleek and agile user interface: A user-friendly interface enhances user productivity by minimizing the time and effort required to perform tasks, allowing finance teams to focus on the analysis and interpretation of financial data rather than struggling with complex functionalities and configurations.
- No-code approach: With a no-code solution, business users can easily configure and customize the consolidation process through visual interfaces and drag-and-drop functionality, empowering them to take ownership of the process and reducing their reliance on IT for development and maintenance.
- Out-of-the-box capabilities: Standard functionalities for currency translation as well as intercompany, minorities, equity, and investment calculations help finance teams achieve full GAAP compliance while removing the need for complex and risky customizations. Finance teams can get their consolidation process up and running with minimal effort, saving precious time that can be spent on value-added activities.
- Built-in reporting and analytics: With financial consolidation solutions being asked to support performance management and decision-making, agile reporting and analytics features became crucial. When finance users can easily access and interpret financial insights and create their analyses, it enhances the entire company’s ability to make informed decisions and drive strategic planning.
A new era of financial consolidation is coming
In today’s globalized marketplace, companies often deal with many subsidiaries, divisions, and business units operating in diverse locations and using various currencies. Obtaining a consolidated view of the company’s financial performance can be challenging. Finance teams constantly strive to enable better organizational visibility and gain a comprehensive understanding of their financial health to facilitate more effective decision-making. Finance self-sufficiency means that fewer resources can handle more tasks in less time, and it can only be achieved through innovative solutions that prioritize user friendliness and ease of use.
If this blog has inspired you to dive into finance transformation, you won’t want to miss the newest addition to Board’s growing solutions library. Check out Board Group Consolidation and Reporting!