A Unified Enterprise Performance Management Platform Can Help Your Finance Team Make Real-Time Decisions – SPONSOR CONTENT FROM WORKDAY & DELOITTE

Most organizations are in a state of perpetual motion, and their finance operations reflect that. With business constantly changing, the most successful enterprises are those with finance teams that can quickly respond to change and seize new opportunities.

For a finance team to manage continual change and make optimal planning decisions with real-time agility, it needs reliable, consolidated data from every part of the organization.

But many finance orgs are hampered by inefficient and siloed legacy technology and processes. These splintered systems keep useful data locked up, which can delay the analysis of consolidated results and limit the team’s agility. Traditional tools can’t support the complexity of a financial consolidation, nor can they quickly adapt to changing requirements.

For those reasons, many finance teams spend too much time collecting, adjusting, and reconciling data rather than analyzing it and serving as the true business partners their organizations need. Such difficult-to-use technology can leave these teams frustrated, and with limited insights and missed growth opportunities.

But by upgrading to an agile self-service platform, finance teams can unify data, automate data management, and use easy-to-customize applications to make any changes they need in real time.

With a common set of data across the organization, finance can better collaborate, report, and plan accurately and efficiently. That helps the larger enterprise adapt to changing conditions, make better decisions, and drive better business results.

The High Costs of Legacy Processes

Without agile tools for planning and consolidation, finance teams risk falling behind. And a majority of organizations are missing out on advantages finance could bring them. Consider:

• 73% of finance teams compile company data manually or run their forecasts and scenario planning offline, according to Deloitte Insights.

• 76% of CFOs say that their organizations struggle to plan without one consolidated source of truth across business units, according to Accenture.

• 50% of CFOs say they make financial decisions based on gut instinct, because data is siloed or otherwise not readily available, according to a Workday survey.

An agile purpose-built planning and consolidation platform can help finance teams streamline financial reporting and company-wide planning. With a more reliable data foundation and automated data management, this technology can ensure more accurate and efficient financial close and planning cycles.

And a tool’s intuitive low-code/no-code user experience allows self-service reporting, data exploration, collaboration, and agility, so finance team members can easily create queries and surface insights without the time-consuming step of involving IT resources.

400% More Time for Strategy

Using an up-to-date, unified planning and consolidation platform, finance teams can easily integrate data from multiple sources; collaborate easily across teams; and drive organization-wide budgets, forecasts, and plans.

For these teams, consolidating data and providing self-service automated statutory and management reporting is streamlined, leaving time for them to create, analyze, and compare virtually unlimited scenarios to better prepare for the future.

After one company transitioned from legacy systems to a unified, accessible data platform, its finance team reported a 400% increase in available time to apply to strategic work—compared with its previous system of manual data collection using siloed legacy technology for forecasting and scenario planning.

Integrated and collaborative tools can eliminate the need to manage a range of technologies and platforms to produce results and allow employees across the organization to seamlessly report, plan, and capture results. Moving to a single platform that’s easier to use and less prone to data errors can save time and provide a unified source of truth for all teams, eliminating any inefficiency of reconciling conflicting reports or data before digging into a cross-functional project.

These tools’ self-service quality allows finance professionals to easily develop and analyze planning scenarios tailored to their own organization and market conditions without requiring tech assistance—or engaging in traditional offline “shadow planning” processes on scattered unsecured spreadsheets they need to manage on their own.

Because these are cloud-based tools, they’re continuously updated with the latest innovations and can access powerful artificial intelligence and machine learning tools for predictive forecasting based on models incorporating broader data sets from outside the organization.

Getting a Clear View

“The digital finance disruptions that informed our thinking about finance trends several years ago have accelerated, and all signs suggest they’ll continue to do so,” says Ameet Bhojwani, director of digital finance transformation at Deloitte. “Finance must remain agile, integrate with other functions, and know what drives the business, or CEOs will look elsewhere for advice.”

To keep up with the rapid pace of change, businesses need a clear view of their costs and resources and the ability to analyze scenarios to support timely decision making.

An organization’s once-reliable legacy enterprise performance management platforms just can’t keep up with the pace of business. These platforms are often too siloed, too inflexible, and too difficult to customize for changing planning circumstances.

With a unified, accessible self-service platform, finance teams gain the advantages of consolidating a single source of truth; higher-quality data; and customizable, automated tools for planning and analysis. And that can translate to more productivity, reduced costs, and better and faster decision-making from your finance team that supports your entire organization.

Learn to elevate your financial processes here.

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