To survive in today’s fast-changing business landscape, companies must develop exceptional skills in financial planning for the future. But constant economic uncertainty is making accurate forecasting more difficult than ever. Fortunately, planning, budgeting and forecasting can be successful with the right business intelligence (BI) tools.
Powerful BI tools can decentralize the organization, optimize workflows and provide CFOs with real-time data access and data analytics. All of this enables financial executives to have better-informed and more timely decisions, which allows them to plan, budget and forecast much more accurately.
Predictive analytics tools in particular allow CFOs to identify and visualize trends, analyze causes and effects, and proactively make decisions based on verifiable insights gleaned from the company’s financial data.
Advanced accounting systems and analytics tools available today allow CFOs to deliver complex financial information quickly, while positioning them to help management understand the data, potentially speeding the process of achieving company objectives and ROI.
So how do companies know what BI tools to use?
The best financial accounting systems include several capabilities for budgeting and forecasting. These include powerful metrics that provide strategic insights 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and give senior management enhanced communication.
Compliance and privacy are also critical to any quality system. Companies need to know their accounting software will keep their financial information confidential at all levels. Financial software delivered over the cloud provides for more security upgrades on a regular basis. Cloud systems can also reduce or eliminate the need for investments in hardware, infrastructure and technical specialists required to maintain upgrades and repairs on the system.
BI tools should also take into account the future needs of an organization, such as mobile solutions and the ability to analyze Big Data. It is “increasingly clear that mastering analytics on Big Data will be a key driver for the next economic cycle,” Gartner research analyst Dan Sommer explains in an article from Information Management. That cycle includes an expectation of BI growth in 2013, “particularly along the lines of ‘hot’ areas such as mobility, cloud computing and advanced analytics,” explains a Ventana Research report discussed in a separate Information Management article.
At the end of the day, companies need a powerful financial management system that allows them to accurately budget, plan and forecast. CFOs need to be able to perform ROI analyses across business processes to deliver answers to complex questions not easily deciphered from standard reports. They also must have BI tools to drill down into the data to see just how well specific departments are performing against budgets, productivity targets and other management goals or they will not succeed in today’s business landscape.
By Matthew France, from: http://www.gcecloud.com/blog/business-analytics-and-financial-reporting-blog/what-benefits-do-cfos-gain-from-best-in-class-bi-tools