How many black swan events can you encounter before you can’t cope using spreadsheets?

The economy has had a trying time over the past few years.   

  1. The 6+ day blockage of the Suez Canal in 2021 is estimated to have cost 12 per cent of global trade – holding up trade valued at over $9 billion per day, according to data from Lloyd’s list[1].
  2. The global pandemic undoubtedly took its toll on businesses worldwide, challenging companies in many ways.  For many, this led to operational changes with WFH and office rota systems, many of which are still in place today.  Changes and investments in IT setups and technologies to support collaborative working in isolated environments were hastily implemented.
  3. The war in Ukraine has affected many businesses, some hit hard with a complete retreat from operating in Russia. The impact sees worldwide energy prices escalate, with bills continuing to rise for consumers and businesses, and countries that rely on exports from Russia or the Ukraine scrambling to find new supplies.
  4. China – the worlds factory – closing down ports and supply chains that were already under Covid induced stress, and pushing delivery lead times for components and finished goods to new records.
  5. And of course, there’s the UK’s Brexit from the European Union, for which the biggest impact appears to be the lost of labour, leaving many sectors struggling to fill job vacancies. 

Any one of these events would have been classed as a one-time blip in the economy. The last few years have seen us battling with not just these five – but many more – the frequency and magnitude of disruption is increasing, as illustrated by Gartner® here: 

Gartner® paper on “What CFOs Need to Know About Today’s Supply Chain Environment” 

The ultimate results of these disruptions are increased costs and price inflation. Businesses need to adapt, amend operational activities and operating models, address changes in buying cycles, address workforce challenges. 

Financial planning is key to survival. If you’re relying on using spreadsheets to transition your business through these trying times, you could find yourself facing greater challenges than you need. Our whitepaper highlights the benefits of an automated, agile and centralized cross functional planning capability brings, to aid success for businesses in testing times.
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Sources

[1]https://www.indiatoday.in/business/story/explained-how-much-did-suez-canal-blockage-cost-world-trade-1785062-2021-03-30

Image Source: Gartner® from Paper entitled: What CFOs Need to Know About Today’s Supply Chain Environment.

Finance Department Challenges and Solutions

Finance departments face many challenges when it comes to financial planning and analysis of a business. As the finance department is responsible to keep a close eye on the past, present and future of the financial health of the company, its critical to address the challenges faced by the finance team and help them have a systematic process to ensure business growth. 

Businesses who implement financial analysis solutions to enable their finance functions to assess corporate performance through indicators (KPIs) such as revenue, return on investment (ROI), operational costs, and market and shareholder performance, are the ones equipped to gain competitive advantage. 

By implementing financial analysis solutions, the results achieved can include vast time savings by streamlining processes and releasing staff for other activities, increased accuracy and reliability on reported numbers, and ultimately greater reporting for better decision making. 

To get started however, finance departments are often faced with a number of challenges when assessing their KPIs: 

  • It is difficult to get hold of all the required inputs on time 
  • Input data is rarely error free and often needs cleansing and sorting-out before it can be used
  • Data processing is done with complex spreadsheets which are difficult to maintain
  • The volumes of input data get larger and more difficult to manage as the organisation grows
  • The production of the outputs is time consuming and labour intensive
  • Key stakeholders want the outputs faster (and sometimes more frequently) than they can be produced 

ORYX Solutions to overcome Department Challenges 

ORYX solutions are designed to support finance functions by addressing many of these challenges through the use of automation and data processing workflows. ORYX is completely configurable so it can take many forms of input, process the data as required and produce any sort of output. 

The most typical ORYX solutions are for planning, budgeting, forecasting, or period end close activities, particularly for situations where either the finance system has insufficient analytical capability, the organisation is too complex to process data via spreadsheets, or the data processing and workflow needs to be tightly controlled and managed. 

To facilitate this, Accountagility have created two ready-to-go solutions which can be used whole or in-part, which can take standard GL extracts from the core finance systems – these are: 

How does Automated Financial Solution work? 

ORYX solution is a tool set. So you can start small and solve just one or two challenges like consolidations or reconciliations with appropriate adjustments being posted back to the General Ledger. Then, over time, you can slowly grow and expand your financial analysis solution to solve more of the challenges when resources and budget are available. Each new development builds on the existing workflows and data processing. 

Once an ORYX solution has been established, all of the basic set up (e.g. dimensions, drivers, validations and data mappings) can be reused with any further modules. This ensures that the initial effort expended in setting-up ORYX solution can be capitalised upon to address different challenges later. 

Common inputs and outputs of Financial Analysis Solution 

A typical financial analysis solution involves the collection of data from one or multiple operational systems (e.g. Trial Balance, HR data, Sales data). The combination of this data is represented in a data model illustrating the dimensions of the business (e.g. Accounts, Products, Periods, Locations, Currency); and then looks at the performance of computations to produce reports or other outputs. 

Common reporting outputs are financial statements such as Balance Sheets, Cash Flow or Income Statements. Many organisations also produce dashboards and calculate outputs such as adjustments or allocations which ORYX can post into the General Ledger. 

ORYX solutions are equipped with many useful tools and features such as drill-to-source, customisable reports, dimensional analysis, charts, dashboards and data browsers; all of which make it easy to analyse data and create outputs. 

Benefits of Financial Software 

Financial planning and analysis software solutions help users to improve and streamline processes, and get data processing and workflow under tight control. Whilst the benefits are unique to each organisation, they are typically as follows: 

  • Control and Repeatability – the capturing of business logic and finance policies in one place introduces consistency into processes and reporting, and this becomes a valuable documentation asset for the department. 
  • Time Saving – reduced manual effort releases staff for other activities. Also,  data, results and reports are available quicker for business decision making. 
  • Reliability – replacement of spreadsheets as the primary finance reporting tool removes the risk of hidden errors and key person dependencies. 
  • Accuracy – drill down capability enables finance to conduct robust variance analysis and provide confident explanations of performance figures. 
  • Handling of Foreign Currencies – the ability to hold all Forex policies at a system level saves time, reduces errors and enables underlying transactions to stay in their original currency removing confusion. 
  • Morale – the removal of menial and repetitive tasks from team members through automation improves job satisfaction as well as reducing errors. 

To learn more, or request a free demonstration, click here 

 

Virtual working

2020 was an unprecedented, a year like no other. It created huge challenges for businesses. When it was no longer possible for staff to work from the office, working from home had to quickly become the new norm.

Overnight, organisations had to adapt their operations and invest in technology to support the new way of working. Surveys showed that on average IT budgets were lifted by 20% throughout the crisis to support remote delivery models. It was a rapid transformation for many businesses.

With Covid short-circuiting the decision-making processes, we question whether finance functions have received the necessary tools to cope in a complete or partial virtual working environment?

No, is the answer we hear most often. Finance teams continue to work long hours due to inflexible IT solutions that don’t provide adequate collaboration or Finance Process Automation.

The pandemic situation placed fresh challenges for organisations’ planning and reporting requirements. Changes in operational processes and the introduction of remote working fashioned different spending patterns and habits. Economic and recessionary pressures have continued to force organisations to change their assumptions on an almost daily basis, requiring them to come up with new forecasts for how the business will perform.

During the peak of the crisis – cash flow forecasting became a survival tool, with some companies performing this exercise weekly or even multiple times per week. As companies now look for the way forward – scenario planning has really come into its own.

It’s imperative Finance analysts make use of the scenario modelling capabilities in their FP&A solution. This will deliver business insights to help management plan appropriately for the crisis.

With ORYX scenario modelling capabilities, it’s possible to rapidly re-model forecasts and plans, and produce over 100 models within minutes. After comparisons and refinements, a smaller number of coherent viable scenarios for your business can be presented.

We advise that close on the heels of the pandemic is the next wave of disruption – and it is huge. This disruption is the change in customer behaviours and supply chains that have already taken hold. Things will not just go back to normal. There is massive pent-up demand in the system and consumers and businesses are desperate to get back to normal.

With the US, EU and UK all planning colossal stimulus packages and unprecedented growth figures of 5-10% projected over the next 1-2 years, the ripples of global disruption to economic models will be orders of magnitude bigger than the sort of changes businesses are used to dealing with.

Financial analysts need robust technology to be in place to help businesses deal with unpredictable demands, supply chain issues, and balancing extra stock.

The aftermath of the crisis will be felt for years to come, and businesses who adopt systems and practices to put them on the right track for recovery, accepting that remote working habits are the new reality, will be the ones likely to prosper.

BI in Finance

In order to manage staggering amounts of data created, organisations often look at large scale BI installations as a way to gather business information together, placing it into a data warehouse or data lake.

✓ This solves the problem of handling large amounts of structured and unstructured data, and provides centrally managed powerful insights into operational performance. KPIs and Trends can be produced, and presented in dashboards, charts and reports, helping businesses drive efficiencies and improvements.

✗However, financial reporting requirements are unique and are much more specialised. We hear frequently about business leaders turning up at meetings with conflicting data. For finance, the worst thing they can do is present inaccurate numbers, which if used and released externally, can have a major impact on the company’s plans and the confidence of shareholders.

We’ve taken a deep look into why is this happening, even after millions has been invested on huge and expensive BI installations.

Our whitepaper also explores the options that empower finance to be confident they are presenting numbers they can trust, whilst complementing existing investments of BI implementations.

Download our Whitepaper

WFH Exposes Flaws

Spreadsheets don’t support workflow capabilities that manage activities across multiple users, nor do they have security capabilities to restrict information based on user role, so data is often split into different workbooks, distributed, and then manually consolidated. This leads to a myriad of copies and versions, increasing the opportunity for errors and creating major risks for businesses.

There are other important aspects too – such as replicating business modelling. Spreadsheets are restricted by rows, columns and worksheets. It’s therefore not unusual to see spreadsheets linking to other spreadsheets, making it easy for errors and mistakes to become commonplace. Simply put, they don’t possess the capabilities to match an enterprise solution.

If the virus has created a plague of spreadsheets within your organisation, or you simply want less reliance on spreadsheets, download our whitepaper that deliberates the advantages of taking A Business Rules Approach versus Persisting with Spreadsheets.

Download whitepaper

We know Excel comes almost free of charge and is easy to use, but we appreciate the cost of your resources and the success of your business is more valuable. If you’d like a conversation to learn how to remove your reliance on spreadsheets, please get in touch info@accountagility.com

BOTS in Finance

Many businesses have undergone digital transformations to improve their products, increase customer engagement and drive costs down in many parts of their organisation. But it is not uncommon to find finance departments continuing to operate in a traditional manner, using manual data collection and complex spreadsheets to manage important finance processes.
This can cost this central business function a lot in terms of time and resources, it also creates huge opportunities for errors. Nearly 20% of large businesses have suffered financial losses as a result of mistakes:

The most frustrating thing for companies impacted by such embarrassing issues, is to find the errors were easily preventable as they are caused by human error and/or spreadsheet errors, neither of which has any place in a modern digital business.

Today it is not just the cost of inefficient processes that is causing issues, but the Covid pandemic has exposed the weaknesses of manual processes per se, as spreadsheets with sensitive data are having to be emailed outside of the secure corporate network to facilitate remote working and effort required to consolidate the myriad of resulting copies and versions has skyrocketed.

As a result, finance departments are now racing to catch up with the rest of the business in their use of digitally enabled processes. One way to achieve this is to enhance Finance Process Automation software with robotic process automation (RPA) technologies.

percentage of activities that are highly automatable

Gartner1 reports “89% of general accounting operations are highly automatable, and 72% of financial controlling and external reporting activities can be automated”.

Accountagility’s ORYX software handles finance process automation such as consolidations, allocations, forecasting, report production, etc. If you also need to interact with multiple in-house applications such as ERP, manufacturing or CRM systems, RPA technology might be a useful augmentation toolset to separate the complexity of the infrastructure from the business process, rules and logic in ORYX.

Finance process automation

There are a number of RPA software platforms available; Automation Anywhere, UIPath, Blue Prism, Nice, and many more. These add real value when wrapped around Software Automation solutions to remove mundane and time consuming activities such as data collection.

RPA technologies cannot fulfil the demanding and complex needs of the office of finance. But they are good to help with point solutions, particularly where there’s a requirements that does not warrant development of a strategic solution, for example, creating an interface with a legacy system that is due to be retired.

The opportunities for process improvement extend as McKinsey2 statistics illustrate potential areas for use and the benefits of finance process automation particularly well:

graph on automation

Finance Process Automation therefore not only removes errors and risk, but leads to a reduction in time and cost.  Typical benefits a CFO or an FD can expect are:

  • 100% human errors eliminated
  • 20-30% cost reduction
  • 100% process repeatability
  • 2-3 x faster reports
  • More fulfilling roles resulting in an uplift in staff morale
  • Removal of business risk from errors in spreadsheets and manual processes

ORYX enables finance departments to work more productively by removing the risk, complexity and cost associated with inefficient processes by:

  • Simplifying processes through standardisation
  • Removing cost and risk through task automation
  • Improving insights through data visualisation
  • Introduction of RPA in finance as point solutions to improve repetitive processes

We have achieved some outstanding results with organisations saving £100k’s and operating at far greater efficiency than previously dreamt possible. Here is an illustration of how the time, cost and effort reduces for an example finance reporting process:

Typical manual spreadsheet process

The most advanced finance organisations are now taking advantage of automation, but most companies we talk to state that less than 25% of the potential has been addressed, and the full scale of the opportunities have not been realised. Here are some of the initial key areas of improvement we provide to clients:

Finance Process Automation is ready to reshape the future of finance; it’s your opportunity to boost performance, eradicate errors and get you the numbers you can trust. If you’d like to know more get in touch.

Sources:

Gartner1 Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Role in Finance Automation, Drive greater efficiency, compliance and productivity with finance RPA

McKinsey2 Bots, algorithms, and the future of the finance function, January 2019

Use Accountagility’s Rapid Scenario Planning software for *free during Covid-19

COVID-19 continues to impact lives and businesses every day. Staff are being furloughed, others are working from home, access to IT systems is a challenge, income statements and cash flow forecasts are constantly changing. All of this is leading to an extraordinary level of uncertainty to the business and complexity for the finance function.

The consequences mean businesses need to plan against ever changing variables to accommodate the unprecedented times we find ourselves in. But it’s evident that many organisation’s current processes and system tools don’t provide the flexibility required, and they are having to find new ways of doing things.

Scenario planning provides a structured way to identify future uncertainties and develop suitable action plans through a variety of potential outcomes. It creates a sense of confidence by having a structured way to work through the challenges, reacting to important factors identified.

Rapid Scenario Planning is something we’ve been helping businesses with for years and we want to support companies struggling with their financial planning during these challenging times. One of the ways we’re doing this is to offer the use of ORYX Plan software licences Free of Charge.

*Free use of ORYX Plan software licences

We are offering up to 10 users on-cloud ORYX Plan software licences for a 6 month period to help you through this crisis. Our Cloud Financial Planning solution uses AWS hosting services, these third party costs will be passed on. The offer to help is open to any sector.

Pre-built Template

A pre-built template is provided to get you started. It includes simple rules based on some of the standard variables that businesses are considering during this pandemic, based on the Government schemes.

Service Packs

One and a half service days is included free of charge to understand your needs and to get you up and running. However, we appreciate some businesses require customised business logic to reflect their way they do things. So additional service packs can be purchased to give you the environment that you need. These service packs are discounted by 50%.

Our offer to use our software free of charge is provided to help businesses through this crisis. If you would like to set-up a no obligation free consultation to discuss your requirements and for us to show you first-hand how we can help your business, please get in touch. If you want to continue using the ORYX software going forward then we can chat around a commercial outcome to arrive at a mutually satisfying result. It’s more important now than ever to survive and plan for the future, together we can get through this.

COVID-19 Scenario Planning

As the global pandemic of COVID-19 wreaks chaos on the world’s economy, businesses are finding themselves in a state of flux. It’s no longer practical to stay on course with financial plans set out before the start of 2020. The reverse is more appropriate and we’re seeing executives adapting financial plans in order to navigate through these testing times.

But how should businesses assess the many possibilities, and implement the right plans to provide an agile and long term solution?

Scenario planning is a technique used to identify future uncertainties and develop suitable action plans in response to such changes. Enabling alternate futures to be considered, businesses can make assumptions about market changes, and how their business environment will change over time in the light of different sets of assumptions. Businesses who create plans based on multiple scenarios are unquestionably best placed to give confidence to the future viability of the business to the board.

Creating multiple scenarios sounds simple doesn’t it? Except many companies try to do this using Excel Spreadsheets, that, as we all know, have no audit trail or effective workflows for collaborative working, and are highly prone to errors.

Multiple scenarios have to consider variances that are numerous and far reaching. Each option may require you to build hundreds of models of your business, and then compare them, in order to distil them down to a manageable number of coherent templates. Each scenario needs to contain enough detail about the likelihood of success or failure of different strategies. Which makes this a time consuming, as well as a daunting task.

An agile financial planning solution empowers businesses to create and refine new scenarios in hours, rather than days or weeks. You can compare the outcomes in seconds, refine the options, and present the best viable scenarios, and guide your organisation towards a successful long term future. Effective scenario planning allows businesses to avoid increased costs, increased risks, and opens up new opportunities with foresights that hadn’t previously been considered.

If you could build 100 different models of your business over 2 days, how would your board respond to receiving well-considered, meaningful and compelling scenarios?

One of our clients has done this. Their Board was reassured that there were solid contingency plans in place to protect the business and take it forward. They were so delighted that they gave the finance team a commendation.

Given the vast impacts we’re seeing to all businesses as a result of COVID-19, whether this be an increase or drop in key financial factors around customer demand, market share, or production technologies, we recommend you present your Board with 5 fully developed scenarios. Then they are equipped to build a business that is suitably agile, now and into the future.

Financial planning solutions that work in an Excel style environment (but without the issues experienced with spreadsheets) give businesses the best possible outcome for Scenario Planning. We have been helping businesses produce side by side comparisons of scenarios for many years and we have experts who can provide you with free advice and guidance. If you would like a free consultation with one of our experts, we would like to help so please get in touch.

Pointing the Spotlight

David is a keen observer of anything Brexit, and has been since before the UK Referendum of June 2016. What interests David most is the impact exiting the EU has already had, and continues to have on UK businesses. With so much ongoing information, news and debate, much of it conflicting, it’s sometimes difficult to get a holistic view on the state of the economy and political landscape. For the first time David answers some pretty challenging questions sent by business associates about the Brexometer, how it works and why we should read it. We’ll then get a sense of where it is now and his take on what the immediate future holds.

Q: it was interesting to see that November’s reading actually rose by 23 points – what were the key changes over the last month that impacted the score in such a surprising way?

There are pros and cons that made up the score. On the positive side, Boris Johnson and his team agreed to a new Brexit deal and there’s a three month extension to the Brexit date to 31st January 2020. This was a relief, because many people were extremely concerned about the possibility of a no deal Brexit at Halloween. That has driven up both the Pound and the UK Stock Markets. For example the FTSE 250 that represents the medium sized companies rose by 6% in a month. That’s a lot and it’s quite encouraging.

On the downside, the Election creates massive uncertainty, and it is by no means certain that the result will be clear cut. Britain is completely fed up with the lengthy and tedious lack of clarity that hits the business community particularly hard.

Q: What can you tell us about the next month or so? Will it get resolved or are we in for more turmoil?

Nobody can predict the Election result with any degree of confidence. There are many people who claim that it will be a re-run of the referendum, and that voters will make their choices along leave or Remain lines, rather than Party loyalties. But once you are in a General Election campaign, anything can happen. Everything is on the table. Whether it’s the NHS, taxation, the economy, conspiracy theories, politicians’ love lives, it’s all valid and people will have to make up their minds at the end of it all.

Q: The election is on Thursday 12th December. When will you release the next Brexometer?

This is so crazy and spooky. We had the nightmare of a potential Brexit at Halloween, and now the results from this Election will come through on Friday 13th. Scary. We will measure the December score on that day as the result of the election becomes known. Then we will release it publicly on Monday 16th December.

Q: Do you expect it to go up?

That’s anyone’s guess. The direction of travel of the opinion polls will shape the answer. Certainly business confidence is not likely to rise during this period; but the removal of political uncertainty – if that were to occur – would be a massive shot in the arm. So you pays yer money and takes yer chances.

Q: Talking of which, you have been running a competition to get Brexometer fans involved. Does this continue in December?

It certainly does. Everyone is welcome to have a go at predicting the December result. Just send me your prediction – a score out of ten to two decimal places. If you win you will get a special Brexometer tenner to win, which has the serial number AA13, celebrating the date with destiny. A rare and prized note, which may well bring you good fortune by absorbing all the bad luck in your life. The winner will also receive a framed certificate to show off their awesome punditry to colleagues and friends. Just send an email to david.west@acountagility.com, and this keepsake could be yours… or you could just spend it!

We have painstakingly collected more special banknotes for 2020, so if you are a collector or just like money, watch this space.

Q: We hear that you have an Election special up your sleeve.

Yes, I do. The Election represents two polar opposites as the leading parties have moved away from the centre ground to present more radical manifestos. I know there is a rainbow of different political colours out there, but the two main parties have become interesting contrasts. The labour party has defined a socialist agenda, no more pink tinges but a crimson declaration. Under Boris the Tories are clear blue, with Brexit to the fore and not so much centre ground. They have also been competing with each other to spend more. Once their plans are fully released, I will be evaluating them to predict the most likely Brexometer scores for December 2020, exactly a year from now. As always with the Brexometer, it will be pithy and concise, and will be dispassionate. A refreshing change from the emotion and hype of the political campaign!

Q: When should we look out for this?

It will be towards the end of November, once both parties have given a costed set of plans.

Q: How can people get to see it?

It will be released like a regular Brexometer on email, LinkedIn and on our website.

This interview was conducted on 11th November, we hope you’ve enjoyed the read and you join in the fun to make your own prediction for next month, and keep following the Brexometer!

Tomorrow’s World, Today!

Driving Future Business

Business environments are changing rapidly and many companies are applying digital technologies to their operations to help them meet customer expectations and stay competitive in the face of emerging new business models. These operational changes, coupled with increasing accountability and growing regulatory oversight, have added new requirements onto already over-stretched Finance functions.

Change, Complexity, Heightened Demands

  • Executives want better and faster insights
  • New business opportunities need to be modelled
  • Operational changes also impact financial reports
  • Regulators want further break down of numbers
  • KPIs such as revenue and ROI need to be evaluated
  • Operational managers want performance insights

To compound the problem, newly digitised operations are generating more data than ever (such as sales orders, supply chain stats, customer demand) all of which adds further complexity to finance analysis and reporting.

The future is available now – ORYX 2019

Clients typically engage us when they are having problems with process such as consolidations, eliminations, allocations, revenue recognition, etc. Common issues are: overly complex spreadsheets, large data volumes, or sometimes simpler things like the data not reconciling.

Each engagement provides valuable input for the ORYX roadmap and enables us to keep developments focused on real-world priorities. Whilst analysts recognise ORYX as possessing AI (Artificial Intelligence) capability, the reality at this point is that most finance functions are focused on the basics – they need to make planning and period-end close processes quicker; and they need to provide better insights for managers.

This feedback enabled us to focus our roadmap and get the right themes for the ORYX 2019 release:

Automation

Much of the published analysis shows a significant percentage of finance staff time being spent on things that could be automated including tasks like:

  • Extracting of data from source systems
  • Loading of data into analysis tools like ORYX
  • Validations (checks for missing data, auto-fixing of known issues, format corrections)
  • Mapping (linking data to business drivers, rolling values up)
  • Production of basic reports (income statement, balance sheet and cash flow)

Some of the remaining tasks are semi-automatable; but variance analysis and scenario modelling will probably retain manual elements, due to the degree of interpretation and business knowledge needed – but we will be adding in further AI capabilities into these areas in the future.

The automation functionality we have included in ORYX 2019 includes:

  • Data validation tools to detect and auto-fix issues (or alert users)
  • Workflow tools to enable the full end-to-end process to be automated and done by users through the assignment of tasks
  • Collaboration tools that enable users to communicate and share information – for example: highlight a potential error, request a review

Visualisation

Many clients ask about dashboards and visualisation of results to give operational managers and end users a better understanding of the performance trends hidden in their data.

ORYX 2019 now contains comprehensive dashboards that can illustrate data in many formats:

  • Key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • Interactive graphs and charts with live data from any source
  • Ability to drill through from a dashboard to the underlying data

ORYX dashboards are completely customisable and so can be setup to meet specific needs and show the precise performance information required.

Analytics & reporting

Managers are demanding not just visualisation but greater insight from business data to help them see their operational performance. Some clients we talk to have access to ‘data lakes’ that hold vast amounts of raw data that can be used to create outputs.

To support this we have improved the analysis tools in ORYX to include the following:

  • Scenario modelling so the sensitivity and impact of key parameter changes can be explored (e.g. FX rates, demand and supply assumptions)
  • Reporting that is flexible and can mimic any structure (e.g. GAAP, IFRS) and can be output in any standard format
  • Cube views to support dimension driven analysis and enable slice dice and drill down from top level to the contributing transactions
  • Direct cube to cube comparisons to enable easy assessment of differences

Processing speed

Finance are having to process more data than ever before and so to support this we have improved our data handling capabilities in several ways:

  • Providing cloud hosted solutions with elastically scalable storage and processing
  • Creating in-memory data storage that removes the need for time-consuming access to/from disks and databases
  • Optimising how computations operate on the data to speed the processing

We will continue to improve performance of ORYX, as new techniques and technologies permit.

Access

We have seen an increasing demand for remote access into ORYX to support users who are mobile or offsite. The most typical example has been managers away from the office, who need to review and approve outputs.

To support this we have equipped ORYX with web access to enable remote entry and approvals.

2020 Vision

We have laid out the key themes of our future vision in ORYX 2019, and future developments will follow this lead. In parallel, the vision for digital finance is also getting clearer; organisations are moving ahead with operational transformations and, although the outlook seems to be “more change”, some future trends are clear:

  1. Continued pressure to automate manual tasks
  2. Rapid increase in data volumes
  3. Broadening applications for AI and Machine learning (ML)

But, for all the benefits of digital technologies, nothing can resolve bad or missing data; and so we envisage leading organisations will enforce better data governance and processes. Those that achieve it will be able to maximise their use of automation technologies like ORYX.