Finance Needs a Foundation for Business Growth

Finance Needs a Foundation for Business Growth

Rapid growth is great for business but can be a challenge for those in Finance, especially as market shifts are becoming increasingly frequent. Managing business growth and change requires more work because the business demands more answers to more questions. Even if your finance team expands, the time sunk into manual processes gets multiplied across an increasingly larger number of people. It’s a paradox where more people means more wasted time, not less.

Instead, finance teams need more time to keep up with shifting demands and to provide more value to the business. Trailblazing finance leaders are finding that time by using a modern finance platform purpose-built for the Office of the CFO. One that adds automation to free up time previously sunk into tedious, low-value tasks; faster onboarding of acquisitions to enable faster realization of financial benefits; and faster reporting and analytics to provide more insights to raise the financial IQ across the business.

It’s not a good career move to let Finance become the bottleneck to business growth. Blaming old systems or manual processes won’t alter the fact that it’s the approach to planning, budgeting, and financial forecasting that is slowing your momentum. That’s why now is the time to take advantage of a modern platform built for finance as you prepare for the future.

A Foundation To Enhance Finance for Business Growth

Every company needs fast and accurate financial forecasts to make better, data-driven decisions about the future. Working on massive, disconnected spreadsheets, managing processes over email, and coordinating edits and comments across channels can seriously limit Finance’s ability to get things done. That’s especially true as your competitors continue to modernize and transform finance and accounting capabilities.

Giving Finance a strong foundation provides a springboard from which you can move faster, with more agility, and in constant sync with the business. Teams that can leverage extensive finance and accounting capabilities and automate slow manual tasks then have more time and insights to guide the business forward.

Automate Finance Processes To Save Time

Automation is a huge time-saver for accounting and finance teams. Modern finance teams are saving days per month just by leveraging automated data collection, report generation and distribution, and the pulling of actuals into forecasts. That time-saved is then free to be used for deeper analysis, collaborating with the business, and more.

Ten Lifestyle Group, for example, uses automation to rise above slow, manual finance processes caused by large, complex spreadsheets. The company took advantage of a modern platform built for the Office of the CFO to automate processes and repurpose that time for higher-value tasks. And, the team is also in the process of further automating balance sheet reconciliations and financial close management tasks.

“Something that really attracted us to Planful was that you could consolidate, report, do your planning, forecasting, budgeting,” said James Muscat, Commercial Finance & FP&A Director at Ten Lifestyle Group. “You could automate consolidation journals, set up technical reporting structures.”

Read how Ten Lifestyle Group automated finance processes.

Speed Acquisition Onboarding for Faster Benefits Realization

Momentum is frequently catalyzed through acquisitions. Over $5 trillion in global acquisitions in 2021 made that a record-breaking year, and Morgan Stanley expects 2022 to be almost as big. But bringing on a newly-acquired company is no small task, even for mid-sized companies. It’s also frequently a fully manual process, with much of the integration revolving around spreadsheets and mismatched methods.

Elgin Equipment Group, a company that has been manufacturing processing equipment for the oil and coal industries for more than 150 years, faced a big challenge as it grew and became more global through acquisitions. Each new business it brought into the fold had a different approach to finance. So, to bring apples-to-apples standardization to the numbers, finance teams had to spend precious time organizing, reformatting, and consolidating spreadsheets.

Compounding the challenge was the manual methods employed in their manufacturing plants. When errors were found, the cause could take days to identify. All of that manual work took time away from finance that they could have spent on strategic planning or improving forecasts.

While Elgin’s manager of financial planning and analysis made the decision to modernize, the team started with budgeting, moved into forecasting, and then added financial reporting. The finance team and the business units also found a platform that also enabled them to continue working in Excel while still benefiting from powerful features and a centralized cloud platform built for finance.

“Our forecasts and budgets go pretty darn smoothly now,” said Mike Petrauskas, Manager of Financial Planning and Analysis at Elgin. “We spend less time tying out numbers and more time on analysis. Planful is saving our four plant controllers at least a half-day each month, and saving our corporate controller as much as a week every month.”

Read more about Elgin’s successful transition to a modern finance platform.

Accelerate Financial Reporting for Better Decision-Making

Reporting is table stakes for Finance. It’s a regulatory requirement and a management imperative. No business can be run successfully without timely, accurate reports and analysis generated by Finance. Slow reporting leads to slow reaction times, wasted resources, and missed opportunities. Speedy reporting increases agility and helps companies make better decisions and quickly react to changing market conditions.

Imagen Dental Partners saw that slow financial reporting was impeding its growth. The company partners with dental practices, invests in them, and supports them with centralized resources. But as Imagen expanded, its finance team had to provide executives and practice owners with deeper financial insights in much less time.

Read more about how Imagen scaled its finance and accounting reporting and analysis capabilities.

A Foundation for Business Growth, Built for Finance

Finance agility and business growth are inextricably linked. But if the Office of the CFO doesn’t have a strong foundation, a business can’t grow. Don’t let Finance be the limiting factor impeding growth. The right solutions for finance can be your foundation to provide the accurate insights needed to make smarter decisions.

See what’s possible in Planful and start building your foundation for business growth today.

Office of the CFO

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