Data takes center stage when it comes to driving the modern finance function, yet according to recent findings in the 2020 Vena Industry Benchmark Report, most finance teams are struggling to access it.
Out of the 350 business leaders and finance and operations professionals from across industries surveyed in the new report, only 35% said they have an automated process in place for collecting and consolidating data. This means most finance leaders are not reaching the data that matters the most fast enough to make more informed business decisions to help their organizations plan for the future.
What Is Slowing Finance Teams Down?
So what’s slowing them down and where are finance teams stuck? Somewhere in the long cycle times involved in manually gathering, filtering and distributing data across multiple sources. This frequently leads to version control issues and little time to analyze the numbers. Having tools that are hard to use and data that is old and inaccurate makes it tough to drive strategic, well-informed business decisions and help the business pivot when necessary during periods of change.
But with access to the right data in the right place, your finance team can work smarter, not harder. You’ll uncover valuable insights faster, reveal the stories the up-to-date data is showing you and drive more informed decision making. These improvements to finance-led planning processes can start by leveraging technology to create an infrastructure that supports automated data consolidation.
Main Tasks of Automation
Eliminating process inefficiencies, streamlining workflows, increasing productivity and improving business responsiveness are some of the main tasks of automation. When your finance team is spending less time on the tedious task of gathering, filtering and distributing data within spreadsheets, you’re making room for more value-add tasks such as insightful what-if or ad hoc analysis and reporting.
With the right tools to integrate all of your business data sources—financial, non-financial, internal and external—into an integrated planning ecosystem, you’ll want to make sure your team is able to work seamlessly in a secure, collaborative and cloud-based environment to get to that data faster. And when that environment leverages a familiar tool like Excel, it eliminates the need for your team to learn a new tool to help the process along.
Plus, when you have the data you need available in a single source of truth, having access to data visualization and reporting capabilities can empower your team even more. Sophisticated dashboards that help you derive insights from your data can equip your team to drive better decision making across the organization with detailed, data-driven storytelling.
Moving from manual finance processes to automated ones not only eliminates the most tedious, time-consuming and error-prone processes, it’s the key to unlocking your team’s full potential to keep moving your business forward.
Learn more about how to automate your financial consolidation process so your finance team can spend more time learning about your business and keeping it on track.
Download Vena’s 2020 Industry Benchmark Report here.