August 2015

Originally published on the Certent Insider blog.

Technology is supposed to save time, and the most successful technologies make it easy to do. With the advent of the automobile, few people continued to try and make the horse and buggy more efficient. But even today’s concept cars still have four wheels and a front-end engine.

The same logic applies to modern financial tools, especially when it comes to the month-end close.

The Least Wonderful Time of the Month

Ask any finance professional what part of their job they like the least, and they’re more than likely to say Financial Close Management (FCM) and in particular, the month-end close.

Working through nights and weekends, cutting, pasting and consolidating data from dozens, if not hundreds of Excel spreadsheets – it’s no surprise FCM is the bane of many finance departments, as a sub-par month-end close can have costly consequences:

Continue reading The Key to Boosting Morale in Finance Lies in…Spreadsheets?

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According to benchmark research from PwC, corporate accountants are finally spending less time on data gathering and more time on insightful analysis.

The business world has always had a need for skilled accounting professionals but until recently, an inordinate part of their role has been a matter of manual data collection – essentially copying and pasting – from different source systems, departments or other entities. After four years in school and countless hours of professional accreditation and development, it’s easy to see how frustrating it must be when half your job involves clicking CTRL-C and CTRL-V.

Fortunately, times are changing and the role of corporate accountant is shifting.

The shift, according to a recent article in Financial Director, is that accountants now focus less on simply gathering data and more on performing advanced analytical tasks with that data. The article cited findings from the PricewaterhouseCooper 2015 Finance Effectiveness Benchmark, which showed that the average finance professional now spends about 50 percent of their time on analysis versus data gathering, up from 36 percent three years ago (see figure).

Continue reading From Ctrl-V to Process Control: Professional accounting no longer a data collection job

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