The Agile Difference

With our problem solving skills combined with our flexible solutions, we enable finance teams to become more agile, so you can support your business and resolve issues – fast.

Frequent Frustrations

Your finance department undertakes many time consuming and often repetitive tasks. Long hours are common place, especially during times of planning, and closing. Speed and accuracy throughout the planning and forecasting process are key requirements – but if you’re like most operations, you have high volumes of data and many complexities that require manual adjustments. This is what drains your valuable staffing resources, and may be why, like many others, you reduce the number of planning cycles to the bare minimum needed.

As a result, one of two things happen. Either finance work long hours to produce the outcomes the business requires, or the business is not equipped to adapt to changing conditions, restricting its opportunity to increase market share.

A Fly in the Ointment

Many recall the night before the Brexit vote in June 2016. Businesses were unsure of the outcome, and what the impact would be. One way to plan for the result was to model the impact of Brexit. And this meant producing plans. Lots of them.

And one of our clients did just that. Using our agile planning system, they rapidly re-modelled their forecasts and plans, to produce over 100 models. The team then compared and refined them, and was able to present five coherent viable scenarios to the business.

This information provided insight and intelligence, and gave the board confidence that any of the 5 presented scenarios would offer a viable route to develop their business, regardless of the outcome of the vote. The board, relieved to learn the business had a great future, awarded a commendation to finance for their rapid achievement. They then used the information from the various plans to expand opportunities right across the global business.

Agile to the Rescue

Using an agile planning solution empowers you to create and refine new scenarios in hours, rather than days or weeks. Why don’t you too take this approach and produce a range of models, to inspire your business with well considered, meaningful and original scenarios.

Now you have the tools to deal with disruptors and their issues fast. And at last flexible finance enables a truly agile business.

Experience the Agile difference – get in touch

We speak your language

With us, you are talking to finance people about finance issues, so you can be sure we understand exactly what you want, and deliver exactly what you need.

Square peg, round hole

Many finance solutions feel like they’ve been written by scientists, offering little practical content, showing limited understanding of the procedures you follow, or the daily constraints you are under.

Without the experience of working in finance, or accounting qualifications, it’s understandable that technology developers fail to grasp the complexities of the finance operation and its demanding requirements. Many miss the mark in providing finance-friendly features that you need from your systems.

Lost in Translation

Your finance office has its own way of doing things, and a solution can rapidly become a hindrance if it is not fully flexible and able to adapt to your needs. Taking the example of a multi-company consolidation solution, it can take months to perform all the mappings into the group or parent entity. If you don’t have a business partner with the expertise to configure your system to fit the way you work, you can quickly find yourself spending months capturing mappings – just to be confident the solution is set up the way you need it.

There are stories of CFOs spending over 40 days of their time sitting with technology vendors after it became apparent that unless they got personally involved right from the start, they just wouldn’t get the configuration and controls required.

Re-allocating a CFOs time is a costly exercise. In this case, the CFO’s finance team had to step up to take on his tasks so he could dedicate himself to translating his finance needs into a technology solution.

Finance Doyens

Many solutions are delivered in a fixed structure that leaves little room for flexibility and as a result, technology is delivered with predefined processes that don’t cater for change.

We have felt your frustration. And that’s why finance experts like you – with similar backgrounds and experience – have been closely involved in designing our solutions. Our systems are rich with practical time-saving features based on a robust and user friendly platform.

Because we understand finance, you can be confident that your requirements will be met the way you need. You can carry on with your business whilst we translate your needs to provide an end-to-end process automation experience – in a finance friendly way.

We speak your language to deliver what you need – get in touch

Putting you in the driving seat

We know that you’re often forced to adapt finance technology. Our solutions mirror your business so you get what you need, without compromise.

A Compromising Situation

Have you ever had to adjust the way you do things because your finance package won’t allow you to change? Have you ended up with reports that don’t reflect the information you need to see? Or have you had to wait days or even weeks for the answer to a simple query?

Finance Technology can be very rigid. Large and expensive IT projects tend to tick the integration and compliance needs of companies’ IT strategies. And in theory, they deliver on the brief set by the finance office. In practice, they take years. And even after a solution goes live, realisation hits – your finance processes have to adapt, because the technology can’t (or at least won’t without more significant investment).

Losing Control

Even though your finance function performs primarily the same tasks as any other, no two offices do things in exactly the same way. This is because you have your data, your rules, your views, your reports and your descriptions – and all of these work to meet your requirements in your own style. Your finance function is a unique operation.

Introducing a technology solution that promises to streamline and automate your financial planning, support your period end close, and consolidate your group finances sounds attractive. But some solutions are so prescriptive, they compromise your working methods, so you don’t feel you’re in control.

Imagine, it’s Thursday afternoon, and the management have requested a detailed P&L for a specific branch or business unit to be delivered for the following day. Access to the granular data resides in the ledger, and you know you’ll need to submit a request for IT to send you the data. In your experience, that could take hours – time you really can’t afford. In the past, the worst case scenario has taken days, and sometimes, weeks!

Back on Track

There is a practical way through the constraints you face. It is possible to have a really agile solution that ticks the requirements of your IT department, whilst meeting your financial needs.

Our solution is built on a flexible rules-based platform. This is what makes it responsive to your unique regime, so you can apply your names, descriptions, fields and terms. You can adapt rules from our library to meet your requirements so they become your rules. You’re able to create your own views so you see exactly what you need. And you can query the database using self-explanatory tools that do not require IT support. So you no longer need to be limited by a standard suite of reports; create your own bespoke views. Maintaining familiarity to the way you work makes your new system easy to use.

Don’t change your processes –simplify and streamline them based on what your business needs, not what your technology can deliver.

Don’t compromise, exercise full control of your solution – get in touch.

The Journey to Excellence

Disruption and its impact on Finance

Organisations are under stress from rapid market changes driven by new technologies, changing consumer behaviours and widespread digitisation. This is eroding current business models and is challenging the traditional ways of working, making them increasingly incompatible with new economic realities.

Organisations must become agile. Directors need to speed up strategy decisions, HR need to hire new talent quickly, IT need to implement new systems faster, and Finance needs to provide constant, timely performance information to the business.

Finance in particular can struggle to meet these new demands for a number of reasons:

  • Often many of their processes are manual and labour intensive
  • It’s common to find that the period end close is lengthy slowing the delivery of information to the business
  • Creating forecasts requires data from numerous sources and this takes time to compile and validate
  • Consolidations within complex organisations are time consuming and difficult to produce accurately
  • The varying data structures and formats within Finance create mapping complexity and introduce risk
  • Investigating variances between actuals and forecasts can be a lengthy process requiring input from multiple systems and consultation with staff from business units

Continuous Intelligence

As a result Finance often spends far longer collating data and creating the outputs, than providing business insights and answering queries. Our journey to excellence addresses this in three steps to success:

Step 1 – Define

The conceptual structure of the business operating model is agreed and documented, and road-tested against any proposed future changes. We seek to identify the source systems for inputs, how the GL should map onto the reporting dimensions, how the planning process needs to work and how the business stakeholders can optimally interact with the process.

This leads to a proposal for how the future planning cycle will operate, what the reporting dimensions need to be, how the data in current systems will feed into the plan, and a definition of the outputs in terms of reports, analysis, dashboards and KPIs.

By the end of this phase the planning process will be fully optimised, with the emergence of scenario analysis and stress-testing capabilities. The consolidation methodology, if needed, should also be fully implemented and embedded within the planning process.

Step 2 – Align

In this stage we put our structure and system know-how to support the Board and the corporate decision-making processes. In this phase we focus on variance and what-if analysis, allowing a range of scenarios to be rapidly generated and presented to stakeholders for decision support.

This step involves the creation automated close data acquisition processes, with planning data automatically obtained from the ORYX Plan component. Because actual data is available from both business systems and the ledger, variance analysis can be prepared at a business driver level and seamlessly reported to stakeholders, or delivered as a self-service capability.

The users can drill-down and conduct what-if analyses through our system, to investigate and resolve variances, before submitting professional final reports and dashboards to the Board.

Step 3 – Refine

In the refine stage the focus is on promoting horizontal integration with other business functions and systems to further optimise finance and related processes. Here our solutions and know-how assists in areas such as period-end reconciliations and integrations, regulatory reporting, and the provision of outputs for business partners such as IT, procurement, HR, Compliance, etc.

The objective is to optimise finance processes so less time is spent gathering data and creating outputs, and more time is spent partnering with the business units and providing the insights required by partners and the Board.

Supporting the Need for Speed

In the struggle to survive and prosper in the newly emerging digital economies, organisations are adopting agile and adaptive strategies which require them to innovate, experiment, fail fast, learn from the mistakes and move on.

For organisations to work like this, much depends on the speed and ability of back and middle-office functions to reduce the time from initial idea to execution. Our three step methodology supports this by driving automation of data collection and processing, and speeding the provision of insights on the performance of new products and services.

The office of finance comes out of the three step process with a common purpose, a set of compatible and efficient processes, and the time to devote to supporting the business as a strategic partner.

Stay ahead of disruption and achieve excellence, get in touch.