The core idea of digital transformation is to provide faster, better technology tools to enable companies to be more efficient while saving time and money. One of the biggest tactics for achieving digital transformation is system integration.
It’s one thing to tell a team, like finance, that integration between their applications and various other systems will make their lives easier. It’s another to explain the clear benefits of integrating with other systems, and what it means to their day-to-day workflow. To get buy-in from teams, though, they need to understand how it will make their lives easier.
Connecting a business’s ERP and financial applications is an easy place – from a benefits perspective – to start. There are strong advantages gained by connecting these systems like increasing productivity, speed decision-making and a reduction in errors.
Transferring data from one business systems to another –without an integration – means either getting a data dump from one application and importing it into another, or manually entering that data.
No matter the method, there is plenty of opportunity for errors. An amount entered incorrectly may not be caught until an audit. Mapping from a data file into a different system can result in data entered in the wrong place. This can be detrimental on things like cash flow reporting.
Both methods will require a lot of manual time and still have a very high risk of error. Setting up an integration between an ERP and finance application allows data to automatically flow between the systems. The data is mapped accurately, and there is no need for manual entry.
Increased Productivity with Faster Synchronization
With data flowing between systems automatically, the finance team will spend less time managing data and more time acting on it.
Data from invoices and orders gets into the hands of the finance team much faster with an integration, while things like client invoicing and payments can be automated and the data shared across company divisions quickly. There is greater visibility into accounts receivable, streamlining payment processing and collections. Slow paying clients can be handled more proactively, and average time to pay can be factored into future forecasting models.
Timely, Accurate Reporting and Data-Driven Decisions
Of course, having clear and rapid access to the full range of business data through the ERP means financial reporting can be more timely and more accurate. As companies gain better insight into their operations, better decisions can be made.
As the ERP feeds financial data to the finance team, financial analysts can create reports and dashboards with the right set of tools. Using a unified set of data, stakeholders in the budget and forecasting process, from C-levels to line-of-business leaders, can drill down to gain a better understanding of where finances have been and where they need to go to reach company goals.
With this information, data-driven decisions can lead the way. Inventory can be purchased as needed, pricing can be tracked, and leaders can see how different situations can impact cash flow, forecasting, and actual spend.
Integrating finance systems with your ERP is a cornerstone to providing holistic views of company performance and clarity around data driven decision-making. Connecting these systems is key to delivering on the underlying promise of digital transformation.