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ERP Cloud Brings Financial Agility to Companies

According to a study by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) in conjunction with Oracle, companies do not dynamically manage their financial departments

Financial management must become the digital age if the goal is for companies to increase their agility and be more flexible in the face of rapid and constant changes in the business world. For Oracle, ERP technology in the cloud is one of the key ways to achieve this agility.

According to the Agile Finance Revealed study by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and Oracle, "only 38% of the financial organizations surveyed can be identified as leaders in financial agility" , With the figures for the sectors analyzed varying slightly, rising to 47% in Education, 44% in Financial Services and 40% in Industry, while in the Retail sector only 34% In the health and life sciences sector, only 27% of the organizations have financial management reaching an acceptable level.

These conclusions underscore the need to optimize the analysis of financial data in companies by introducing new operating models that modernize and transform organizations in the context of the new digital era. This financial model is characterized by the use of cloud and digital technologies, in order to optimize and revolutionize the efficiency and responsiveness of business accounting operations.

According to the experiences of the companies considered leaders in financial management, automation of planning and financial analysis, using the tools of predictive analysis, artificial intelligence and machine learning, are increasingly necessary in order to guarantee the development of the existing knowledge in financial departments. Only in this way will financial professionals be able to break away from routine tasks and focus more effectively on management-related issues, which really add value to the business, raising productivity levels and reducing costs.

The study distinguishes between leading companies and those that are lagging behind to conclude that those most advanced in the process of digital transformation are the ones who most quickly understood the need to adopt new operational models in their financial areas, so that these can be more proactive and truly able to respond to the challenges of change.

Companies that are leaders in agile financial management are more readily available to turn to integrated services and centres of excellence and have multifunctional teams able to support business decision makers and cloud technologies (51% vs. 17%). In addition, these professionals prefer to operate centrally (81% vs 56%), with standardized processes through automated or robotized (44% vs 12%) ERP cloud systems (45% vs 17%).

All this agility, which already accounts for 48% of the companies surveyed, results in increased levels of efficiency and a greater capacity for prospective analysis, thus allowing the identification of new opportunities for revenue growth.

However, the study warns of the dangers of financial department condescension and ensures that 80% of respondents said that financial activity plays a key role in the agile development of their business, but only the others agreed that their work offers the level of support needed to give their businesses greater levels of agility.

According to the study, the other obstacles to transformation include structure, systems and skills:

Regarding the structure, 33% of the respondents ensured that the organizational structure of their companies is too complex and identified as the main structural problem the data stored in silos, which leads 26% of the study participants to recognize that financial activity faces difficulties for access to the right information at the right time.

Regarding systems, 33% of respondents consider obsolete and complex IT to be a barrier to agility, while 32% say their processes are complex and personalized.

Finally, with regard to competencies, 36% of the respondents stated that their current range of competences in their financial area is too limited and 42% acknowledged that they need more skills/resources in data analysis in order to achieve more results according to the increasing demands that their companies face.

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