Not that long ago the Economist wrote that data is today what oil was a century ago.
Whether you subscribe to this or not there is no doubt that data is a crucial asset to businesses across all spectrums. Given the volume of data we’re dealing with today (thanks to the era of ‘big data’) the key functions are now those that enable data to be processed, managed and analysed in a way that can optimise its effectiveness. For the average organisation that can seem like a huge overhaul but with a strong financial management system in place it becomes much simpler for a number of reasons.
Handling data necessarily requires a lot of small tasks and repetition. The right software and systems can make this process much more efficient and reduce the manpower required to do it. Automation is a key component in a financial management system, enabling a wide range of tasks, such as the entry of associated data to be completed automatically (e.g. the entry of a cost centre or a project based on an employee.)
Because of the way that data management has evolved, many organisations are left with clunky processes that are the result of trying to marry up changes in process and technology with the needs of the business. A financial management system provides a way to streamline and clarify existing processes to ensure that they are simpler to use and that everyone understands why they are in place. Streamlining the way that data is processed introduces efficiency, both in terms of the way that internal systems are managed and also when it comes to cost.
Real time insights
Processing data has historically been a question of crunching the numbers once a month to produce insights that are, by then, largely out of date. In contrast, an appropriate financial management system does this constantly, making real time data available, as and when required, to provide a more accurate – and ongoing – perspective on what’s happening in the business. This, in turn, enables a responsiveness that can be a game changer when it comes to strategy and planning.
The collation of data into reports is a very simple matter with a financial management system. This can save hundreds of hours of manpower as reports can be compiled instantly, using real time data, and to a set of exact and detailed parameters. The speed and flexibility that this introduces to internal data processing makes a huge difference to being able to identify opportunities and highlight issues.
The integration angle
Perhaps the biggest barrier to data processing change is the fear of the chance and what could ensue from altering existing infrastructure. A suitable financial management system should help you with this, and should be easy to integrate with existing business systems and flexible enough to ensure a seamless transition.
If you’re looking for a financial management system that will give you the tools to optimise the way your business processes data we can help. Contact us to find out more.