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How FP&A Software Helps Businesses Close Faster

June 27, 2019
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Financial cloud software is a useful tool for businesses and financial departments. They provide a central location for all finance data, along with automating many financial processes within a business. Although some companies are still transitioning to the financial cloud, others have embraced it in their daily practices and are gleaning efficiencies.

Benefits of using the cloud for financial management include real-time reporting and visibility for teams, mobile collaboration for remote or traveling individuals, and the consolidation of daily tasks. For finance teams that have yet to make the move to the cloud, this piece highlights the benefits of transitioning to cloud software, along with how this transition can help businesses speed financial close.

How Financial Cloud Software Makes Business Data More Accessible

Financial cloud software provides a mobile, all-in-one tool for the finance department. The cloud stores and organizes financial information (e.g., billing and costs) for each customer. From tracking invoices to managing back accounts, financial cloud solutions provide finance departments with additional support for daily tasks. They also act as an information depository.

Financial-specific cloud offerings like those offered in enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems can aid with projections for businesses. Companies using cloud software for ERP can make predictions or analyze past reports in order to make more informed decisions about their next steps. Cloud financial systems can be accessed via mobile devices, which allows team members to access them from almost any location. These aspects make cloud solutions useful for companies with locations around the globe or for those with frequent travelers.

Signs for Updating End of the Month Practices

Financial departments, like other parts of business, can fall prey to remaining in an operational pattern. Although consistency can be beneficial in some instances, in the long-term, it can hurt a company. If individuals do not adopt new ways of doing things, it can lead to stagnate business practices.

One area where financial teams can locate problems in processes is when they go to close the books at the end of the month. The end of the month arrives quickly, and if it’s taking prolonged periods of time to gather up statements and numbers, then something might be going wrong. If management is not getting information as fast as they should, then it affects their ability to conduct reviews and adjustments in a timely manner.

Additionally, finance management leaders could be using more resources than necessary to do a job. If a team needs a large variety of tools and individuals to close the books, it might be time to update practices. It saves people a lot of time to use only one tool rather than jumping from one resource to another.

By taking the time to investigate why it’s taking so long to close the books, businesses can find other areas for improvements. Uncovering one problem can reveal other inefficiencies  within the department. Because practices are repeated for all types of finance management, issues will be reflected in daily practices.

Closing the Books Faster

Financial cloud software can aid with end-of-month procedures, which helps teams generate reports and invoices at a faster rate. The automated processes within the cloud cut down time spent pulling data from various spreadsheets or statements. Instead, the cloud allows team members to search for data in one place and sort it in an organized manner.

Viewing financial analytics data in one place helps with decision-making. When leaders have easy access to information and can pull reports in minutes rather than days, they make more informed decisions for the future of the business.. Keeping data and reports in one location provides easy access for approved individuals.

Some companies have reported that using a financial cloud cuts closing time period from a week to 2 days. Also, businesses switching from Microsoft Excel files for financial data to an automated cloud process can reduce the amount of people that need to collect information. Instead, these individuals can focus more on understanding and reviewing financial data.

That is another benefit of closing the books faster: freeing up individuals to work on other projects. When financial professionals spend less time generating end-of-month reports, teams can focus on other aspects or ways to improve processes. It also provides more time for financial teams to concentrate on strategy instead of working on low-level tasks.

Putting It All Together

Financial teams looking to speed up closing the books at the end of the month have a new tool: financial cloud software. A cloud-based financial system stores and organizes data for teams to use for a variety of purposes. One of these purposes is closing the books at the end of each month.

There are a variety of methods that companies use to close their books. However, businesses may need to update their practices for some of the following reasons. One, teams may be taking longer periods of time to close the books due to information being located in various places. Two, too many resources at a team’s disposal can spread out information to a point that the resources hinder the process. Once a financial department recognizes these problems, they can implement efficiencies in other areas as well.

Overall, financial cloud software is a useful addition to businesses. They create a centralized point for financial data storage, which helps teams locate information quickly. They also automate certain processes, allowing financial teams to work on higher level tasks.

This post was written by Abbey Young, a technology and marketing enthusiast. When she’s not writing, Abbey can be found binging the latest hit t.v. series.

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