Tim Nissen | Accessing Financial Operations Data.
Surveys of Accounting and Finance professionals resonate a pressing need: accessing financial operations data from a single system source.
The problem comes from two primary perspectives. One is attempting to report from disparate systems, particularly ERP’s and line of business systems, manually assembling reports cobbled from these multiple sources. The other is the manual approach of exporting data out of ERP systems and into Microsoft Office applications. Unfortunately, neither solves the data integration issues standing in the way of gaining accurate, actionable information consistently.
The number that relays the consequences of this continuing lack: less than 20% of Accounting and Finance professionals’ time is allocated to strategic activities. It’s the time and effort tied-up in the common problem – manual reporting, rather than utilizing a single-source visualizing and reporting source integrated with their ERP’s and business systems.
Further, those surveyed denote that it’s the non-value-added tasks; data gathering, verifying accuracy, and formatting reports, that distract from the strategic analysis emphasis needed. System integration constitutes the biggest technology obstacle to gaining actionable reporting information, to report on both financial and operational data.
An actual automated source is available by utilizing an enterprise content management (ECM) system. These can sync with ERP’s and business systems, creating a hub for transactional information and supporting documentation, with full cashflow visibility and financial reporting, in configurations of the user’s choosing.
Through ECM, users can deliver the value-added analysis desired by key stakeholders.
While the system integrations enable ECM’s effectiveness, success starts with automating the capture (imaging) and indexing (OCR) all needed transactional information from related documentation, from beginning to end, to populate corresponding ECM fields. This enables information verification amongst systems for accuracy both in processing and reporting. Automating interdepartmental workflows provides the field of view for real-time financial reporting, as does document archival ECM provides. Together, a single-source document management system accessing financial operations data easily and accurately.