Robert Kugel's Analyst Perspectives

FinancialForce Sharpens Customer Focus in Services Businesses

Posted by Robert Kugel on Jan 31, 2023 3:00:00 AM

FinancialForce offers cloud-based ERP and professional services automation (PSA) software. The company targets midsize and larger services companies, especially those that provide professional services (such as consultants or field service organizations) as well as those that offer subscription-based or recurring revenue services and products. FinancialForce’s key point of differentiation is that it is built natively on the Salesforce platform, ensuring that CRM data is already located on the same platform as accounting and back-office data so organizations can orchestrate end-to-end, front-office to back-office processes without having to integrate different systems.

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Topics: Office of Finance, Business Planning, Digital Commerce, ERP and Continuous Accounting, Subscription Management, digital finance, Revenue Management, Revenue, Lease and Tax Accounting

Optimizing Subscription Management for Finance and Accounting

Posted by Robert Kugel on Jan 24, 2023 3:00:00 AM

The subscription and recurring revenue business models became a significant part of the economy this century with the advent of streaming services for entertainment and software as a service. They have grown in popularity because they enhance customer lifetime value by evolving what had previously been a one-time-sale relationship into a delivery of ongoing services which can create a more loyal customer relationship as well as provide a regular, more predictable revenue stream. I recommend that corporations that have adopted or are planning to adopt either of these business models take a continuous accounting approach to managing their record keeping. Ventana Research asserts that by 2026, one-half of subscription organizations will use continuous accounting to remove constraints limiting sales and marketing flexibility, streamline back-office processes, shorten the accounting close and improve customer satisfaction.

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Topics: Office of Finance, Financial Performance Management, ERP and Continuous Accounting, digital finance

Office of Finance 2023 Market Agenda: A Brave New World

Posted by Robert Kugel on Jan 19, 2023 3:00:00 AM

Ventana Research recently announced its 2023 Market Agenda for the Office of Finance, continuing the guidance we have provided since 2003 on the practical use of technology for the finance and accounting department. Our insights and best practices aim to enable organizations to operate with agility and resiliency, improving performance and delivering greater value as a strategic partner.

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Topics: Office of Finance, Business Planning, Financial Performance Management, ERP and Continuous Accounting, digital finance, profitability management, Revenue, Lease and Tax Accounting

Professional Services Automation Increases Efficiency

Posted by Robert Kugel on Jan 17, 2023 3:00:00 AM

A professional services automation application marries front- and back-office functions, helping services organizations address core business challenges by ensuring that:

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Topics: Office of Finance, Financial Performance Management, ERP and Continuous Accounting

Epicor Enriches Vertical-Plus Approach for Growth

Posted by Robert Kugel on Jan 10, 2023 3:00:00 AM

Vertical strategies for enterprise resource planning systems are not new. They emerged more than two decades ago as vendors looked for ways to reduce costs and shorten time-to-value in a software category that was notorious for high costs and extended timelines. A vertical-plus strategy – the plus means it’s a platform, not just an application – takes advantage of recently available technology to extend the ease of implementation and maintenance of the system by having deeper integration with complementary applications, available low-code/no-code customization capabilities and a data pantry that enables the amalgamation of data from multiple sources for situational awareness and decision support. Moreover, the ongoing shift from on-premises to cloud-based ERP systems, especially those designed to address specific types of businesses, will accelerate over the next five years as more configurable and customizable systems designed for specific business verticals become available. A cloud-based platform facilitates the creation of a digital ecosystem that can enable a software vendor’s users to enhance customer experiences.

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Topics: Office of Finance, Cloud Computing, ERP and Continuous Accounting, AI and Machine Learning, digital finance

Virtual Audits Improve Financial Statement Quality, Work-Life Balance

Posted by Robert Kugel on Dec 15, 2022 3:00:00 AM

After decades of overpromising and underdelivering, technology has now evolved to the point where it is fundamentally changing how accountants work – for the better. The pandemic and resulting support of remote work set the stage for a transformation of how accounting efforts are structured and performed, all for the better. Remote audits that became routine during lockdowns are evolving into virtual ones, where auditors take full advantage of advanced software to achieve dependably higher audit quality with less effort, while improving working conditions for auditors and staff accountants. Although discussions I’ve had with practitioners over the past two years indicate that organizations are using this approach to some extent, widespread use has become practical only recently.

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Topics: Office of Finance, Financial Performance Management, ERP and Continuous Accounting, digital finance

Manage Your Spending Purse with Emburse

Posted by Robert Kugel on Dec 12, 2022 3:00:00 AM

Emburse offers a single platform that enables organizations — small, midsize and larger —to manage their travel and related expenses, pay invoices and handle their corporate spend. Today, technology has the ability to significantly increase the efficiency with which organizations handle expenditures while simultaneously containing costs, increasing controls and improving visibility into where the money is going. This is part of a broader trend toward digitizing outlays: I assert that by 2025, more than two-thirds of organizations will be using spend management software and corporate cards to achieve greater control and increased efficiency.

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Topics: Office of Finance, ERP and Continuous Accounting, digital finance

Oracle NetSuite Goes Full Suite Ahead to Deliver Customer Value

Posted by Robert Kugel on Nov 25, 2022 3:00:00 AM

The theme of this year’s Oracle NetSuite SuiteWorld was “Full Suite Ahead,” with content aimed at demonstrating to customers (and prospective buyers) the value of using more of what NetSuite has to offer. The business logic behind this concept goes beyond the obvious objective of upselling existing customers to increase the average annual recurring revenue. As is often the case with subscription businesses, customers fail to take advantage of what’s already included in their service. Ensuring that customers are achieving full value is essential to retaining them, and almost always a precondition to selling them more. For a cloud software vendor, this translates to having an effective customer success organization backed by a customer-centric product strategy and a product management organization that delivers on the strategy. All of this was on display at the event.

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Topics: Office of Finance, Financial Performance Management, ERP and Continuous Accounting, digital finance

Prophix’s Finance Platform Boosts Midsize Departments’ Effectiveness

Posted by Robert Kugel on Nov 10, 2022 3:00:00 AM

Prophix offers cloud financial software for planning, budgeting, reporting and statutory financial consolidation designed to meet the requirements of midsize organizations and divisions of larger corporations. The company was one of the first to offer a planning platform capable of bringing together a company’s diverse planning processes and financial planning and budgeting. Its consolidation and close automation enable a shorter close and improved accounting staff productivity for midsize corporations that have even moderately complex legal entity structures that operate in multiple currencies. Increasingly, organizations are finding that having the right finance and accounting department software tools helps attract and retain the best talent.

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Topics: Office of Finance, Business Planning, Financial Performance Management, ERP and Continuous Accounting, digital finance

Vertex Manages End-to-End Indirect Tax Compliance Worldwide

Posted by Robert Kugel on Nov 8, 2022 3:00:00 AM

The worldwide market for software to manage indirect income taxes, which includes sales and use, goods and services (GST) and value-added taxes (VAT), has been growing because of recent compliance mandates, the growth of e-commerce as well as a desire to accelerate business processes by reducing friction in areas such as tax compliance, cutting administration costs and lowering risk. Vertex provides businesses with cloud-based software that manages indirect tax processes for midsize and larger companies, especially for those with complex tax profiles. Vertex enables local and worldwide compliance backed by its ongoing tax research that continually compiles tax rules for over 19,000 jurisdictions. Because links with core financials is an essential capability for organizations of any size, Vertex maintains pre-built integrations with the leading ERP and financial management systems. Cloud-based systems are now the norm to support teams that are geographically dispersed and enable hybrid work environments. Ventana Research asserts that by 2026, a majority of midsize and larger companies will have digitized their indirect tax compliance to ensure accuracy as jurisdictions step up audits to increase revenues.

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Topics: Office of Finance, ERP and Continuous Accounting, Revenue, Lease and Tax Accounting