According to Gartner, poor operational decision-making compromises upward of 3% of profits. As digitalization pushes businesses to grow and change, operational decisions are increasing in speed, volume and complexity — creating a challenge for finance, whose job it is to make sure those decisions are financially sound. Progressive CFOs are modernizing their decision-making process by adopting a business model that provides granular visibility into past, present and future financial performance. For finance teams to maximize their ability to drive financially sound operational decisions, they need to improve the financial aptitude of operational decision makers and instill more finance information and analysis into those outcomes.
Today’s consumers are more sophisticated and technologically savvy, making them harder to predict and even harder to satisfy. For apparel manufacturers and retailers to be successful, they must think be able to predict future wants and needs of their potential customers. Many successful apparel manufacturers and retailers have found a scalable way to employ a responsive, intelligent pricing discipline that aligns their pricing strategy with their customers’ willingness to pay by leveraging insights from advanced analytics to make smarter pricing decisions. Pricing smarter requires understanding where customers perceive value and having the agility to respond to competitors’ moves with full insight into the impact on financial performance.
When it comes to obtaining actionable analytics, the best thing a business can do is drastically decrease their use of spreadsheets. While spreadsheets can still be helpful in a tactical capacity, they should no longer represent a view of reality that is relied on for business visibility. Instead, businesses should invest in a centralized platform that enables a single source of financial performance truth. A fully-integrated tool that provides robust financial analytics enterprise-wide is crucial for any modern organization to make faster and more informed decisions that enhance their customer’s experiences and drive business performance. A single source of trusted financial data also supports critical processes that modern businesses need to remain competitive like budgeting, forecasting, and predictive analytics.
Organizations look to finance leaders to support strategic initiatives by providing actionable information about the business. Ultimately, they can only be successful business partners when reliable financial data is available and when compliance is consistently achieved. When accounting and finance teams rely on manual processes, they struggle to focus on higher-risk areas and analyze trends – especially at peak times during the month. A 2016 Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) study found that 61% of finance teams still rely on spreadsheets for business analytics. As a result, companies have limited real-time data, and little time (if any) is left for analytics that can help identify errors or required adjustments. In today’s world of finance innovation and rapid advancements, businesses that continue to rely mainly on spreadsheets and manual business processes will not be in the race much longer. Digitizing and automating these processes will not only reduce costs and increase efficiencies; it will also free up valuable employees to perform more strategic tasks.