Technology Speeds Financial Close Process without Sacrificing Accuracy

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Firms are still spending significant time and resources completing their reconciliation process despite technological advances that make it unnecessary. Increasingly tight regulatory guidelines, more stringent reporting requirements and complex operations over wide geographic regions, are only a few of the hurdles companies must overcome to achieve a faster, more efficient financial close process.

Recent announcements from Movaris, the software company that automates and unifies account reconciliations, Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX) compliance, financial close and financial reporting processes, and Cartesis, the world's leading specialist in finance and performance management software, demonstrate how technology is helping businesses speed up their financial close process without sacrificing accuracy.

Movaris & Parson Consulting Partner to Create Industry-First Solution Addressing Key Financial Close Challenges

In September, Movaris formed a strategic partnership with Parson Consulting, a leading financial management consultancy, to create a new Integrated Close Service Offering (ICSO), the industry's first complete solution for unifying reconciliations, compliance, close and reporting processes. The new ICSO will exclusively package Parson's leading accounting and finance operations consulting expertise with Movaris' comprehensive automated OneClose software to improve the speed, accuracy and efficiency of clients' financial management.

“The Integrated Close Service Offering is the first of its kind and demonstrates that the Morvaris OneClose approach is resonating with global companies and their consulting partners,” said Chris Abate, vice president of business development for Movaris, in announcing the strategic partnership. “Parson helps clients leverage technology and business process to facilitate more efficient finance and support functions. By partnering with Parson, smart companies can see the strategic value of an integrated close after using Movaris' software.”

A recent study by Robert Frances Group highlights the need for the close process to be integrated with account reconciliation and compliance processes. Finance departments facing high audit costs, increased finance team turnover, high costs of compliance, restatements and materials weaknesses, can experience significant return on investment (ROI) in terms of increased efficiency, reduced audit fees and less time spent on routine tasks by unifying reconciliation and compliance processes with their close process.

“Global companies face increasingly difficult financial close challenges. Combining Movaris comprehensive software with our expert insight and results-oriented perspective enables clients to change the approach of financial management from reactive to proactive,” J. Patrick Neeley, managing director of practices for Parson Consulting, said in a prepared statement announcing the strategic partnership. “The underlying theme for this partnership is forward-thinking customer satisfaction. With ICSO, clients will be saving time, reducing cost and risk and increasing reporting accuracy.”

In addition, Movaris and Parson are hosting the Finance Leadership Series Executive seminars to help companies address the high costs of the financial close and risk of inaccurate financial statements. It will provide thought leaders and executives with training and background so that they may best take advantage of ICSO and Movaris OneClose.

Cartesis Intercompany 5.0 Helps Companies Meet Tighter Regulatory Deadlines and Reporting Requirements

“With Cartesis Intercompany, we can put the reconciliation processes in motion much earlier, safe in the knowledge that we'll still receive accurate and real-time information,” Wiel Dings, Chief Accountant at Océ, a €2.7 billion multinational delivering high speed printing systems in 80 countries, said in a prepared statement about Intercompany 5.0. “It has supported our drive towards standardization and makes it far easier for users to check transactions against each other to ensure everything matches.”

Helping large companies close their financial books faster and more accurately by easily reconciling intercompany transactions, is, after all, what Cartesis Intercompany 5.0 was designed for. This solution allows business units to reconcile balances directly with one another, all the way to invoice level matching in real time by optimizing peer-to-peer collaboration and approvals over the web, securely tracking changes and providing an auditable trail for each transaction. Shifting responsibility to business units allows companies to remove the intercompany reconciliation process from the critical path of the fast close, reducing closing cycles by an average of 20 percent.

“I am constantly surprised to find intercompany reconciliation missing from performance management implementations,” said John Van Decker, Senior VP and Principal Research Fellow at Robert Frances Group. “On top of improving accountability and accuracy, a relatively small investment in intercompany reconciliation software can reduce huge amounts of manpower and frustration at the end of every close. Cartesis should be considered as an intercompany reconciliation solution for large global organizations.”

Companies have a variety of software solutions to choose from when it comes to automating all or part of their financial close process. In addition to Movaris and Cartesis, Oracle, Approva, Cognos, and others, offer financial close solutions. The benefits and ROI of implementing one of these systems depends on a number of variables, from the size and complexity of the enterprise, to the accounting and financial reporting software already in use by the company.

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