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3 Reasons Why Now is the Time to Invest in Financial Consolidation Software

published on
December 1, 2020

Most mid-sized organizations will eventually grow to a point where they face the question of whether to overhaul their ERP (enterprise resource planning) system, or to update their financial consolidation software.

For the vast majority, the better choice is to invest in modern financial consolidation and reporting software. And as turbulent as times may be, now may be the best time to do it.

Staying ahead of your competition, ensuring targets are met and maintaining your growth trajectory are always vital, but they’re even more so in the COVID era. It’s because of factors like these that any new investment minimize disruption, maximize time-to-value, and inform smarter business decisions. All are benefits that modern financial consolidation software offers, especially when compared to your ERP system.

While your ERP is integral to maintaining your core business processes, from your general ledger (GL) to your supply chain, its greatest strength is also its weakness. With your ERP so interwoven into various layers and departments, it’s a goliath task to change. Even adding a new module (e.g. for financial consolidation) can take months - even years - to implement. Adoption is another matter entirely.

The promise of extending ERP to include consolidation, performance management and reporting is rosy. But it’s also one that few businesses see come to fruition. Each business unit or entity has distinct requirements, their own paths to adoption and, for international businesses, different reporting regulations (e.g. GAAP, IFRS).

The most common result? A solution that your team doesn’t use, that doesn’t provide visible time-to-value, and ultimately just doesn’t work.

What is the alternative to your ERP system for financial consolidation?

The better alternative to upgrading your ERP system is to invest in new financial consolidation and reporting software. Especially for mid-sized companies that:

  • Are growing in size and complexity, organically or through M&A
  • Have multiple legal entities and/or ERPs operating under different financial regulations
  • Like the vast majority, use Excel spreadsheets for consolidation and reporting today

For companies like these, the best ROI will come from a dedicated solution that offers quick implementation, adoption and time-to-value. And in turn, more time and insights through increased efficiency and decision-making capabilities.

For finance and accounting leaders at mid-sized organizations, why and why now come down to three essential offers:

Why opt for new consolidation software instead of your ERP? More Time

Simply put, time is money, and your finance team needs more of both - now more than ever. Investing in new financial consolidation and reporting software is not only less expensive than equivalent ERP modules, but it offers:

  • Significant efficiency gains, allowing you to do in days what it what may take you weeks to close, consolidate and report on your numbers every month, quarter or other reporting period.
  • Cost and time savings, which means your finance and accounting teams spending less time consolidating spreadsheets manually, focusing more time on efforts that will propel your business forward…and getting your weekends back during reporting time.
  • Quick time-to-value, through rapid deployment and adoption – across and beyond finance – which in turn leads to more visible results and value across your organization.

To enable quick deployment and adoption, modern consolidation software connects directly to Excel - instead of trying to replace it - for reporting, data input and more. Excel remains the best reporting tool and most popular business software on the planet. It’s used by 89% of businesses, nowhere more so than in small and medium-sized finance departments, and especially for consolidation and reporting.

The result? Giving your finance team and business partners more powerful roll-ups, financial statements and reporting using a tool they already know.

What are the benefits to your organization? More confidence.

By investing in the right consolidation and reporting software, you’re giving finance and business users the best tools to make sound business decisions based on reliable data. How? By connecting with your existing general ledger (GL), accounting and other transactional software across business units, legal entities, reporting jurisdictions and more.

Integrating with your existing accounting and other transaction systems, you eliminate the human error so common in consolidations. Combined with workflow automation, the result is reliable, real-time numbers for your consolidated financial statements, financial reports, regulatory filings and more.

By investing in new financial consolidation software – especially compared to ERP offerings – you’re also getting a dedicated solution to automate all your complex calculations and consolidation processes, including:

  • Automatic roll-ups based on region and other entities
  • Account reconciliations
  • Intercompany eliminations
  • Tax provisioning and foreign exchange
  • Financial, regulatory and management reporting

Did you know that 73% of finance leaders admit that their companies base financial decisions on unreliable numbers? Modern consolidation software tackles this challenge head-on, offering more confidence to your:

  • Finance team to present accurate, up-to-date financial statements and reports
  • Business leaders to make sound financial and strategic decisions based on trusted insights

Why invest in consolidation software today? To connect your past, present and future.

Today more than ever, if you don’t adapt to rapidly evolving business conditions, you run the danger of missing targets and wavering from your growth trajectory. In this climate, better numbers means better decision making, which ultimately means better business for you with:

  • Reliable, real-time numbers - The combination of automation, integration and accurate numbers gives you access to the trusted data needed to make the most informed decisions.
  • Planning ahead – By providing you with a clear, reliable picture of your past and present performance, you’ll be armed with better insights to inform and shape your future performance.
  • Buy-in and trust - Faster consolidation and reporting translates into more time for planning and analysis, and in turn a better ability to meet your business goals – a value that’s clear across finance, executive teams and more.

The business landscape is rapidly evolving, in the COVID era more than ever before. To succeed and continue to grow, mid-sized businesses in particular need to maximize their return on resources spent, while minimizing disruption to existing processes.

By upgrading to purpose-built, financial consolidation software, your finance team will be well equipped to deliver on these needs and provide even greater value to your organization – now.

About the Author

John Power is the CEO and co-founder of Fluence Technologies, responsible for strategic direction and operational execution across all areas of the company. Before Fluence, John was CEO for ten years at Longview Solutions, a global financial close and consolidation software provider focused on the enterprise market. His career spans three decades of leadership roles at organizations including Andersen Consulting (Accenture) and Southam Inc. John lives in Toronto with his wife and two children.

John Power
Chief Operating Officer
Fluence Technologies
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