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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

        The Office of Finance can be compared to a numbers factory where the main raw material, data, is transformed into financial statements, management accounting, analyses, forecasts, budgets, regulatory filings, tax returns and all kinds of reports. Data is the strategic raw material of the finance and accounting department. It is the key ingredient in every sale and purchase as well as every transaction of any description. Quality control is essential to achieving high standards of output in any...

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        Topics: Office of Finance, embedded analytics, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Data Management, Business Planning, ERP and Continuous Accounting, data operations, digital finance, AI & Machine Learning, operational data platforms, Analytic Data Platforms, Revenue, Lease and Tax Accounting, Purchasing/Sourcing/Payments, Consolidate/Close/Report

        Ventana Research expanded its core Office of Finance focus areas this year to reflect new and important opportunities to use technology to gain effectiveness through greater efficiency. The focus area we caption as “Purchasing, Sourcing and Payments” also includes receivables. Doing a better job of record-keeping and organizing paperwork, especially in a minutiae-laden process like order-to-cash, may seem trivial. Yet, when the pandemic required organizations to lock down in early 2020,...

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        Topics: Office of Finance, Purchasing/Sourcing/Payments

        In early 2019, I first wrote about the escalating strategic challenges facing organizations resulting from the decade-long dismantling of the liberal global trade environment and the shift to more restrictive regimes. Supply chain management was upended in 2020 as a series of extraordinary events, especially the pandemic-induced supply chain shocks, compounded the tactical challenges facing supply chain managers and increased awareness of the brittle nature of lowest-cost supply chain...

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

        We’ve experienced an unusual, decades-long monetary policy in the developed world that emphasized interest rate repression as well as supply chain practices designed for lowest cost. This has produced a generation of chief financial officers likely unprepared to address the impact of fundamental changes now shaping a new, technology-driven approach to working capital optimization. Today’s CFOs must assess their working capital management processes and the systems that support them to balance...

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        Topics: Office of Finance, Enterprise Resource Planning, continuous supply chain, digital finance, Sustainability Management, Purchasing/Sourcing/Payments

        OneStream offers a platform designed to serve the needs of accounting and financial planning and analysis organizations. The software handles financial close and consolidation, planning and budgeting, analysis and reporting. The most notable part of the company’s presentations at its annual user group meeting – Splash – was the strategy and roadmap for its two artificial intelligence initiatives, Sensible ML and Sensible GPT. The former, unveiled last year, is a platform approach to applying...

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        Topics: Office of Finance, digital finance, AI & Machine Learning

        In 2015, I began using the term continuous accounting to call attention to technology advances that enable finance and accounting departments to improve performance. These advances have continued, making an even more compelling case for adoption of continuous accounting.

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        Topics: Office of Finance, ERP and Continuous Accounting, digital finance, Purchasing/Sourcing/Payments, Consolidate/Close/Report

        The chief financial officer of a midsize organization faces a different set of challenges than those in larger or smaller enterprises. These organizations have grown to the point of requiring capabilities similar to larger businesses, but typically lack the staff or financial resources afforded to bigger organizations. The past decade of IT innovation – especially the expansion of cloud computing – has brought substantial benefits to midsize finance and accounting operations. Rapidly growing...

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

        Early last December, just before ChatGPT became the new, bright, shiny object, The Economist magazine ran a story proclaiming that we had finally arrived at the age of boring artificial intelligence (AI). From my perspective, it’s unfortunate that didn’t last and that AI has been relegated back to the buzzword league. AI will be an increasingly important feature of business software through the end of this decade. Ventana Research asserts that by 2026, almost all vendors of software designed...

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        Topics: Office of Finance, Business Intelligence, Business Planning, Enterprise Resource Planning, ERP and Continuous Accounting, natural language processing, continuous supply chain, digital finance, AI & Machine Learning, Purchasing/Sourcing/Payments, Consolidate/Close/Report

        As a rule, I dislike terms like “digital finance transformation” because there’s a wave-the -magic-wand quality to it that obscures the not-so-simple people and process elements necessary for true transformation. Six of the most common – and expensive – words used in an accounting department are “we’ve always done it this way.” Persuading staff to change can be a struggle, even if change makes their jobs easier and more rewarding. Moreover, digital transformation must cover the data elements as...

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        Topics: Office of Finance, digital finance, Consolidate/Close/Report

        An external audit examines an organization’s performance of accounting tasks. It validates the soundness of accounting systems and policies and compliance with generally accepted accounting principles in preparing financial statements – chiefly the income statement, balance sheet and statements of cash flow and equity. The auditor certifies that there are no material errors or omissions, and that the financial statements are compliant with requirements. Technology can transform this process to...

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        Topics: Office of Finance, digital finance, Consolidate/Close/Report
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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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