Three 2015 Business Intelligence Trends

Three 2015 Business Intelligence Trends Last year brought along several changes within the realm of Business Intelligence. We saw mobile BI rise in popularity and Big Data investments increase among business owners, as well as a heavy focus on cloud & security. These shifts in process & technology are always evolving, and with them come new ways in which to succeed. The following are three trends that we believe 2015 has in store for Business Intelligence. 1. Heightened Data Interaction In 2014, the ways in which we were able to interact with our digital information grew with the increased usage of dashboard and BI software. This year, organizations will continue to invest in and experiment with Big Data solutions as the analytical advantages of this approach become even more crucial for success. The task of collecting and reviewing data has become much more interactive with the development of lightening fast analytical tools. It is now easier than ever for users to extract significant data to analyze or experiment with. 2.  Transformation of Data Governance According to Gartner, this year, 25% of all global companies will have some sort of data officer in place. With companies creating and collecting data, in amounts exceedingly higher than ever before, it is imperative that they explore cutting edge methods to control and govern said data. Data governance can be completely customized and implemented to ensure effective and dynamic use, all towards the goal of executing from a well-informed and resourceful perspective. 3. Blossoming Mobile Capacity With mobility clearly on the rise, there has been an increasing amount of focus on the development of...

Benchmarking Accounting Costs

With today’s economic climate and fierce competition, companies today must ensure their accounting operations are competitive in terms of efficiency, effectiveness and productivity. A recent article by APQC highlights some interesting ratios on what it costs to run the best of class accounting operations in the world today.  The article can be found here.  What is very interesting is that best of class accounting operations cost only 0.4% per $1000 per revenue.  Another study by CIMA revealed that best in class accounting operations are between 0.6% and 0.7% of total Revenue The big change in the last 5 years is that the cost of technology to acheive those savings are as low as a few dollars per day as opposed to hundreds of dollars per day in the past.  With new technology we are now integrating for our clients, we are seeing accounting costs tumble for some small and mid sized companies drop 30% to 60% in some cases. If you want to find out more, just contact us and we can show you...

5 Benefits of Automating Accounts Payable

 The accounts payable process is crucial in any business, yet it can be very inefficient and sometimes inaccurate. Many businesses still rely on the traditional method of manual data entry and paper format. Others have eliminated the use of paper, saving time and energy and delivering fiscally better results. Still others are finding even more savings through fully automated A/P functions.  Automating Account Payable Process will help generate the following benefits: Eliminates Paper Paper can be digitized.  With automated AP, you can now start managing electronic documents as opposed to paper.  If you receive invoices in paper format, you can now scan and capture all received items in the account payable process immediately. Better still, ask your suppliers and vendors to directly send you invoices in electronic format.  It will be beneficial for them as well. Eliminates the risk of Duplicate invoices/payments Vendors might send the same invoice twice via different channels.  Detecting a duplicate invoice and discarding the same, is a slow process, especially without automation software.   It causes unnecessary re-work on the part of your AP team.   Automation can spot duplication at an early stage and prevent losses and confusion. More details within your Accounting System  Your back-end accounting system is a helpful source of information.  However, due to manual data entry limits, one does not always get all the information captured with in the accounting system, especially when trying to pay invoices.  Through automation, you can get more details about the invoice, including the ability to reconcile details to outstanding purchase order numbers.  Invoice amounts from a supplier can now be verified for reliability and accuracy,...

Task Automation

Would you like to begin to enjoy the benefits of a four hour work week? Would you like to have more time to do what you want and less time doing monotonous tasks? Then you need to start leveraging the power of the internet and the power of today’s technology. You need to start with task automation. What is Task Automation? Task automation is the use of various systems and technologies to minimize or reduce the amount of human intervention to complete the task or process. What are examples of Task Automation? Let’s look at completing a telephone call. When you dial, do you need to talk to an operator to help route your call and wait until that operator is done? OR, do you just punch in a number and the call is immediately connected to the phone of the person? That is Task Automation. When you got to an ATM and withdraw cash, do you ask a person to give you the cash and wait until that person is done? Or, does the ATM immediately dispatch the cash after you ask for it? That is Task Automation. Remember in 1981 when the word processor was introduced by Digital Equipment?  The cost PER INDIVIDUAL WAS OVER $15,000 But productivity for those companies went up 400% or more, generating them more profit and making a lot of executives rich! Today, you can get even better word processing technology for $199 or even free! Today, technology to automate your tasks is now available to individuals, small and mid sized businesses that was previously only available to the largest of corporations....

Payables Automation – Everyone can do it

Last week, we met with a rapidly growing software company that was a global leader in their niche.  They continue to grow in the double digits.  However, their cash flow and profitability was hampered by two issues – travel/expense processing and accounts payable. We showed them our paperless accounts payable and expense processing solution.  Almost immediately, their finance and accounting team realized they could cut their time to process invoices and expense reports by 90%.  They would also be freed up to take on more responsibility, particularly working with the sales and services team to improve profitable growth and cash flow.  With that, they are now planning to go live in August with our solution. As we connect with accounting functions across a wide range of industries and show them the tools available to automate their accounts payable and expense reporting, these same accounting functions soon realize the power they can tap into to become a ‘key person’ for their company. With our paybles and expense report automation solutions in place at other clients, our clients’ transactional accounting functions are rapidly lowering their per invoice processing costs while dramatically improving transparency, visibility and control.  They are soon becoming a source of advice (i.e. spend analytics) and a role model for other functions on control, efficiency and effectiveness. Like any accounting entry, there are two sides for every automation solution.  AP and expense report automation is having some positive impacts to the organization.  By eliminating manual efforts, people’s time is freed up to take on new work and assignments more valuable than shuffling paper and data entry.  We have seen accounts payable departments become internal auditors and spend analysts as opposed to employees...

Spreadsheets – Duct Tape of Accounting

From the rise of Visicalc in 1979 on the Apple, to Lotus 123 on DOS to Excel on Windows, spreadsheets have become, after the accounting system, the number one program accountants use on a daily basis (some may argue that spreadsheets are indeed the number one program.)  In fact, so many accountants rely on spreadsheets today to do to all their work that instead of the powerful enabler that gave accountants a leadership position in business today, it has become a potential handicap that will soon have them automated away by programmers and artificial intelligence. The problem we see today is that so many accountants do not understand the risks they are unknowlingly take on as well as the shortcomings spreadsheets have over other solutions.  A number of studies have shown over 80% of spreadsheets have errors, with 1% of all cells having forumula errors alone.  If you have more than 20 formulas, you now have the potential of having a material significant error. Our colleagues at SPRIG have done a great job of highlighiting the impact of errors in spreadsheets, from $6 Billion dollar loses at JP Morgan, to lawsuits to complete banking and company failures. For a profession that prides itself in being conservative, risk adverse and double checks everything, why do accountants continue to rely on 30 year old technology as their prime tool? Why do they turn to the ‘duct tape of accounting’ for all their problem solving and decision support? First is comfort level.  Spreadsheets are easy. Second is cost. The only factor you have to put in is time and a bit of logic. Third is...
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