Ventana Research Analyst Perspectives

Warning: Software Now Mandatory for Lease Accounting

Posted by Robert Kugel on Apr 16, 2018 1:00:00 PM

Accountants love electronic spreadsheets – and for good reason. They’re a powerful and versatile personal productivity tool and just about everyone knows how to use them. Spreadsheets are the default software tool for accountants because they enable autonomy (you don’t need to ask IT for anything) and they’re free (so you don’t have to make a business case to authorize buying something). Some accountants humorously (but earnestly) invoke the line “you’ll have to pry this spreadsheet from my cold, dead hands” whenever somebody suggests eliminating them.

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Topics: ERP and Continuous Accounting, Office of Finance, Continuous Accounting, controller, FASB, IASB, CFO, Financial Performance Management, Spreadsheets, Enterprise Resource Planning, ERP, revenue recognition, Accounting, Lease Accounting, real estate, Lease Management, ASC842, IFRS16, leasing

Workday Financial Management Gains Momentum

Posted by Robert Kugel on Dec 2, 2015 11:28:28 PM

Workday Financial Management (which belongs in the broader ERP software category) appears to be gaining traction in the market, having matured sufficiently to be attractive to a large audience of buyers. It was built from the ground up as a cloud application. While that gives it the advantage of a fresh approach to structuring its data and process models for the cloud, the product has had to catch up to its rivals in functionality. The company’s ERP offering has matured considerably over the past three years and now is better positioned to grow its installed base. Workday recently added Aon, the insurance and professional services company, to its customer list (becoming its largest customer to date) and reported that its annual contract value (ACV - the annualized aggregate revenue value of all subscription contracts as of the end of a quarter) has doubled since the second quarter of this year, albeit from a low base. This is an important milestone because for years the company’s growth has come from the human capital management (HCM) portion of the business, not financials. Workday has around 160 customers for its financials (more than 90 of which are live) compared to more than 1,000 customers for HCM.

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Topics: Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, CFO, close, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Controller, dashboard, Data, ERP, Financial Performance, Financial Performance Management, FP&A, FPM, Human Capital, IBM, Intacct, Microsoft, NetSuite, Operational Performance, Oracle, Reporting, SAP, Spreadsheets, Tax, Uncategorized, Office of Finance

Office of Finance Research Demonstrates Importance of Using Effective Financial Software

Posted by Ventana Research on Feb 2, 2015 8:27:14 AM

Our recently published Office of Finance benchmark research assesses a broad set of functions and capabilities of finance organizations. We asked research participants to identify the most important issues for a finance department to address in a dozen functional areas: accounting, budgeting, cost accounting, customer profitability management, external financial reporting, financial analysis, financial governance and internal audit, management accounting, product profitability management, strategic and long-range planning, tax management and treasury and cash management. Among the key findings is this: Not using the most capable software is an underlying cause, often unrecognized, of process, analytics and data issues.

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Topics: Analytics, Budgeting, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, CFO, close, closing, Collaboration, computing, Controller, dashboard, Data, ERP, finance, Financial Performance, Financial Performance Management, FP&A, FPM, Microsoft Excel, Mobile, Planning, Predictive Analytics, Reporting, Self-service, Spreadsheets, Tax, Office of Finance, Cloud Computing

Make Automating the Office of Finance and Accounting a Priority

Posted by Ventana Research on Jan 27, 2015 7:49:48 AM

Our recent Office of Finance benchmark research demonstrates the importance of using automation to execute finance department functions. Information technology systems do at least two things very well that make better use of people’s time, and both of them can substantially improve organizational performance. First, they eliminate the need for people to do repetitive tasks, which frees them to spend time on more valuable work that requires judgment and skill. IT systems also can be programmed to focus only on relevant information while eliminating the need to get immersed in detail. The latter capability supports a “management by exception” approach, which enables executives and managers to better allocate how and where they spend their time.

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Topics: Analytics, Big Data, Budgeting, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, CFO, close, closing, Collaboration, computing, Controller, dashboard, Data, ERP, finance, Financial Performance, Financial Performance Management, FP&A, FPM, Microsoft Excel, Mobile, Planning, Reporting, Self-service, Spreadsheets, Tax, Office of Finance, Cloud Computing

Finance Needs Better Analytics and Analytic Skills

Posted by Ventana Research on Oct 13, 2014 11:58:09 PM

Finance and accounting departments are staffed with numbers-oriented, naturally analytical people. Strong analytic skills are essential if a finance department is to deliver deep insights into performance and visibility into emerging opportunities and challenges. The conclusions of analyses enable fast, fully informed business decisions by executives and managers. Conversely, flawed analyses undermine the performance of a company. So it was good news that in our Office of Finance benchmark research 62 percent of participants rated the analytical skills of their finance organization as above average or excellent.

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Topics: Analytics, Big Data, Budgeting, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, CFO, close, closing, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, computing, Controller, dashboard, Data, ERP, finance, Financial Performance, Financial Performance Management, FP&A, FPM, Microsoft Excel, Mobile, Planning, Predictive Analytics, Reporting, Self-service, Spreadsheets, Tagetik, Tax, Office of Finance