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5 Reasons why benchmarking-in-the-cloud is set to revolutionise the finance function


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“How are we performing compared to our closest competitors?” is a constant concern for CFOs seeking to drive growth and profitability. Yet it is a stubbornly difficult question to answer. Traditional benchmarking services are expensive and time-consuming, added to which they frequently ‘straight-jacket’ businesses into a narrow range of performance measures that leave nagging doubts about the validity of any conclusions drawn. But the advent of ERP and other financial applications in the cloud seems set to transform finance functions - and possibly the cloud software industry as well.

Published in: Data & Analytics
  • Nice presentation @Michelle Fabian. Cloud computing and Big data are the newest and biggest trends in the finance world.
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5 Reasons why benchmarking-in-the-cloud is set to revolutionise the finance function

  1. 1. 5 Reasons why benchmarking- in-the-cloud is set to revolutionise the finance function
  2. 2. 1. Cloud vendors are sitting on a gold-mine of data “True” cloud vendors that offer a single application that is shared by thousands of businesses (so called multi- tenanted software) have a treasure trove of anonymised, real-time data about how their application is being used.
  3. 3. 2. Cloud vendors can tell you objectively whether your processes are efficient An ERP vendor could tell you, (compared to other companies of similar size in your business sector and geography) whether you take longer than average to, for example: Turn sales quotes into orders, or Whether your ratio of staff deployed in the ‘quote to cash’ cycle relative to your annual turnover is below or above average.
  4. 4. 3. It opens up new vistas of comparative performance and KPIs Some cloud vendors are thinking very creatively about generating a new era of benchmarking and KPIs. Jo Sutton, of Xledger a popular cloud-based ERP and financial management system suggested to Gary Simon, CEO of FSN, that they could use anonymised data from their customers to provide comparative benchmarks about the supply chain in different industries/countries, for example, which are the dominant suppliers, who delivers on time and the average days of credit taken.
  5. 5. 4. It’s already happening in real-time Last month, BlackLine a leading provider of cloud-based finance controls and automation software, announced what is believed to be the industry’s first cloud analytics software designed to give CFOs, controllers and accountants the real-time data needed to benchmark, analyse and improve the efficiency of the financial close process.
  6. 6. Traditional benchmarking services have been largely limited to large enterprises that have the time and financial resources to participate in complex benchmarking surveys. But with new KPIs and benchmarks virtually ‘falling out’ of cloud vendors’ databases in the normal course of business then this raises the real possibility of providing affordable competitive benchmarking services to SMEs for the first time. 5. It puts benchmarking within the reach of SME businesses
  7. 7. Read the full article on LinkedIn Pulse in-the-cloud-set-finance-function-simon