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How finance services organizations are empowering operations managers

INSIGHT ARTICLE  | 

Paul Calamita, a partner in RSM’s technology and management consulting practice, specializes in helping financial services executives use technology to help streamline operations, leverage talent more effectively and automate processes.

Here are key takeaways from his presentation at RSM’s ninth annual Investment Industry Summit on Sept. 19, 2017:

Beyond budgets and repetitive processes

Today’s leading organizations have an agile approach to business. Executives want tools that identify business trends instantaneously and help them manage day-to-day operations more effectively.  Additionally, they expect the finance team to help lead this effort by identifying the right tools and giving them access to cleansed and accurate data that will allow them to make more informed decisions.

No longer merely a way to post transactions and run reports, technology can help move the finance team into a closer relationship with an organization’s executive, sales and operational managers. The three core areas to focus on when leading a finance transformation initiative include.

  • Finance closing cycle and calendar – Enabling automation and workflow technologies to improve and shorten the close
  • Enterprise resource planning – Leveraging cloud technologies to improve transaction processing and reporting
  • Performance management and business intelligence – User-friendly budgeting, planning and modeling applications, as well as accessible business analytics

A wide choice of tools

Dashboards, analytics and mobile technology are all part of the tool kit.

While repetitive transaction processing continues to take up too much time in everyone’s day, new tools and technology can speed up non-value-added processes, allowing the finance team to focus on more appropriate analytical and strategic activities.

By layering on best-of-breed applications to help manage your information, middle market companies can improve efficiency and effectiveness in their finance and reporting capabilities. These applications help automate the closing cycle with improved reconciliation and intercompany account matching as well as workflow approvals and more transparent consolidation processes.  Additionally, corporate performance management and business intelligence tools can help businesses make better decisions through the development of more effective budgeting, planning and forecasting scenarios.

Some of the finance transformation tools we see being deployed in the middle market today to help in such matters include Blackline, Host Analytics and Adaptive Planning, to name a few.  The end game is to help push key financial data and information through to executive, sales and operational managers, allowing the business to be put firmly on the path of growth. 

 

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