Ventana Research Analyst Perspectives

Workiva’s Wdesk Supports Expanded ASC 606 Disclosures

Posted by Robert Kugel on Sep 6, 2017 1:23:32 AM

Workiva’s Wdesk, a cloud-based productivity application for handling composite documents, will have a larger role to play as companies adopt new revenue recognition standards governing accounting for contracts. The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), which administers Generally Accepted Accounting Principles in the U.S. (US-GAAP), has issued ASC 606 and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), which administers International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) used in most other countries, has issued IFRS 15. The two are very similar, and both will enforce fundamental changes in accounting for contracts.

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Topics: close, closing, XBRL, CFO, Document Management, SEC, 10Q, SEDAR, Composite document

Effective Process Management Ensures a Fast Close

Posted by Ventana Research on Apr 8, 2015 7:21:27 AM

Because my research practice is centered on important business issues where technology is a key part of a solution, my written perspectives tend to focus on technology. However, it’s almost never the case that a company can just implement some application and fully resolve a business issue. Some progress may be achieved by using more effective tools, but in most cases results will fall short of what’s possible unless people, process and information issues are addressed as well. This is especially true for the accounting close.

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Topics: Office of Finance, Reconciliation, Business Performance, Financial Performance, Data, Document Management

Ceridian Expands Workforce Management to Human Capital Management

Posted by stephanmillard on Mar 29, 2014 9:33:13 AM

At its recent 2014 analyst day Ceridian showed the progress it has made on its Ceridian and Dayforce human capital management (HCM) platform since last year’s launch of its broader HCM portfolio. Ceridian’s overall HCM business, which the company says had revenue of $950 million in 2013 and now has more than 100,000 customers, consists largely of payroll-related products and services such as tax filing and payroll cards, but also benefits, human resources and workforce management products.

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Topics: Mobile, SaaS, Social Media, HCM, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Workforce Performance, Ceridian, Document Management, HR, Talent Management

The Virtues of Automating Reconciliation

Posted by Robert Kugel on Mar 29, 2014 8:41:19 AM

Reconciling accounts at the end of a period is one of those mundane finance department tasks that are ripe for automation. Reconciliation is the process of comparing account data (at the balance or item level) that exists either in two accounting systems or in an accounting system and somewhere else (such as in a spreadsheet or on paper). The purpose of the reconciling process is to identify things that don’t match (as they must in double-entry bookkeeping systems) and then assess the nature and causes of the variances. This is followed by making adjustments or corrections to ensure that the information in a company’s books is accurate. Most of the time, reconciliation is a matter of good housekeeping. The process identifies errors and omissions in the accounting process, including invalid journal postings and duplicate accounting entries, so they can be corrected. Reconciliation also is an important line of defense against fraud, since inconsistencies may be a sign of such activity.

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Topics: Office of Finance, automation, close, closing, Consolidation, Controller, effectiveness, Reconciliation, XBRL, Business Performance, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), CFO, Data, Document Management, Financial Performance Management, FPM

Using the Close as a Finance Department Diagnostic

Posted by Robert Kugel on Dec 7, 2012 11:12:57 AM

Earlier this year we published our Trends in Developing the Fast, Clean Close benchmark research findings. The most significant was that, on average, it takes longer for companies to close their books today than it did five years ago. In 2007, nearly half (47%) we closing their quarters within five or six days, but now only 38 percent can do it as quickly.

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Topics: Office of Finance, close, closing, Consolidation, Controller, effectiveness, XBRL, Business Performance, Financial Performance, CFO, Data, Document Management, Financial Performance Management, FPM

The Financial Close Measures CFO Effectiveness

Posted by Robert Kugel on Jul 2, 2012 11:07:21 AM

What’s a fast, free and reasonably reliable way of gauging the effectiveness of a finance department’s management? It’s the number of days it takes it to close the books. Companies that take six days or fewer after the end of the period to close their monthly, quarterly or semiannual accounts demonstrate a basic level of effectiveness that those that take longer do not. In my judgment, finance executives should regard a slow close as a negative key performance indicator pointing to less-than-effective management on their part. I draw this conclusion from our recent benchmark research, which  followed up similar research we completed in 2007.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Office of Finance, close, Consolidation, Controller, XBRL, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), CFO, Data, Document Management, Financial Performance Management

Consolidation Software Is a Key to Faster Closing

Posted by Robert Kugel on May 10, 2012 9:41:05 AM

For at least a couple of decades completing the financial close within five or six business days after the end of the period has been accepted as a best practice. As such, that creates an expectation that finance organizations that take longer should work to reduce their closing intervals. In updating our last benchmark research on the closing process, Ventana Research has found this not to be the case. In fact, the latest research shows that many companies are taking longer to close today than they did five years ago. Whereas nearly half (47%) were able to close their quarter or half-year period within six business days back then, just 38 percent are able to do so now. Similarly, five years ago 70 percent of companies were able to complete their monthly close in six days; today only half can. To be sure, closing quickly still gets lip service: The research confirms that most companies (83%) view closing their books quickly as important or very important. Yet far from demonstrating progress, the results show slow closers are regressing.

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Topics: Office of Finance, close, Consolidation, Controller, XBRL, Business Analytics, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Management, CFO, Data, Document Management, Financial Performance Management

Data Plays a Key Role in the Close-to-Report Cycle

Posted by Robert Kugel on Mar 22, 2012 9:08:56 AM

Ventana Research recently completed an update to our last benchmark research on the financial closing process. It shows that many companies are taking longer to close today than they did five years ago. Whereas nearly half (47%) were able to close their quarter or half-year period within six business days five years ago, just 38 percent are able to do so in our latest benchmark. Similarly, five years ago 70 percent of companies were able to complete their monthly close in six days; today only half can. The research confirms that most companies (83%) view closing their books quickly as important or very important. Participants acknowledge that they can do better, saying on average that their company can cut at least two days from both the monthly and quarterly closes. Moreover, the longer it takes their company to close, the more time participants think they could save.

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Topics: Office of Finance, close, Consolidation, Controller, XBRL, Business Analytics, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Financial Performance, CFO, Data, Document Management, Financial Performance Management

MarkLogic Revs Up Information Applications with New Energy and Leadership

Posted by Ventana Research on May 12, 2011 2:30:54 PM

At this year’s user conference, it was clear that change is afoot at MarkLogic, whose technology platform enables users to access information more easily accessible within applications and devices. Last month the board of directors appointed a new CEO, Ken Bado, created the new position of chief marketing officer (CMO) and named a head of global services and alliances, all within three weeks. The Silicon Valley software company has been growing in the last several years but appears not fast enough for its board members. There have been a lot of advancements since my in-depth analysis in 2010 and at last years conference.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, MarkLogic, Reporting, XML, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Workforce Performance, Content Management, Document Management, Information Platform, Search

Datawatch Offers Shorter Path from Data to Information

Posted by Ventana Research on May 12, 2011 2:23:08 PM

Turning data into information for taking actions and making decisions has bedeviled businesses throughout the computer age. Many organizations have data in dozens of applications and legacy systems along with many reports in various business intelligence systems. The challenge is to get data from each of the reports and assemble it into contextualized views of information for particular business needs. In our benchmark research on what we call information applications, only 11 percent of organizations said they are satisfied with their existing efforts to do this; more than half of organizations see the current process as too slow and not adaptable to the changes that necessarily occur in assembling actionable information.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Sustainability, Reporting, Business Technology Innovation, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Workforce Performance, Datawatch, Document Management

Datawatch Offers Shorter Path from Data to Information

Posted by Ventana Research on Apr 25, 2011 7:12:43 AM

Turning data into information for taking actions and making decisions has bedeviled businesses throughout the computer age. Many organizations have data in dozens of applications and legacy systems along with many reports in various business intelligence systems. The challenge is to get data from each of the reports and assemble it into contextualized views of information for particular business needs. In our benchmark research on what we call information applications, only 11 percent of organizations said they are satisfied with their existing efforts to do this; more than half of organizations see the current process as too slow and not adaptable to the changes that necessarily occur in assembling actionable information.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, Reporting, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Information Applications, Workforce Performance, Datawatch, Document Management

Datawatch Offers Shorter Path from Data to Information

Posted by Mark Smith on Apr 22, 2011 6:23:26 AM

Turning data into information for taking actions and making decisions has bedeviled businesses throughout the computer age. Many organizations have data in dozens of applications and legacy systems along with many reports in various business intelligence systems. The challenge is to get data from each of the reports and assemble it into contextualized views of information for particular business needs. In our benchmark research on what we call information applications, only 11 percent of organizations said they are satisfied with their existing efforts to do this; more than half of organizations see the current process as too slow and not adaptable to the changes that necessarily occur in assembling actionable information.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, Reporting, IT Performance, IT Research, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Workforce Performance, Datawatch, Document Management

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