A strategic, productive finance department is deemed essential for success of any modern enterprise. As protectors of an organizations’ financial health, they are responsible for managing business revenue, billing and invoice processing, expenditures, third-party procurement along with overseeing financial strategy and planning to capitalize on fresh business opportunities while mitigating risks and costs.
For any financial professional, it cannot be ignored that a crucial segment of being able to do this well is about having a strong grip on the organization’s data - which can include information related to product, business operations, or customers. Financial units need to harness the true potential of this data and extract insightful information in order to make successful business decisions. Yet, all too often, this mission-critical data is buried in silos across myriad business ecosystems, and so business users fail to gain accurate insights that impact processing further. This leaves team members to perform tedious data entry operations in multiple systems manually - which requires endless double-checking for errors and long hours of time.
To try and solve this problem, IT developers have conventionally built integrations between siloed systems on a manual basis. This process typically takes weeks or months for completion, followed by constant maintenance and upkeep. More so, the process is risky and can encounter a number of errors. So, even though the end goal has justified the means, the means can trigger a lot of issues including, the rise of errors, prolonged delays, ultimately making organizations difficult to do business with. Consequently, financial teams are left with inhibited financial insights, additional manual data entry, and time spent waiting on IT to maintain and update workflows.
IT teams and financial departments must become better friends to drive a change. They must employ different kinds of sensitive data of their partners and customers to facilitate improved outcomes.
A multitude of business users is already undertaking strategic modernization projects to streamline their systems as well as business processes so that business can drive decision-making, generate better ROI, and deliver delightful customer experiences (CXs).
These modernization initiatives provide a huge boost to finance. Establishing financial systems to work smarter would directly impact the companies’ cash flow system, and decisions are made more strategically, helping them gain a competitive edge. The key to doing this? Data integration.
Data integration underpins digital transformation. It empowers teams handle financial data or records and extract useful insights to make accurate business decisions. This technology makes use of various functionalities such as pre-built connectors, AI-enabled data mapping, shared templates, monitoring dashboard, and more to track and use data without much complexity or sacrificing speed. Leveraging these features can empower teams to obtain the critical data they need at the right time from the right systems without the excessive intervention of IT. This accelerates time-to-market and subsequently time-to-value.
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Introducing these automated technologies empower companies to eliminate manual data entry, garner data-driven insights for more strategic decisions, accelerate finance processes and the flow of money through the business, and enable the organization become more agile.
With so many potential gains, here are three important processes in finance that benefit from data integration.
Automate Order to Cash: Data integration platforms cut down efforts required in manually checking orders and cash flows amid systems.
Diminish complexity resulting from consolidations and M&As: By integrating data from disparate sources, organizations can modernize in phases so that they can do away with old applications and systems, and the process and underlying data is not lost or disrupted. Plus, with legacy systems integrated into an existing system, it reduces manual data entry and ensures that the system gets the data it needs.
Use data warehouse automation for financial planning and modelling: Organizations find it difficult to wrangle data from multiple departments such as marketing, customer service, sales, and more. When they integrate data and enable data warehouse automation, moving data from different sources into Snowflake, Amazon Redshift, SAP Data Warehouse Cloud, and other data warehouses without complexity.