Robert Kugel's Analyst Perspectives

insightsoftware Enables a Predictive and Effective Finance Department

Posted by Robert Kugel on Feb 14, 2023 3:00:00 AM

insightsoftware provides applications for finance departments and other business users in midsize and larger organizations, offering a broad range of functions including analysis, internal and regulatory reporting, planning, consolidation, tax provision and treasury. The software brings together applications that enable business users to maximize data collected in existing systems and streamline the performance of a range of office of finance functions, all while limiting or eliminating the involvement of IT professionals.

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

Trintech Streamlines a Transformed Record-to-Report

Posted by Robert Kugel on Feb 9, 2023 3:00:00 AM

Trintech provides finance departments in midsize and larger organizations with software to accelerate their accounting close processes. This record-to-report (R2R) cycle is complex because it involves the coordination of numerous people, many systems and multiple sources of data. There are iterative portions that involve cycles of reviews and multiple levels of approvals. These include reconciliations and adjusting of entries during the close as well as authoring, editing and updating narratives in the creation of disclosure documents. All of these must adhere to internal controls that require defined processes including reviews and approvals by multiple individuals. One key objective within the R2R process is to minimize the time it takes to complete the accounting close, with the generally accepted norm being one business week. Shortening the close means that all downstream tasks can be finished sooner, providing executives, managers, directors and shareholders with information about the organization’s financial performance and health sooner. Ventana Research asserts that by 2026, two-thirds of finance and accounting departments will improve their use of readily available technology to close their quarterly books within six business days, up from one-half that can do it today.

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

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

Workiva Simplifies ESG Reporting

Posted by Robert Kugel on Dec 28, 2022 3:00:00 AM

Workiva offers an environmental, social and governance application that enables organizations to manage the highly distributed tasks necessary for reporting to regulators and stakeholders on ESG matters. ESG issues have grown increasingly pressing over the past few years as investors and government entities urge organizations to measure and disclose relevant metrics. I’ve already covered the broader topic as it relates to external reporting and how financial planning and analysis groups are likely to own this mandate going forward. I’ve also addressed the data strategy that finance organizations should adopt to meet regulatory compliance requirements. Notably, I assert that by 2025, more than one-half of corporations required to comply with ESG reporting will centralize responsibility for preparing reports and filings with financial planning and analysis to achieve accuracy, control and efficiency objectives.

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Topics: Office of Finance, Business Planning, Financial Performance Management, digital finance

The Data Pantry Accelerates Actionable Analytics for Decision-Making

Posted by Robert Kugel on Dec 22, 2022 3:00:00 AM

Ventana Research uses the term “data pantry” to describe a method of data storage (and the technology and process blueprint for its construction) created for a specific set of users and use cases in business-focused software. It’s a pantry because all the data one needs is readily available and easily accessible, with labels that are immediately recognized and understood by the users of the application. In tech speak, this means the semantic layer is optimized for the intended audience. It is stocked with data gathered from multiple sources and immediately available for analysis, forecasting, planning and reporting. This does away with the need for analysts to repeatedly perform data extraction, enrichment or transformation motions from the required source systems, all but eliminating the substantial amount of time analysts and business users routinely spend on data preparation.

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Topics: Continuous Planning, Business Intelligence, Data Management, Business Planning, Data, Financial Performance Management, Enterprise Resource Planning, AI and Machine Learning, continuous supply chain, data operations, digital finance, profitability management, Analytics & Data, Streaming Data & Events

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

Accelerate Closing with a Faster Tax Provision Process

Posted by Robert Kugel on Dec 7, 2022 3:00:00 AM

Managing corporate income taxes is a challenge for chief financial officers and their tax department professionals. Tax codes are often complex, so tax accounting as well as the data required for tax provisions and tax compliance are different enough from statutory accounting to create significant workloads for the tax department. The provision for income tax expense and, for public companies, the assembly of information related to tax-related disclosures, can be a factor holding up the completion of the accounting close.

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Topics: Office of Finance, Financial Performance Management, digital finance

Vena Provides Practical Support for Integrated Business Planning

Posted by Robert Kugel on Nov 30, 2022 3:00:00 AM

Vena Solutions offers organizations a platform for financial planning, analysis and reporting as well as software to manage accounting consolidation and close processes. From the start, Vena has designed its applications to meet the needs of midsize organizations, which typically have the same requirements as large enterprises but with significantly fewer resources to acquire, manage and maintain technology. Ventana Research named Vena a Value Index Leader in Adaptability and a Vendor of Merit in its 2022 Value Index on Business Planning.

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Topics: Office of Finance, Business Planning, Financial Performance Management, digital finance