It’s clear that the role of the CFO is changing and that the CEO and board now rely on their CFO as a strategic partner. While this is a real feather in the cap of the CFO and their team, the reality of the challenge it presents becomes clear as quarterly board reviews loom large. The CFO needs the finance team to be firing on all cylinders, deeply analyzing data and helping the company uncover the insights from the current financials.
But if the office of finance is buried in updating and integrating data into reports and balance sheets, they aren’t spending their time on the higher-level thinking that the organization – and the CFO – needs from them. Automated synchronization of financial data gives the office of finance the time and tools needed to up their game.
There are a myriad of reasons why synchronization can be the secret weapon in the office of finance’s arsenal. Here are five of the most important ones to get you started thinking about what finance synchronization could mean to your team.
Accuracy is the backbone of a CFO’s credibility when talking to peers and to the board. When data is manually entered for financials, however, there is a high chance for mistakes to make their way into reports. For an accurate statement of cash flow, you need an accurate balance sheet.
Automated synchronization of financial data flows information from multiple source systems into finance, without concerns for a number being a mistype or added to a sheet incorrectly.
Obviously, accurate balance sheets and cash flow reports contribute to better analysis of the financial data. But automated synchronization offers more to the finance team than just a solid foundation to start from.
Finance teams that leverage automated synchronization don’t need to spend their time manually entering data and then validating its accuracy. Instead, that time can be poured into understanding what the trends in cash flow are pointing to, and how a company’s current financial position aligns with its overall goals.
Preparation for quarterly board reviews can be extremely stressful as the C-suite looks at the company’s budget and goals and defines the business story to be shared with the board. These reviews usually result in multiple versions of reports, charts, and slides.
Synchronization means that new data can be quickly pulled in to illustrate the progress made and explain the questions that the business needs the board to help answer. The CFO and finance team don’t need to face seemingly endless nights of re-framing and re-validating financial data for reviews and presentations.
The board wants to understand where the company is at so that it can help steer it in the right direction toward its goals. To do that, the C-Suite must present a clear, concise, and consistent picture across all departments.
Financial data orchestration means everyone is reading from the same script. Financials are consistent from their point of origin all the way to the balance sheet. Now, each department can relate their piece of the puzzle and can be confident it all fits together precisely. The company can tell an operational story that perfectly aligns with the financials.
The finance sub-committee of the board of directors will want clear information that they can process prior to the quarterly review. Dashboards are a proven method of sharing complex financial data with a diverse audience, but when they are created manually they can include inconsistencies and quickly become obsolete with stale information.
Instead, the finance team can provide timely dashboards to the finance committee with up-to-date information when the data is synchronized from across the company into finance’s databases. These dashboards can update automatically as the new data automatically flows into reports and balance sheets, and board members can drill in to see what the drivers are behind the information presented.
Centage Corporation’s Planning Maestro is a cloud-native planning & analytics platform that delivers year-round financial intelligence. With Planning Maestro, Centage offers the sophisticated features needed by small and mid-market organizations to integrate budgeting, forecasting, and deep data analysis within one easy-to-use, scalable SaaS solution. For more information on how to modernize your office of finance with intelligent planning, view our product demonstration video, or call 800-366-5111.