“Deep Dive,” “Drill Down,” “Agile Transformation,” it seems like every year a new “it” phrase appears and is used ad nauseam in marketing materials, lunch and learns, and emails from supervisors. This year that phrase is “Finance Transformation.”
What is Finance Transformation?
Put simply, Finance Transformation describes the process of reorganizing and re-envisioning the role of finance within an organization. The goal of any Finance Transformation is to better align an organization’s finance department with the overall strategy of the organization. In recent years, the role of finance has begun to shift away from governance activities, such as budgeting and reporting. Companies now look to their finance team for guidance activities, such as pricing and marketing strategies.
Modern companies have access to a wealth of data on their products, their customers, and their competitors. Due to their position, familiarity with complex data sets, and expertise using spreadsheets, finance teams are increasingly tasked with providing the rest of the company with advanced analytics. The hope is that these analytics will lead to better decision making processes. However, budget and time constraints force finance teams to prioritize governance work, leaving them ill-equipped to provide adequate guidance. In a Gartner survey, just 35% of business partners felt that their finance team provided effective guidance.
It’s not all the finance teams fault. More often than not finance teams are being provided with 20th century tools to solve 21st century problems. Those same spreadsheets that they are experts in are holding them back. Data is typically manually imported into spreadsheets. This is a time consuming process as the data is susceptible to formatting issues and manual errors. Additionally, as the data must be manually imported each time, outdated data is being used to produce analytic insights. Finally, spreadsheets do not handle large data sets well. As datasets grow, simple tasks such as changing formulas or opening spreadsheets can take frustratingly long amounts of time.
A Modern Solution
It is time companies stop asking employees to dig a trench with a spoon. If companies are serious about Financial Transformation, they must provide their employees with the correct software for the tasks being asked of them. That software is Alteryx.
Alteryx is a system agnostic self-service analytics, data science and process automation platform that turns your business experts into data experts. The Alteryx APA platform provides users with code-free, drag-and-drop tools which allow finance and accounting professionals to prep and blend data from nearly any source up to 100x faster than traditional solutions. Our team has used the Alteryx APA platform to create a workflow that automated the monthly financial reporting process of a multinational media company. We reduced a process that previously took 240 working hours each month to 35 seconds. This has resulted in an annual bottom line savings in excess of $130,000. This same workflow sends analytic reports to business leaders to help inform their decisions. The FP&A team now spends their time focusing on providing guidance to help grow the business.
If you and your team are still spending hours each week working in spreadsheets, we can save you time and money. Learn more about Abada Solutions and Alteryx by visiting our website or messaging us on Linkedin.
Send us a message!