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Can’t Trust Your Numbers? Automate Your Financial Close for Improved Reliability and Lower Cost

by Dennis Walsh | SAPinsider, Volume 15, Issue 2

April 1, 2014

An organization’s financial close requires a vast amount of coordination and careful analysis to be successful. Automating the financial close process reduces the risk of human error and the cost of manual effort, and provides rapid, reliable results. This article outlines the advantages of financial close automation, and how you can improve the efficiency of their financial close processes by removing unnecessary manual activities and coordinating processes throughout the organization, enabling you to refocus from painstaking production to real analysis.
 

Every company faces pressure to close on time. Strict reporting guidelines for compliance and the need to show fiscal strength make your close an important external exercise. 

Internally, your close requires a vast amount of coordination and careful analysis to be successful. To improve the process, companies usually implement as many easy fixes as they can — and then keep moving. They add extra staff. They extend the post-close clean-up. And they compromise along the way. To avoid the heavy lifting, some firms even outsource critical close operations, resulting in the loss of flexibility, control, and timeliness. It can make it hard to trust the numbers, too.

Even with all of those extra resources, only 45% of finance teams still believe the outputs of their financial forecasts are reliable, according to a recent PwC study1. Most companies, however, can’t see the real problem. It’s not enough to move around the manual work — you need to automate it.

Automate Your Close Process and Refocus Your Team

Automated close processes provide rapid, reliable results. Financial close automation reduces the risk of human error and the cost of manual effort. Your best resources don’t have to waste time searching for clues or comparing lines on reports and spreadsheets. 

It’s not enough to move around the manual work — you need to automate it. You can then manage by exception and refocus your entire team from painstaking production to the real analysis your business needs. 

With automation in place, you manage by exception. You can refocus your entire team from painstaking production to the real analysis your business needs.

From Production Paralysis to Business Analysis

For the last 20 years, Redwood Software has helped SAP customers worldwide streamline and automate their financial close. Whether you complete the close in house, use a shared service center, or outsource, Redwood’s Financial Close Automation (FCA) for SAP solutions removes unnecessary manual activities and effortlessly coordinates all the processes throughout your business.

We have worked with a wide variety of global customers, including:

  • The Dow Chemical Company
  • Royal Dutch Shell
  • Siemens

Take Dow, for example. This complex, global company has more than 750 subsidiaries to bring together with each close. With the Redwood solution, it automated monthly close tasks for a dramatic improvement in speed, accuracy, and a significantly lower operational cost2. If your financial close doesn’t measure up, change it now. It’s easier than you think.

Learn More

FCA has helped highly successful global companies reach their goals to improve the efficiency and reduce the time of their financial close.

To find out what FCA can do for your organization, visit us at www.redwood.com/fca.

 

1 PwC, “Launch of 2013 Finance Benchmark Report” (October 2013; www.pwc.co.uk/assets/pdf/launch-of-2013-finance-benchmark-discussion-notes-15102013.pdf). [back]

2 “Dow Chemical: Streamlining Its Close” (www.sap.com/solution/lob/finance/software/closing-cockpit/index.html). [back]

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Dennis Walsh
Dennis Walsh

President
Redwood Software



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