By Rob Blake. The modern finance organization is constantly being challenged to increase stakeholder transparency and visibility, provide information faster and more reliably, and decrease risk – all while cutting down on the time it takes to distribute disclosure documents that complete the financial close process. Peak defined!
Key to this process? Data. Lots of data. And we’re not just talking about numbers. We’re talking about text too. Financial disclosure have them all. But it’s the numbers that cause the pain in today’s process. You request numbers from the business units, pull data from consolidation system either manually or via a Microsoft Excel add-in, you wait on inputs from the reconciliation team, and then you’re in a mad scramble to consolidate everything, hope that everything ties out, and have faith that you haven’t transposed a number.
Crazy, right? For many, not so much. Here are just a few reasons why the current process is fraught with peril:
- RISK – You want to be able to say, with absolute certainty that you KNOW the numbers in your company’s financial documents are current. You need to maintain the highest level of transparency so when auditors come knocking, you’re cool as a cucumber.
- INACCURACY – You’re human, right? That means you’re not perfect. I know, I’m sorry to have to be the one to tell you that, but manual data entry is not infallible. Fingers get tired, eyes get crossed, and your mind can play tricks on you.
- REACTIVE – At best, this process means that your workflow is reactive. You are waiting on other departments and individuals to do their jobs first before you can do yours.
- TIMESUCK – Your main initiatives should be to analyze the numbers for trends, suggest process improvements, and improve the bottom line, but when the bulk of your time is spent keying in numbers, that’s impossible.
At this point, I’ve probably led you to despise peak more than you already do (bad flashback?), but that is far from my goal. The good news is you’re not alone in this evil dance of data access frustration; if misery loves company, there’s lots to go around. Before depression sets in, change the mindset for just a minute: How would peak life be if there was an automated way to pull in financial information directly from your accounting, CPM, and/or consolidations system?
Put a smile on your face as I have good news for you: We’re changing the game and allowing you to connect directly to your source data easier than ever before. And more than that, we’re also going to empower business users…not IT professionals or data modeling mad scientists… to easily design the report layouts to get at data any way they want. Certent Financial Connectors connect to your source data to directly access financial information and natively link it into our Disclosure Management solution. No more copy and paste, no more mad scramble for data, no more anxiety about accuracy. Just clean, automated, consistent inputs.