Volatility Drives Creativity
Cybersecurity & Privacy to Underpin Changes
June 23, 2021
Business routines are being disrupted at an unprecedented level with change simultaneously taking place across the board at a scale never witnessed before, at least within this current generation. Management teams as a result are mega focused on maintaining business continuity in this ultra-volatile environment, which is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.
Against this backdrop of volatility all need to find their way forwards to deal with current realities. Maintaining business continuity is not going to be easy and is going to entail a realistic detailed scrutiny of every role, review of every cost line item, business process flow, and planned investment, not to mention underlying business models.
Nothing can be taken for granted, but it is a huge opportunity, and enterprise resource planning systems need to support these changes both now, and going forwards on a rolling basis in both iterative and sophisticated ways to provide both transparency and visibility to stakeholders.
Entity by entity comparisons can provide insights of where value can be released, costs removed, or cash flows re-organised through reviewing all segmental activities at both gross and net margin levels. This means that for each detailed line item variances will need to be understood. Without strong financial management systems these processes are slow to execute well. Firstly reviews will be required between entities or segments, secondly within each revenue and cost line, and thirdly individual revenue & cost run rate changes examined, challenged and explained for reasonableness. This approach is equally valid for businesses expanding or contracting, but time is always of the essence.
Making fundamental detailed changes is not always easy, simply due to the time involved to execute them. Cash flow, impact on the P&L and Balance Sheet all have to be considered, and of course all incremental work comes on top of our daily roles and responsibilities. However there are many things within day to day accounting processes that can be made easier to execute, thereby saving time for other things.
Digital can be described in this way: Rather than working with applications just in isolation, processes can be automated and streamlined to work across multiple applications thereby removing the need for manual spreadsheets and making end to end processes repeatable and auditable. Where spreadsheets are needed the look and feel can be kept in place with underlying data tightly controlled for integrity, which can be achieved with today’s modern ERP systems.
Digital is about enabling business processes to work across various applications with any required controls for compliance, and also extending them out to enrich processes with web based services from other leading vendors, all to save time.
Digital is not about simply putting everything to the cloud as it is a deployment option choice to be considered by your organisation, and regardless will still need the digital interconnections across applications and ecosystems through systems integration to reduce transactional friction plus save time. Strong application vendors support deployment across multiple cloud vendors, as well as on premise, which goes to create choice and reduce potential lock-in.
Advantages in digitally enabled environments should be very welcome in times like now. For example, the ability to combine HR and Financial based data on a repeatable and auditable basis, or indeed to do the same for month-end reporting flows right across all of your multiple entities. This goes to both reducing your effort as well as pushing more time to management.
Companies are not all at the same digital operational maturity level @now and some have higher degrees of enablement than others, but for all there are huge untapped benefits, involving both quantitative and qualitative data, that will drive value at both gross and net margin levels as well as removing data silos. Of course iterative priorities need to be set to drive maximum benefit.
Speaking at these macro levels sounds easy but what has really changed today that makes a difference? Two things have been solved, and these have been the root causes of your transactional business friction. The first of these is practical compute power to drive the second which relates to the ability to perform ultra-granular data transformational process flows.
Why do you need data transformation? Simply consider the time it takes and the steps that you currently execute to handle complex processes, like for example producing detailed segmental analysis and reporting from regional data sets.
Consider that source data is collected in different languages, currencies, and often with varying year end dates and all with detailed multiple sets of analysis tagging. The overall intent being to enable various stakeholders to understand aggregated data or subsets of segmental data to drive value creation.
Conversely the ability to handle complex tasks. For example automating requirements under different IFRS/ ASC. Automatic end to end accounting process transformation releases time for decision support, controls, and deeper management activities.
Changes in economic driver’s means that all of us need to look more closely at our operating models to drive value, and priorities will need to be set to be practical. Regardless of your approach, solving the two fundamental issues of practical compute speed to drive your required ultra-granular transformational flows is a powerful enabler for you to remove data silos and drive change at both gross and net margin levels for value creation. A game changer!
Example Productivity Improvements @Now (Non Exhaustive)
FlexSystem is a business software vendor to 1 in 10 Forbes Global 2000 (May 2020) and 1 in 5 Global Fortune 500 (August 2020), operating at the intersection of new process and payment technologies to provide you with iterative opportunities for value creation with or without AI at both gross and net margin levels.