These days, companies have access to a wide range of options if they’re looking to update and transform their financial operations from their legacy software to the more cutting-edge.
Traditional on-premises software solutions need substantial up-front investment and ongoing operational expenses. A six- or seven-figure investment will require acquiring one of these software solutions. A lack of financial planning and budgeting tools can leave you with a gap in skills.
Some Essential Features in a Financial Consolidation Solution
Any finance team will struggle with financial consolidation that is centered on faulty spreadsheets. This can lead to challenges such as difficulties in generating and formatting reports, multiple versions of the truth regarding data or outcomes, an inability to incorporate last-minute alterations or new data, and a lack of confidence in the final results. All of these challenges can make the financial closing process longer than needed.
Below are some reasons why most companies, including retail, need financial consolidation.
- Innovation is driving the rapid expansion of most businesses, and fast, accurate information is essential. Financial consolidation provides a clear picture of how well each branch is doing by providing reliable and consistent data.
- They keep track of projections and budgets when financial statements are generated every month.
- Reports that regional and local regulators can dissect are needed to verify compliance for global firms.
Fast-paced retail industries that face different market changes and stressors require more advanced financial acumen. While every business will have its own set of priorities, the most important KPIs are generally the same across the board.
If your organization is considering upgrading to a more advanced financial consolidation and reporting software, consider the following when deciding.
- Data consolidation, budgeting, and forecasting all driven by the same data source.
- Formatted and generated reports that can include sophisticated elements.
- Automation is used throughout the consolidation process to speed up the process, decrease manual labor, and limit the risk of errors.
- Compliance, control, and robust transparency techniques.
Below are some core questions worth answering when debating whether or not it is time to invest in an advanced financial consolidation software.
Is there consistency in your financial reporting?
One of the most important things to consider with financial consolidation is to look into whether your finance team can ensure your data entry and reporting is consistent across all channels.
The information gathered by the finance team is crucial. But many still rely on obsolete Excel spreadsheets, which are then merged. This method is highly prone to human error, putting the integrity of the data at risk. It can be complicated and time-consuming for firms to send spreadsheets back and forth over email to resolve these errors.
To minimize human error and maximize productivity, an automated system is recommended to be put in place. It’s vital to use technologies that bring uniformity to all branches. Using a system with a chart of accounts, for example, accelerates the process of recording information.
Do your current reports give you a 360-view of company performance?
The creation and analysis of financial consolidation reports is an essential aspect of the process. To get the best results, you’ll need accurate information. Your reporting tools should provide a high-level snapshot and the ability to dive down into the performance of individual branches. It will be easy to resolve inefficiencies and analyze the success of each site if all financial information is available. If you do not have this 360-view at the moment, it is perhaps time to start looking around for what is out there.
Is your current finance software allowing you fast closing and reporting cycles?
Faster reporting and closing cycles are two advantages of more advanced financial consolidation software. Stakeholders and auditors will be able to get more timely and accurate reports as a result. It also fast-tracks real-time performance tracking and strategy development than manual closing cycles.
It’s not uncommon to hear of organizations having difficulty completing their month-end close cycles and generating full reports without the proper tools. Using the right software, you may complete close processes in a matter of days with greater accuracy and less stress.
Performance Canvas Financials (PCF) is a reporting and budgeting tool with advanced business intelligence capabilities that supercharge your ERP’s reporting and consolidation capabilities.
PCF The Works is the premium package within the Performance Canvas Financials family. It contains financials automation plus all the modules available as add-on for other PCF products such as sales, advanced financials, advanced consolidation, and profitability analysis. In terms of consolidation, this product is used by medium to large companies today to do multi-company and multi-currency consolidation. It has a lot of advanced capabilities such as automatic eliminations, intercompany matching, top-side journal entries, handling of ownership changes during periods, and more.
If you’re keen to see whether PCF is the right fit for your business, book a free demo with the team at PCF today.