The times they are a-changin’. As we’ve said many times on our blog and throughout our FP&A Masterclass series, the role of CFOs and finance professionals has changed dramatically.
Today, keeping the books straight simply isn’t going to cut it. CFOs and their finance teams are now expected to play active roles in shaping company strategy, and having the right tools for the job is crucial to meeting these new demands.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at arguably one of the most important tools in your financial toolkit; financial consolidation software. We’ll show you why it is so crucial to your operations and shine a light on Apliqo C&C, our flagship consolidation suite, to show you what to look for when shopping for a modern consolidation solution.
Pinpointing The Challenges of Financial Consolidation And Closing
Financial consolidation is the single most trusted way to evaluate a company’s performance, regardless of the scope or complexity of its operations. Unfortunately, consolidation and closing are two areas of FP&A we often see companies struggle with.
In our experience, some of the biggest challenges companies face when trying to streamline their financial consolidation and closing include:
- Manual data entry, which has a high-margin of error and doesn’t protect against data manipulation or fraud.
- The use of inappropriate tools and systems, such as legacy consolidation software or spreadsheets.
- Reconciliation of Intercompany transactions.
- Changing accounting standards (from different countries/regions) and evolving reporting requirements.
The Essentials: What To Look For In Financial Consolidation Software
The future of financial consolidation and closing lies in consistency, automation, accuracy, and audit traceability. By using the right software to simplify and automate manual consolidation processes, your team can free up time, keep their heads out of the books, and focus on deeper analysis and higher-value work.
Unfortunately, if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re still doing your financial consolidation and closing in a spreadsheet; a labor-intensive and meticulous consolidation process that hardly encourages strategic thinking or profound analysis.
Shifting to consolidation software with the right set of features, however, will allow you to automate and streamline data collection and other financial consolidation processes, promoting more accurate reporting, faster closing, and increased transparency.
If you’re company is serious about properly harnessing the power of its finance department, consider adopting a consolidation software with the following features:
- Accounting standards. Financial consolidation software needs to cover all standard consolidation methods and support all international accounting standards relevant to your business (such as IFRS, US GAAP or even local GAAPs).
- Integrated and automated data collection. Any consolidation and close software worth its weight should be able to integrate with several source systems (such as General Ledger, ERP, Datawarehouse and more). It should also support manual data input from spreadsheets, allowing you to properly automate the data gathering process without sacrificing freedom and flexibility when it’s needed.
- Detailed consolidation and reporting. Your consolidation software needs to be able to handle complex accounting calculations and consolidate financial data from different currencies, regions, intercompany transactions, legal entities, and more, into accurate and timely financial statements that guide smarter decision making.
- Collaboration. Your consolidation software also needs to support cross-company collaboration between your team and the rest of your organization to help integrate finance deeper into the company’s strategic processes.
- Flexibility: The ability to flexibly adapt your data collection scope is crucial to help you adjust key variables and get an accurate look into your company’s financial truth.
Apliqo C&C: Out-Of-The-Box Consolidation And Closing
Apliqo C&C is an out-of-the-box solution designed to simplify and streamline your financial consolidation processes. From data entry to reporting, Apliqo C&C serves as a robust platform that promotes higher accuracy and faster closing, all without the limitations of other systems.
Unfortunately, relying on legacy consolidation software, leaves your finance team heavily reliant on IT. Running and maintaining these legacy platforms often calls for complex IT solutions, and any changes made to your company’s consolidation scope or accounting standards usually call for expensive and time-consuming projects.
These older solutions are also perceived as clunky and difficult to use by today’s standards, often lacking the flexibility to allow end-users to build and maintain reports themselves, upload data from multiple sources, and more.
That’s where Apliqo Consolidation and Close makes its mark. Web-native and loaded with out-of-the-box features, Apliqo C&C serves as a streamlined and collaborative consolidation software. It supports both automated and manual data entry and boasts a ton of features that let you hit the ground running without extra IT support.
Features such as built-in calculations and rules, account mapping, intercompany eliminations and automated reconciliation, FOREX translation, account consolidation, KPI reporting, and best-practice workflows make it easy to unify your company’s statutory consolidation/management reporting.
To put it simply, Apliqo C&C is a consolidation package that’s easy to set-up, run, and tailor to the changing needs of your company. It provides a reliable, yet tweakable framework for automated consolidation and closing that lets your team focus on driving real strategic value for your company and promotes transparency.
Break Free From The Chains: Trade In Your Spreadsheets and legacy consolidation software for Apliqo Consolidation and Close
The key to implementing financial consolidation software is all about properly defining the current and future consolidation needs of your company. Look for a software that’s loaded with ready-to-use features but can also be tweaked as your business develops without needing the support of an entire IT department. For more information about Apliqo C&C and to book a demo of our flagship consolidation and closing platform, click here.