In short, finance needs to undergo a transformation. They need faster access to relevant data, better reporting, and stronger built-in internal controls. And because older financial systems were not created with this vision in mind, businesses and their legacy vendors have attempted to fill the void by bolting on missing capabilities. As a result, finance technology has become a complex mix of acquisitions, custom integrations, and middleware.
The bolt-on approach may address specific functional gaps, but it can’t support the complete transformation that finance requires. Very simply, systems resulting from this complex architecture cannot adapt and change. Scaling or changing these systems to meet the needs of a growing, changing business is slow, costly, and in some cases, virtually impossible.
But as technology has created many new business opportunities, so too has it created opportunities to rethink how financial systems should be built and what they should offer. The emergence of cloud computing, increased processing power, falling storage costs, the rise of mobile devices, and the advent of the consumer internet have led us to a new, more economical, powerful, and agile foundation for finance. Those willing to take advantage of these changes are fulfilling the long held, but seldom realized, vision of transforming finance into a powerful business partner.
At Workday, we saw the opportunity to build a system from the ground up to take advantage of this new technology foundation, enable transformation and business agility by combining planning, transaction processing, governance, accounting, reporting, and analytics into a single, easy-to-manage system. Companies can quickly and efficiently bring together actionable information about their people and money in a system that can evolve with them as their business changes.
Financial transformation by definition is not something you can bolt-on—it requires a willingness to question long-held assumptions and envision where you want to go and a total technology rethink. In the next blog, we’ll take a closer look at how one, unified, cloud-based system can create the perfect environment for finance to handle transaction processing and compliance and control while delivering the answers the business needs.
Read part two in the series, “How the CFO Can Take Control of Transaction Processing.”