A sophisticated, unifying FP&A tool is more important than ever

Sophisticated tools are more important than ever

If you were to chart the changes in accounting and financial reporting regulation over the past 20 years, you would see a staggering increase in complexity.  In what was already a highly-regulated industry, we’ve seen further administrative and structural obstacles placed in front of large corporations that are supposedly there to protect the integrity and accuracy of financial information – for the good of the stakeholders.

Now, whether you agree with new regulations or not, we can’t escape the fact that this places additional burdens on our businesses.  When you consider that a large group might have hundreds of different subsidiaries and each need to be carefully consolidated into the group reporting – it’s clear that we can’t rely on the tools of the past.  Modern reporting demands efficiency, speed, and precision that can only really be accomplished through automation and the leveraging of technology.

The evolution from consolidation to group accounting

BARC recently released a fascinating study that looked at the impact that increased regulatory complexity is having on the accounting function.  They found that when you combine traditional financial reporting, risk reporting, sustainability reporting, and the like – companies are desperately scrambling to find technological solutions that can deliver what is needed at scale.

As more and more companies have to disclose an increasing amount of information at the group level – they can’t simply rely on Microsoft Excel and a specialized consolidation tool to get the job done.  It’s not robust enough to the rapidly changing landscape and it doesn’t allow for analysis across various dimensions.

The research shows that the integration of planning, management reporting, and statutory reporting is the top priority for large companies because a fragmented approach just doesn’t work under the pressure of modern reporting.  66% of companies plan to invest in planning automation and 71% plan to invest in management reporting automation over the short and medium term.

What is clear is that the focus needs to be shifted away from just doing everything at the consolidated level, and rather to have the technology in place across all subsidiaries to get things right within the group accounting framework.  When this can happen, a large corporation can put themselves in the position where they can slice their data in any dimension that they need and get accurate insights both looking forward and backward.  This is the only solution that can meet the stringent regulatory requirements while also providing sufficient operational flexibility for day-to-day decisions.

The need for a unifying FP&A tool

All of the above points to the need for a unifying FP&A tool that can pull everything together.  This has long been the goal of the FP&A movement, and it’s now clearer than ever that a unified tool for reporting and planning is a must-have.  Getting there can be challenging for a large organization that currently has siloed different functions – but the investment in moving in this direction is well worth it.

Here at Apliqo, we’ve seen that time and time again with our clients.  It’s a bold step to dismantle the Frankenstein-esque collection of tools and software platforms, and it comes with growing pains, but when you get to a truly unified system – it makes everything that much easier and more efficient.

If you’d like to explore what this could look like for your organization, be sure to get in touch and we’d be more than happy to demonstrate how a unified FP&A tool could transform your company.

Related Posts

More resources

5 ways that CFOs create value in their organisation

The role of a CFO is a highly prized one and one that carries significant cache within any company. It is one of the few positions that cover a broad scope of responsibilities both at a strategic level and within the lower day-to-day perspectives of running the FP&A activities. As such, a CFO’s focus can easily slide if they don’t have a clear understanding of what the priorities are and how they’re driving real value in the company. In this article, we’re going to explore 5 key ways that CFOs create value – and how the various Apliqo solutions can accelerate them.

Read this article
5 ways that CFOs create value in their organisation

The role of the CFO as a strategist and value creator

While a CFO has always been more strategically involved than the rest of their team, there is still a lot of opportunity for growth and, in forward-looking teams, we’re seeing things change quite quickly. 

Read this article

Workforce Attrition Modelling

When you’re embarking on a long-term mission with your company, one of the most common challenges that you face is the impact of staff turnover. With every change in your team comes reduced continuity, increased training costs, and a risk that a misguided replacement hire can slow down growth and progress. However, this is not a risk that you can ever eliminate because some level of staff turnover is unavoidable. The only thing you can do is manage it as effectively as you can. Let’s explore what that looks like in the context of the modern business environment.

Read this article
Workforce attrition modelling

Combining an internal and external focus for improved private market investing

In this article, we’re going to show how you can blend an internal focus (cash flow projections) with an external focus (fund-level benchmarking) to optimise your investment decisions and arrive at more robust and fine-tuned portfolio constructions.

Read this article
In this article, we’re going to show how you can blend an internal focus (cash flow projections) with an external focus (fund-level benchmarking) to optimise your investment decisions and arrive at more robust and fine-tuned portfolio constructions.

Investing with confidence

How Analytical Portfolio Management enables Limited Partners to make better investment decisions.

Read this article
How Analytical Portfolio Management enables LPs to make better investment decisions