Robert Kugel's Analyst Perspectives

It’s Getting Easier To Go Beyond Spreadsheets for Modeling

Posted by Robert Kugel on Feb 27, 2012 11:22:49 AM

One trend in business software that’s still in its early stages but gathering momentum is the availability of modeling tools that fill the gap between desktop spreadsheets and enterprise systems. Granted this “early stage” has been under way for quite some time, but the technology has finally progressed to the point where I expect it to get increasing market traction.

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Topics: Database, Planning, Analyst, Anaplan, Forecast, Operational Performance Management (OPM), BizNet Software, Essbase, model, plan, Quantrix, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, In-memory, Business Performance Management (BPM), finance, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Workforce Performance Management (WPM), analysis, analytic application, BI, business model, business plan, financial model, spreadsheet

Office of Finance Research Agenda for 2012

Posted by Robert Kugel on Feb 23, 2012 9:43:00 AM

As this year begins, “finance transformation” is a trend gaining favor with strategic consultants. The term is associated with the objective of shifting the focus of CFOs and finance departments from transaction processing toward more strategic and higher-value functions. This objective is hardly new – it has been the purpose of my practice for the past nine years. Our research confirms that most people want their finance department to take a more strategic role in the management of the company. But although some progress has been made, Finance still spends too much time and effort on the mechanics of day-to-day operations.

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Topics: Social Media, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Business Performance Management (BPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

GAAP and IFRS Harmonize Revenue Recognition Standards

Posted by Robert Kugel on Feb 21, 2012 10:50:41 AM

The melding of the world’s two main financial accounting standards – United States Generally Accepted Accounting Standards (US-GAAP) and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) – continues apace. Initially, the idea was to converge the two into a single, global standard. Although there was general agreement that the concept was a noble one, there were enough differences to produce practical concerns about implementing these changes, especially in the United States. Then, in December 2010, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which mandates accounting standards for publicly traded companies, indicated that while in principle it favors a single international accounting standard, the Commission was going to take a “condorsement” approach, which I covered in a note last year. The SEC’s move essentially derailed the prior objective of replacing US-GAAP with IFRS by the middle of this decade. Still, the coming together of US-GAAP and IFRS continues to forge ahead even without acceptance of full adoption in the U.S. The two bodies that administer accounting standards, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), which manages US-GAAP, and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), which manages IFRS, are attempting to standardize wherever possible and harmonize as best they can elsewhere. One important area where there’s been significant progress is revenue recognition.

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Topics: Controller, FASB, IASB, IFRS, XBRL, Accounting, CFO, Financial Performance Management (FPM), financial statement, GAAP, SEC, standard

Workday’s Financials: Maturing

Posted by Robert Kugel on Feb 10, 2012 1:37:15 AM

I recently got an update from Workday that focused mostly on its Financials software. This part of the company’s business management suite has received less development attention than the HR aspects since the company’s founding in 2005. The bulk of Workday’s development investment has aimed at making its human capital management applications an industry leader and adding related capabilities such as payroll. It’s hard to argue against this strategy, if only because Workday is the spiritual offshoot of PeopleSoft; founded the company after Oracle’s hostile takeover of PeopleSoft, which he also founded. This pedigree gave the new company an advantage with workforce management software buyers. Moreover, adoption of cloud-based ERP has lagged far behind that of other cloud-based applications such as sales or workforce management, especially in the larger companies that have been Workday’s target market.

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Topics: ERP, Operational Performance Management (OPM), expense management, financial, PSA, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Oracle, Workforce Performance, Business Performance Management (BPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Infor, Tidemark, Workday, Workforce Performance Management (WPM), Professional Services, Project Management