So how does this make a difference with some of the biggest changes impacting today’s organizations?
One area is growth initiatives, such as mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and expansions into new markets. According to a 2016 Robert Half Management survey of 2,200 finance leaders, technology and business systems are the most difficult part of integration during a merger or acquisition. A typical acquisition can end up taking months or even years, and in the meantime, companies are spending significant time and resources on complex workarounds and manual efforts working between systems, all subject to error and auditing scrutiny.
With Workday, organizations can drastically reduce the time it has traditionally taken to incorporate an acquired company. Having the Business Process Framework as part of the Workday foundation is key to supporting these growth initiatives and gives businesses the architectural flexibility to easily and quickly set up or integrate new entities, move people and hierarchies, and streamline or change business processes—all without reliance on IT.
With everything in one system, finance can also easily and quickly create real-time, consolidated financial statements that include a newly acquired company. Consolidating this data in legacy systems is extremely time-consuming and requires a lot of manual intervention, especially without real-time forward-looking capabilities. Also, working between separate systems implies limited control, thus increasing the compliance risk of the new entity. Having a single system with built-in business processes, workflows, and controls can significantly reduce compliance risk from any new entity.
Workday’s CFO Robynne Sisco has written about her experience setting up new legal entities, stating that “adding a set of books to support a new legal entity could take six to nine months on legacy systems.” She added, “With Workday, that same set of books takes only 30 minutes to set up. Workflow or business process changes take just a few minutes. This flexibility allows us to keep up with the dynamic nature of business today and spend more time looking forward.”
In my final blog in this series, I will look at the evolving role and importance of auditing in today’s business climate of heightened corporate fiscal responsibility and regulation, and why the tech foundation of a finance system matters in staying compliant today and in the future.
(Read the first five blogs in this series: “Finance and the Tech Foundation: Making Sense of Enterprise Tech Concepts, Part 1,” “Finance and the Tech Foundation: Making Sense of Enterprise Tech Concepts, Part 2,” “Finance and the Tech Foundation: Real-time Consolidation and a Shorter Financial Close,” “Finance and the Tech Foundation: What’s Needed to Deliver Impactful Business Insights,” and “Finance and the Tech Foundation: Making Collaborative and Continuous Planning a Reality.”)