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        Ventana Research Analyst Perspectives

        About the Analyst

        Robert Kugel

        Rob heads up the CFO and business research focusing on the intersection of information technology with the finance organization and business. The financial performance management (FPM) research agenda includes the application of IT to financial process optimization and collaborative systems; control systems and analytics; and advanced budgeting and planning. Prior to joining Ventana Research he was an equity research analyst at several firms including First Albany Corporation, Morgan Stanley, and Drexel Burnham, and a consultant with McKinsey and Company. Rob was an Institutional Investor All-American Team member and on the Wall Street Journal All-Star list. Rob has experience in aerospace and defense, banking, manufacturing and retail and consumer services. Rob earned his BA in Economics/Finance at Hampshire College, an MBA in Finance/Accounting at Columbia University, and is a CFA charter holder.


        Recent Posts

        In accounting terms, working capital includes current assets (short-term items such as cash, money due from customers and inventory) and current liabilities (typically payments due to suppliers and loan amounts that must be repaid within one year). Working capital management is a prime function of the finance organization, designed to balance often-conflicting objectives related to revenue, liquidity, risk and profitability. The basics of working capital management date back to ancient clay...

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        Topics: Office of Finance, CFO, ERP and Continuous Accounting, digital finance, Purchasing/Sourcing/Payments, Accounts Payable, Treasury, Accounts Receivable, Working Capital

        This title plays on the now-ancient meme from the 1990s: “On the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog,” which pointed to a challenge of anonymity posed by new technology. In this case, though, I’m using it to highlight an opportunity that generative artificial intelligence presents in streamlining routine business functions that require some level of individual skill and experience to handle. Ordinary contracts are just one example of work products that require humans to create, edit, analyze,...

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        Topics: Office of Finance, Digital Technology, digital finance, AI & Machine Learning, robotic automation, Generative AI

        Over the past three years, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (or PCAOB, sometimes pronounced “peekaboo”) has found an increasing prevalence of auditing deficiencies in its inspections of accounting firms. PCAOB was established as part of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 in the wake of several major accounting scandals. The agency acts as the auditor of auditors with the objective of being a neutral arbiter of the quality of these inspections. It recently indicated that approximately...

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        Topics: Office of Finance, audit, ERP and Continuous Accounting, digital finance, virtual audit, Consolidate/Close/Report

        A century ago, the big breakthrough in telephones was the ability to dial your party’s number directly. Dialing became necessary when enough people had telephones to require a shift from people-assisted to fully automated connections. But direct dialing was only a local option – you still needed an operator to make long-distance calls. In the 1920s, commenting on their forecast for the expected growth of long-distance calling, the analysts at Bell Laboratories concluded that by midcentury, the...

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        Topics: Office of Finance, Analytics, Business Planning, AI & Machine Learning

        We added purchasing, sourcing and payments to our core Office of Finance focus areas this year to reflect new and important opportunities to use technology to gain effectiveness through greater efficiency. Technology continues to lubricate the wheels of commerce, aided by a financial services sector that is constantly innovating, responding to market-driven opportunities to reduce costs, increase demand or lower risk. Ventana Research asserts that, in many cases, technology makes new forms or...

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        Topics: Operations & Supply Chain, Enterprise Resource Planning, ERP and Continuous Accounting, digital finance, Purchasing/Sourcing/Payments, Continuous Supply Chain & ERP

        The six costliest words in managing a finance department are, “we’ve always done it this way.” Closing the books is the process of finalizing and summarizing the financial activities of a business for a specific accounting period (typically a month, quarter, or fiscal year). It involves completing various tasks to ensure that all revenue, expense, and other financial transactions are properly recorded, accounts are balanced, and financial statements are prepared. Accounting processes are...

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        Topics: Office of Finance, ERP and Continuous Accounting, digital finance, AI & Machine Learning, Revenue, Lease and Tax Accounting, Consolidate/Close/Report

        As we celebrate the first half of what seems to be the year of generative artificial intelligence, with an apparently unlimited discussion of use cases and bogeymen, my attention is turning to the very mundane question of costs. Specifically, how costs incurred – through investment and operation – will be distributed along the value chain and how this will affect the demand for AI ‒ by whom and for what purpose. It’s a question that needs asking even though, at this stage in the market’s...

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        Topics: Office of Finance, Continuous Planning, Business Planning, Enterprise Resource Planning, natural language processing, digital finance, AI & Machine Learning, Consolidate/Close/Report, Continuous Supply Chain & ERP

        I recently attended Sage Software’s Partner Summit. Implementation partners account for most of the sales and implementation of finance and accounting applications designed for small and midsize businesses, so they are important to the success of the software vendor. These events are designed to inform partners of product enhancements and the product and technology roadmap as well as provide a perspective on market conditions and trends.

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        Topics: Office of Finance, Business Planning, ERP and Continuous Accounting, digital finance, AI & Machine Learning, Purchasing/Sourcing/Payments, Consolidate/Close/Report

        Organizations engage in collaborative supply chain planning in order to have more accurate, timely and actionable information, including forecasts and stock-on-hand. The objective is to achieve lower costs and reduce risk while ensuring order fulfillment to achieve optimal supplier and customer relationships. Unfortunately, our research shows that that few companies manage collaboration well in their sales and operations planning (S&OP) processes. Today, S&OP software has become more accessible...

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        Topics: Operations & Supply Chain, Enterprise Resource Planning, Continuous Supply Chain & ERP

        Planful, a financial planning and consolidation software vendor, held its annual Perform23 user conference in May. The event showcased the company’s ongoing investments to provide finance and accounting departments with the means to improve effectiveness by enhancing efficiency.

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        Topics: Office of Finance, Business Planning
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        • Ventana Research’s Analyst Perspectives are fact-based analysis and guidance on business, industry and technology vendor trends. Each Analyst Perspective presents the view of the analyst who is an established subject matter expert on new developments, business and technology trends, findings from our research, or best practice insights.

          Each is prepared and reviewed in accordance with Ventana Research’s strict standards for accuracy and objectivity and reviewed to ensure it delivers reliable and actionable insights. It is reviewed and edited by research management and is approved by the Chief Research Officer; no individual or organization outside of Ventana Research reviews any Analyst Perspective before it is published. If you have any issue with an Analyst Perspective, please email them to ChiefResearchOfficer@ventanaresearch.com

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