Lynne Sampson, Oracle’s managing editor of The Modern Finance Leader, wrote about Oracle CEO Mark Hurd’s thoughts on why automation improves financial reporting across your company.
Benefits of Automated Financial Reporting
In a world where businesses have to report on increasing amounts of data, more finance professionals are looking to incorporate automation and artificial intelligence into their internal processes. Automating and using AI in financial reporting has the power and potential to:
- Eliminate costly errors that can result from manual accounting
- Reduce the time it takes to update financial statements
- Affect various other reporting processes, including actions surrounding financial statements, quarterly reports, multi-entity accounting, management reports, and financial close
“Automation will reduce the time to do tasks that are just impossible to do by humans today. The fast is—whether you’re looking at information on employees, customers, whatever it may be—the amount of information and amount of data that companies have is beyond the ability for even the most sophisticated data scientist to take advantage of.”
—Mark Hurd, Oracle CEO
Finance professionals often have to comb through mass amounts of data and provide insights across company platforms and business units. However, the ability to perform these tasks solely through human efforts is no longer a viable option for many of today’s enterprise organizations. Data-collecting devices are rapidly growing in number, and the amount of data that is generated is becoming too large for humans alone to gather, sort, and analyze. Luckily, automation and AI in financial reporting can help.
Automation can eliminate some of the most time-consuming accounting processes, like financial reporting, and offer greater insight into data points that would have been buried under the sheer volume of data.
“The time that automation gives back is the most essential resource that any organization has.”
—Steve Cox, Global Vice President, Oracle ERP/EPM Cloud Business Group
Automation can also offer an advantage in various other processes as well, including negotiating better supplier terms to optimize cash flow, which is especially critical during high-volume data periods like end-of-quarter reporting.
Hurd explained, during Oracle OpenWorld 2018, that a large portion of finance organizations’ time is spent moving spreadsheets around from one department to another and trying to reconcile those spreadsheets. Using Artificial Intelligence (AI), those reports become virtually error-free and insightful. The time that finance organizations spend on this task gets freed up, and people are given the opportunity to focus on higher-order, value-adding tasks instead.
Automation tools in ERP systems allow companies to automatically generate reports, which can be used by employees to derive high-level insights. As manual-entry processes are eliminated and automation creates higher quality, error-free financial reporting, employees are able to work on higher-level, value-adding opportunities and strategies. Doing so will further grow and strengthen the company’s priority goals and system.
In addition to improving and optimizing data insights through the use of AI in financial reporting, automation also brings an embedded security component into the picture. Automated, Cloud-based processes can improve data security at every layer through encryption, granular access controls, and monitoring solutions. Authorized personnel would then be able to access data from any device with an internet connection, which facilitates financial reporting workflows. Through automation, data security is improved, and data is protected against potential loss with clear delivery channels.
Companies have traditionally been reluctant to migrate their financial information to third-party Cloud providers. However, companies are beginning to realize the reliability of the Cloud. Solutions like Oracle ERP Cloud and Oracle EPM Cloud have the power to transform your organization.
As companies continue to recognize the benefits of automation in regard to data analytics, reporting, and process workflow, more companies will make the move to the Cloud and embrace the automation that it provides.
For more Oracle ERP Cloud resources, case studies, best practices, etc., check out Quest’s Oracle ERP Cloud Content Center. There are resources and training available for all aspects of ERP Cloud, including risk management, financials, extensions, and more!