The challenges in finance departments have increased significantly in recent years. New business models, increased regulatory requirements and an unstable global environment are increasing the pressure on finance and functional corporate performance management. In many cases, the financial systems used have not kept pace with advancing technological developments. The results are fragmented IT landscapes which are far off from a modern finance department with a high degree of digitalisation and automation. The use of integrated corporate performance management systems is a decisive factor in meeting the requirements of a modern finance department.
State-of-the-art Corporate Performance Management
Due to their history, many companies usually use several CPM systems for different tasks and financial processes. Separate tools are often used for consolidation, planning and tax reporting. This leads to a high level of manual processing of relevant information between individual departments and applications and thus, the inability to react to new requirements at short notice. This is closely linked to high susceptibility to errors, especially when last-minute changes become necessary during the closing process.
We, therefore, believe in a high level of integration of the individual processes across the finance department as the core of innovative corporate performance management. All relevant data need to be available to the accounting, controlling and tax departments in a centralised system. CPM software solutions increase the transparency and flexibility of the finance department and facilitate tasks and processes of individual finance areas such as accounting or controlling.
Besides, the potential of digitisation should be exploited to the fullest. First, the automation of processes with the help of RPA (Robotic Process Automation) will play a significant role in finance transformation. Also, data analytics and AI (artificial intelligence) are becoming increasingly important. As a result, self-improving algorithms are already deployed in processes to carry out quality checks and identify both systematic errors and inconsistencies.
Corporate performance management systems also extend the reporting system with new variants. For example, new CPM solutions provide dynamic dashboards and interactive reporting interfaces in addition to the existing but sometimes outdated PDF reports and Excel add-ins. Applications also enable mobile reporting. The use of new features enables finance departments to provide consolidated control-relevant vital figures in real-time without having to carry out all periodic activities.
Corporate Performance Management as part of the digitalisation roadmap in finance departments
In the course of digitisation, CPM software providers have made significant changes to their portfolio and systems. The focus of those providers is on the integration of financial processes and the use of future-oriented functionalities (e.g. RPA, AI, predictive analytics). The system providers in the area of Corporate Performance Management pursue quite different strategies. More than ever before, it is essential to consider the requirements of the individual stakeholders when selecting a new CPM solution and to keep the digitalisation roadmap and longterm strategy of the finance department in mind.