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Close, consolidate and report: Only the fast survive

Responsive Finance

Now more than ever, executives and line managers in the business need critical insight into financial reporting—and they need it yesterday. But at the same time, there are a lot of new obstacles for finance organizations looking to provide reliable, insightful information about the business. In the tug-of-war between doing it right and doing it fast, business stakeholders look to CFOs to do both.

There are serious implications for companies that can’t produce accurate, timely financial reporting to external stakeholders within statutory filing timelines. And there are a host of new challenges that make it more complex and time-consuming than ever, including:

  • Increased business model complexity
  • Disparate systems and reporting needs
  • Complex tax strategies and globalization
  • Internal reviews and audits
  • Tighter resource and cost constraints
  • No common set of definitions

Deloitte* has developed an effective response designed to help finance organizations in their efforts to meet the high expectations of the business during the Close, Consolidate, and Report cycle to produce timely, accurate, and trusted financial statements and management reports.

Creating more value during the Close, Consolidate, and Report cycle
There seems to be no end to the number of tasks that must be completed during closing, all under increased resource and cost constraints. Here are a few important points to consider in your efforts to deliver more value during this challenging time:

Embrace the complexity
Simplify where you can, but there’s no escaping the fact that not only is complexity growing, it’s here to stay. Look for processes and technologies that are responsive, flexible, and scalable.

Be consistent
Maybe a merger has introduced new systems, languages, and processes into your finance organization. Or closer partnerships with business units have generated new metrics for assessing financial strength. One way to keep these developments from wreaking havoc on Finance is to establish one version of truth and demand consistency.

Stay a step ahead of compliance requirements
If there’s anything that’s certain in Finance today, it’s that compliance isn’t going to get any less restrictive. It pays to stay ahead of the curve in this area. Look for ways to make your internal controls even more rigorous and thorough, wherever and whenever possible. When new standards like IFRS take hold, you’ll be glad you did.

Aim for speed
Being right is important. But so is being fast. Timeliness is one of the most important measures of success for evaluating the closing process. If you’re not developing new ways to cut down on the amount of time closing requires, you’re missing an important opportunity to add value.

Bottom-line benefits
Deloitte can help you implement effective processes for your entire financial close cycle enabled by SAP solutions, specifically targeting the Close, Consolidate, and Report activities. The result? You can achieve a faster and more accurate end-to-end close process, giving you the time and information you need to add more value through analysis.

Here are some of the potential benefits:

  • Improved timing and quality of reporting
  • Tighter, more integrated reporting processes
  • Shared methodology that is compliant with all national and international reporting standards, and bring uniformity to all reporting events
  • Greater reliability of data
  • More efficient allocation of roles and responsibilities
  • Information technology that meets business requirements and facilitates the reliability of data for better reporting
  • More effective governance standards to make sure all functions are working in tandem toward shared goals

How Deloitte can help
Deloitte’s unique strength is the ability to combine deep technology experience with practical business strategy in providing services. Deloitte can bring a vast range of capabilities across consulting, financial advisory services, tax, and risk management worldwide. This integrated approach means Deloitte knows how to help you in your efforts to take advantage of all the benefits SAP technology has to offer, designed and implemented in a way that matches your most important business goals.

SAP solutions:

  • Local Close: SAP ERP Financials, SAP FinancialClosing Cockpit
  • Group Close: SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise Performance Management solutions, SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence solutions, SAP BusinessObjects Governance, Risk and Compliance solutions

 

Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, a Swiss Verein, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see www.deloitte.com/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and its member firms.

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