We extensively motivated in a previous article the importance of a collaborative relationship between the CFO (Chief Finance Officer) and the CIO (Chief Information Officer). Let’s see now how much a collaborative approach when choosing the technological tool to support the AFC (Administration, Finance and Control) department, i.e. a CPM software, brings a return in economic terms (and not only) to the company.
Choosing the right software in corporate performance management is an extremely delicate process, for both users and business performance. However, in making this decision, contrasts may come up between the CFO, who oversees the users of the platform and the processes to be implemented within it, and the CIO, who is responsible for inserting the new tool into the corporate technology ecosystem.
In fact, on the one hand (CIO), while at the time of software selection greater weight is given to the integration of the tool within the IT architecture, on the other hand (CFO) the choice of platform is made by favoring solutions that know how to adapt to process needs. Let us not forget that while IT also seeks to digitize the majority of processes within a company, Finance continues to budget and report, often, with tools from decades of years ago.
In the market today, however, it is possible to confront a variety of vendors that offer cutting-edge digital solutions for the Office of Finance. Among the various proposals we can encounter, one of the best is CCH® Tagetik, Wolters Kluwer’s Expert Solution that stands out precisely because of its ease of use and implementation, as well as its ability to fully cover the CPM layer without resorting to third-party solutions or, at any rate, without using different solutions that are not integrated with each other.
CCH® Tagetik: the ideal software for your business
The ultimate goal of every business is to know in a timely manner how the company is performing, so that it is always in the best position to make decisions that anticipate market trends and/or correct contingent anomalies, by processing a variety of data from multiple departments.
Of course, in order to have reliable forecasts, it is necessary to have the right tools and not be limited only to Excel spreadsheets, which do not allow for a clear and precise picture of the company’s economic, asset and financial situation.
Precisely within this context, CCH® Tagetik comes into play, a solution, which is able to give coverage to all Finance processes within the same layer, using built-in functionalities typical of these processes (e.g. allocation, forecast double-entry, financial fluxation, …), which are aimed at maximizing the usability of the tool and minimizing its TCO.
Going into detail, CCH® Tagetik offers state-of-the-art solutions for:
- Budgeting Planning & Forecasting, ensuring improved meaningfulness of forecast data, especially in the financial area;
- Consolidation & Closing, with reduced costs, time and errors, as well as greater reliability in the closing process;
- Financial Reporting, enabling comprehensive reporting with depth of detail and with dynamic updates as changes occur.
- Disclosure Management, providing quick and easy reports composed of reliable and trustworthy information;
- Regulatory Reporting, enabling streamlined mandatory reporting through configurable templates, flow logic and calculation
- Advanced Analytics & Dashboarding Fast and easy processes with useful information and immediate reports.
But what are the reasons why CFOs and CIOs should rely on this tool?
The benefits for the CIO
One of the main challenges facing the IT department concerns the integration and maintenance of the different systems adopted by the company’s various departments, which must be able to talk to each other. Choosing the right platforms therefore may not be a simple matter: in addition to the needs of the users who will use the software, in fact, the needs of the technological infrastructure and the costs involved in this migration must also be considered.
To have the greatest possible return on investment, it is necessary to evaluate well the features and functionality of the solutions offered by the various vendors, including:
- Cloud functionality;
- ease of implementation and integration;;
- ease of use;
- maintenance and upgrades.
Let us analyze them in detail and see what are the elements that guarantee a greater return on investment.
There are several solutions on the market, both on-premise and cloud-based; opting for the latter solution will allow you to de-emphasize cost items related to AS and DB servers right away, as well as other costs such as backup or disaster recovery. CCH® Tagetik software, provides the same functions, the same security and the same comprehensive, unified solution in both versions.
Another extremely important element to consider is the implementation and integration of the CPM tool within the company’s existing systems. CCH® Tagetik is fully compatible with existing applications, especially in the ERP environment, and on its own is able to cover the entire CPM layer without the need for third-party solutions. This solution, therefore, while being a new addition to the application map, manages to integrate seamlessly with what already exists. Ultimately, it enables the enhancement of what is in place without bringing additional burden (if implemented extensively) in terms of interfacing, minimizing IT load and total cost of ownership (TCO).
The same consulting firm that will lead the implementation can affect the future ROI since part of the success of the project will also depend on the partner selected for the project activity. The ease of use of the tool is also an aspect that can go a long way toward alleviating costs. In fact, when deciding to introduce a new technology within the corporate landscape, it is also necessary to consider the cost of training employees to use the software. Choosing an intuitive and easy-to-use solution such as CCH® Tagetik can go a long way toward lowering this cost item.
Another item to consider is maintenance and upgrade costs, which can weigh as much as 25 percent of the total purchase cost. By opting for customized solutions, these costs are ongoing and can often add up to more than the initial implementation cost. By opting for cloud solutions such as CCH® Tagetik, these expenses can be amortized since part of these are already contained within the annual maintenance fee.
Benefits for CFOs
Among the CFO’s main tasks, we find the management of all corporate finance processes, the governance of which enables timely responses to both internal and external stakeholders, while meeting both the regulatory and steering needs of the company. These are highly articulated processes that enable the company to make decisions that can move the business forward in the right direction if they are well calibrated. Of course, as we mentioned earlier, this process cannot be based on castles of Excel sheets, but it is necessary for the Office of Finance to equip itself with state-of-the-art tools that enable the company to make faster and more informed decisions.
Although Excel is an all-around data-processing tool, the moment you want to process a large amount of data in a collaborative manner, you need to rely on better performing platforms. In fact, it has been estimated that 88 % of spreadsheets contain errors. Companies, therefore, that still rely on manual tasks, such as for closing for example, get inaccurate data with negative and risky consequences. Excel was not designed for collaborative work and therefore does not allow multiple people to edit files simultaneously running the risk of losing data. Finally, it is necessary to remember that it is not a database; this also inevitably affects usability, security and data storage.
In the last period of time, especially during the last two years, the ability of companies to meet business needs with efficient application solutions has been one of the key elements that has enabled their development even in a particularly difficult and uncertain period, remaining competitive at the market level. In this context, having efficient and well-implemented CPM software is the element that has allowed them to make a difference in many processes. These solutions offer a wealth of benefits for the CFO, among them the ability to perform more easily and efficiently:
- Economic, capital and financial closures;
- Complex financial plans and budgets;
- Integrated financial analysis, modeling and planning;
- Process analysis;
CPM platforms not surprisingly allow for the automation of more than 50% of manual entries, a 35% reduction in the time required for consolidation and planning processes, and a cost reduction of more than 20%, thus ensuring a significant return on investment over time.
Finally, let us not underestimate that the entire Finance team suffers from frustrations due to the absence of an adequate system that is capable of automating financial processes. By speeding up and making these processes more efficient through a CPM system, there is an additional return on investment on human resource costs, potentially even going to reduce expenses allocated to overtime.
Does CCH® Tagetik really bring CIOs and CFOs together?
Choosing a new technology solution to incorporate within the company is a very delicate moment as far as what has been written so far is concerned. For this reason, it is imperative that a collaborative relationship is established between the CIO and the CFO that can make the decision fall on a solution that succeeds in meeting the needs of both departments. On the one hand, the CIO must be able to choose the best technology option on the market, without going to the TCO of the investment; on the other hand, the CFO must consider process needs with a view to implementing a solution that meets the demands that the Office of Finance receives.
According to a report conducted by Rimini Street Inc, a global provider of enterprise software products and services, it was found that 80% of CFOs globally consider digital transformation to be among a company’s top 5 priorities, while 77% of respondents said they would work with the CIO to find a way to fund a new digital transformation project if the initiative generated a strong ROI, highlighting the readiness for teamwork.
Ultimately, already by initiating a digitization process in the Finance department, the relationship between the CIO and CFO can only benefit since their collaboration turns out to be a prerequisite for a successful transition. To be assured of making a truly beneficial investment, the choice of CPM software can only fall on one of the best tools on the market, such as CCH® Tagetik, one of the leading software providers in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant, which has all the features described above.