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A buyers guide on consolidation solutions

       
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A buyers guide on consolidation solutions

A buyers guide on consolidation solutions

Are you grappling with the complexities of financial consolidation? The challenges of manual data collection, intricate adjustments, and inflexible reporting frameworks can obstruct your path to accurate and efficient consolidation. However, there is a solution. Modern consolidation tools are designed to revolutionise your process, effectively addressing these pain points.

Financial consolidation is a pivotal task for organisations, ensuring precise reporting and providing a comprehensive view of financial performance. Yet, it's often fraught with difficulties - managing diverse data sources, navigating intercompany eliminations, and maintaining compliance with continually evolving regulations.

In addition to these necessities, features such as audit trail maintenance, granular data access (including journal entries, eliminations, and currency conversions), and configurability to organisational requirements are becoming increasingly essential. 

If you're contemplating investing in a consolidation solution, understanding these key considerations and functionalities, which may not be immediately evident, is vital. 

This blog aims to shed light on these aspects, equipping you with the knowledge to make an informed decision. 

 

Three key aspects to look for in a consolidation solution

According to a study conducted by BPM Partners, a vendor-neutral Business Performance Management consulting firm, the prerequisites and functionalities of potential financial consolidation and reporting solutions can be classified into four primary categories
 

1. Easy to use

When we talk about a product being "easy to use," it encompasses various aspects of its capabilities. Here are some factors to consider in terms of ease of use:
 

Familiarity

An easy-to-use product often has an interface that feels familiar to its users. For instance, many companies find spreadsheet interfaces comfortable as their employees are well-versed in such environments. Finance professionals are accustomed to working in spreadsheets for data analysis, calculations, and reporting.

JustPerform is designed our platform to offer familiar interfaces that align with what users are accustomed to, ensuring a seamless transition. We also have a purpose-built Excel Add-in that lets your team work on Excel while experiencing the performance of the cloud.
 

Intuitive Usage

A platform's user-friendliness is paramount to ensure that your team can start using it without requiring extensive training or reliance on user manuals. The key lies in intuitive design and ease of use, allowing finance users to quickly grasp the system's workings and navigate it for expedited consolidation.

With a steadfast commitment to facilitating seamless user adoption, JustPerform meticulously designs users' consolidation journeys from data collection to final reporting. This approach aims to create a frictionless experience for accountants and consolidation teams, enabling them to close their books efficiently and construct audit-friendly reports.

Moreover, JustPerform not only simplifies the consolidation process but also empowers teams to focus more on strategic tasks, thereby driving business growth and financial accuracy.
 

Finance Self-Sufficiency

Navigating the maze of tasks associated with diverse data sources, adherence to various accounting standards, and the requirement for accurate reporting can often leave finance teams heavily reliant on technical or external consultants for the group close process. Your consolidation solution should address this by empowering finance users.

JustPerform, with its familiar Excel-like interface for data collection and integration support for over 80 source systems, offers a comfortable environment that empowers your finance team. The platform provides features such as finance-led data collection and standardisation, and automated adjustments using a business rule library.

JustPerform benefits for finance leaders and teams

These capabilities enable finance teams to take ownership of the consolidation process, drastically reducing their dependence on technical teams. The result? An enhanced speed and accuracy in group close processes, leading to more efficient statutory reporting
 

Workflow Management

An effective platform cultivates streamlined workflows, establishing clear roles and responsibilities for each team member at each step of the consolidation process. This transparency within the workflow fosters improved coordination and accountability.

Keeping the needs of finance users at the forefront, JustPerform offers intuitive and straightforward workflows designed to simplify the close and consolidation process. This not only facilitates quicker adjustments to changes in your consolidation due to business expansion but also efficiently accommodates eventualities such as acquisitions, mergers, and dispositions.
 

Out-of-the-Box Functionality

In the swift-paced realm of finance, every second counts. The last thing you need is to decipher compliance requirements and construct your process from the ground up. Your consolidation solutions should have a package that allows for accelerated book closure, saving you time and effort.

JustPerform offers an immediate advantage with its inherent IFRS/Multi-GAAP compliant financial consolidation pro app. This application caters to all conceivable consolidation scenarios your company might face, furnished with models, input templates, business rules, reports, and more.

With this JustPerform app, you conserve time and secure a comprehensive, compliant, and effective resolution for all your financial consolidation necessities.

 

2. Technology
 

The shift towards cloud-based performance management solutions has become the standard in today's digital era. From agile startups to large financial institutions, organisations of all sizes have recognised and leveraged the advantages the cloud offers. 

These benefits include flexibility, scalability, and accessibility, integral to effective consolidation processes. Cloud-based platforms can be accessed from any location, fostering collaboration and lightening the load on technical teams with automatic updates and maintenance.

Choosing the right technology to consolidate financial data from multiple sources is crucial in a data-driven world. Collecting and harmonising data, ensuring its accuracy, complying with accounting standards, and generating consolidated financial statements can be complex. However, with new-age technology, this process can be simplified and streamlined.

“Your today’s system should be able to handle your tomorrow”

JustPerform, the cloud-native platform, offers the technology needed to integrate data from various entities and systems efficiently. It handles intricate tasks such as intercompany eliminations, currency conversions, and complex adjustments, thereby significantly reducing the risk of errors through automation.

Moreover, unlike other cloud solutions, JustPerform offers ‘ease of implementation’ without spending lots of resources and time. It provides seamless integration with various source systems, user-friendly interfaces, and self-service reporting capabilities, offering an all-around solution for your consolidation needs.

A forward-thinking approach to your consolidation processes, facilitated by a platform like JustPerform that can handle current and future requirements, is the key to smooth financial processes and accurate, reliable reporting. This will cater to your present needs and ensure you are well-prepared for the evolving business landscape requirements.

 

3. Rich Functionality
 

When considering consolidation and reporting capabilities, evaluating your immediate needs and future requirements is essential. Your business's unique needs will dictate the specific functionalities you require. 

However, the key to long-term success lies in selecting a solution offering a robust core functionalities. This ensures that your current needs are met while also providing room for future growth.

Investing in a solution that can adapt to changing management requirements is crucial. It provides the flexibility and scalability necessary to evolve with your business, giving you peace of mind knowing that your consolidation and reporting processes will be supported as your business grows and changes. This forward-thinking approach prepares you for whatever the future may hold.

JustPerform recognizes the challenges decision-makers face during consolidation - from ensuring data accuracy and consistency to meeting regulatory compliance and integrating diverse data sets. 

Our solution is designed to address these issues head-on, offering a streamlined, efficient consolidation process that safeguards data integrity, simplifies reporting, and facilitates audit management.

JustPerform's intuitive interface and potent features enable you to optimise workflows, enhance data accuracy, and ensure regulatory compliance. With JustPerform, you're not just investing in a platform, but a partner for your evolving business journey.

 

Purchasing process to follow  

The general process of purchasing a consolidation solution is as follows. These steps may not entirely be relevant depending on how prepared your organisation is for purchasing a solution.
 

Buying process of consolidation solution

 

Building Roadmap

The first step in adopting a new technology is Roadmap Identification. This phase involves creating a roadmap outlining the desired consolidation process, including its scope, roll-out plan, and more. 

The roadmap serves as a guide for identifying pressing issues and potential risks the consolidation platform must address. It also helps create a checklist of functionalities and use cases the organisation foresees needing in the coming years. 

“A roadmap is your clarity to your consolidation requirements”

The roadmap is crucial as it provides a comparison metric while evaluating potential consolidation vendors. Modern solutions like JustPerform prioritise business continuity, offering a unified platform for all financial needs. 
 

Gathering Requirements

Next is Requirement Identification. While requirements may not need to be granular, they should provide enough detail to help select potential vendors. Stakeholder interviews can lend valuable insights into these requirements, which should then be translated into functional requirements for vendor identification.

“The sure shot way to gather requirements is to interview stakeholders”

Future integration needs should also be considered at this stage. JustPerform, for instance, allows for over 80 integrations and enhances data usability.
 

Identifying Vendors

Vendor identification requires decision makers to evaluate based on several factors: whether the vendors offer services in your geographic area, can the vendor addresses all your requirements even while you scale, and how other customers rate them on the attributes your organisation feels are important. 

Finance decision-makers should rely on all the vendor details to assess whether the vendors directly meet needs. 


Shortlisting Vendors

This step will determine how vendors may meet your requirements. It’s ideal to have a formal documentation process following a standard format. The document should standardise the selection process to create a level playing field. 

“Have a standard document that can equate vendors alike”

Standard documents can help create a level playing field, but using a proof of concept can meet your consolidation needs. Different teams should score vendors on levels they feel vendors meet their requirements. During demo calls, decision-makers should ensure they get satisfying answers for end users and administrators. 
 

Selecting Vendor

Choosing the right vendor is crucial for your consolidation success. The process involves consolidated scoring of vendors, conducting detailed reference checks, and obtaining clear pricing proposals. Discussing the implementation approach, thoroughly reviewing contractual details, and maintaining clear communication with stakeholders are essential.

 

Conclusion

Financial consolidation is an incredibly important task but it can pose a myriad of challenges. However, complete optimisation of the process is achievable by leveraging the right technology and resources. 

When selecting a solution, stakeholders must examine all vendor offerings via interviews and reference checks to ensure the functionalities meet their needs. The elimination of tedious tasks make data analysis more accurate and efficient than ever before.

JustPerform consolidation platform offers comprehensive features like streamlined processes, intuitive user interfaces, quick consolidation cycles as well as powerful reporting abilities that takes ownership out of the hands of finance teams.

Financial consolidation is an integral task for organisations, though it can be subject to various challenges.

When selecting a consolidation solution, three key aspects need to be considered - ease of use, technology, and rich functionality. During the selection process, stakeholders should interview vendors and assess if they meet requirements; reference checks should also be undertaken.

A roadmap should be created in order to identify potential risk areas and shortlist vendors based on desired functionalities.

JustPerform offers a suite of intuitive features and user-friendly interfaces, empowering finance teams to take ownership of the consolidation process.

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