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How to Ensure a Smooth Year-end Close

Author: Jonathan Berry | | January 9, 2018

Whether you’re in finance or IT, all eyes are on you during the year-end close process, and you need things to go smoothly. Unfortunately, too many businesses continue to use slow and unwieldy manual processes, like Excel spreadsheets and even pencil and paper, during the financial close period. According to a 2015 survey by Ventana Research, only 25 percent of businesses use a “high degree of automation” in their core financial functions.

If you’re not experiencing a smooth year-end close, here’s how your organization can make use of financial management and enterprise performance management (EPM) software to shorten the cycle and reduce the stress in the future. This article will discuss some of the most common challenges that businesses face during the year-end close and how Oracle software, Datavail software (developed by recent acquisition Accelatis), and Datavail services can reduce the pain and stress of the close cycle.

The Challenges of the Year-End Close

The Institute of Management Accounts found that nearly 75 percent of finance teams want to spend less time on their financial close processes. Two of the biggest roadblocks in achieving this goal are:

  •  Working with organizational data: As companies grow more mature, they have an ever-increasing volume of data to work with. Managing this data efficiently while ensuring its accuracy and currency, and making sure that it arrives in the correct places, can be a significant challenge for organizations without established data management solutions.
  •  Bridging institutional gaps: Referring to the “financial close” as a single process is slightly deceptive, because it really consists of many different – and often disjointed – processes involving different people and systems. In order to pull off a successful year-end financial close, you need to focus on the big picture and eliminate departmental silos so that your teams can work in closer collaboration.

Of course, there’s no end to the possible difficulties that organizations can encounter during financial close, from staffing issues to breakdowns in communication. The two highlighted above, however, are both frustratingly common and easily resolved with the solutions described below.

Accelerate with Datavail

Oracle FCCS/Hyperion

Oracle Financial Consolidation and Close Cloud Service (FCCS) is a cloud-based, end-to-end software application for complete visibility into your close processes and data. For those organizations that haven’t yet crossed over into the cloud, Oracle also offers an on-premises FCCS equivalent called Hyperion Financial Close Management. Both applications support a variety of financial close activities, including:

  • Ledger and subledger close
  • Data loading and mapping
  • Financial consolidation
  • Account reconciliation
  • Tax/treasury
  • Internal and external reporting processes

Speed is a major advantage of using Oracle FCCS and Hyperion FCM: You can get up and running right away, and processes that once took weeks to complete can now be finished in a matter of business days. The software comes with pre-built dashboards with options for charts, graphs and visualizations, giving you complete visibility into your organizational data.

Datavail’s APM Platform for Hyperion

Oracle FCCS and Hyperion FCM are excellent choices for optimizing your financial close processes, but they’re not immune to IT environment issues. If you’re experiencing performance problem with your Oracle applications – or more importantly, would like to prevent them with proactive performance testing and automation – Datavail’s application performance monitoring (APM) platform developed by Accelatis can help.

With Datavail’s APM platform, you can:

  • Monitor all of the moving parts in your environments and applications
  • Identify and fix bottlenecks
  • Generate reports and alerts in order to highlight individual events or trends
  • Run load tests and other performance tests on your environment to make sure that it stands up to peak usage so that you can circumvent any challenges before they hit the users.

As a highly popular and complex platform, Oracle Hyperion can experience performance issues that impede or prevent you from achieving the smooth, speedy year-end close that your organization needs. Datavail’s APM platform helps identify and resolve these issues so that you can focus less on finding & fixing the problem and more on finishing the financial close.

Datavail EPM Consulting

Even the most complex and powerful tools aren’t useful if you have no idea how to apply them correctly. Datavail’s EPM consulting and advisory services help you realize the return you’re looking for on your investment in Oracle technologies.

From increased regulations and compliance standards to changing tax laws, organizations face a variety of financial industry challenges when trying to shorten and simplify their year-end close. Datavail can support your company’s financial process transformation by helping you implement and work with Oracle financial applications and platforms for finance.

Conclusion

Moving your financial close from slow, inaccurate manual processes to automated software solutions will do wonders for the speed and simplicity of your year-end close. Oracle’s financial management software, together with Datavail’s APM platform and EPM consulting, can help reduce time and costs, decrease errors, and make your business more productive and efficient.

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