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  • admin 9:51 am on June 16, 2017 Permalink
    Tags: close, , ,   

    Doing Our Part to Close the Skills Gap 

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  • admin 9:51 am on June 14, 2017 Permalink
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    The Future of Marketing: Bringing Together Business and Education to Close the Skills Gap 

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  • admin 9:55 am on December 1, 2015 Permalink
    Tags: Accounting, close, , Process, , Utopia   

    A One Day Accounting Close? Utopia via People, Process, & Technology 

    The pressure for an accelerated accounting close can be relentless, as evidenced by the $ 1.3 billion Toshiba accounting scandal this spring. The electronic manufacturing giant admitted it had overstated profits by $ 1.3 billion going back to fiscal 2008/2009. An accounting probe in July led to the CEO and several board members resigning and a 30 percent slide in shares of Toshiba stock, and found that the company suffered from dysfunctions in governance.

    As senior financial leader Doug Ryan has said, the theoretical, achievable limit for the monthly accounting close is one day. That might be achievable for every business regardless of size, industry, or consolidation complexity in a near-perfect world with unlimited resources, but as we know, that utopian world doesn’t exist.

    Conventional wisdom generally pegs an optimal accounting close period at five business days. For companies who have overcome some of the more common hurdles to meeting that goal—such as cluttered or poorly defined accrual processes or an inability to track results on at least a near real-time basis—most find that each close process reduction is never enough. Both public and private companies must fulfill multiple, complicated financial reporting packages quickly and efficiently, while balancing competing internal and external reporting requirements and deadlines. Simultaneously, senior management needs fast, transparent close results that deliver meaningful insight that can guide their decisions.

    No Single Technology Is a Silver Bullet
    Technology can certainly help overcome some of these challenges, but it’s no panacea. There are many companies who install a helpful point solution or even an analytic database, score a quick win, and then find themselves facing new calls for close-process transformation within less than a year because they only accounted for technology and not people and processes. In my experience helping major enterprises optimize their close processes, a sustainably successful approach starts with recognizing the limits of technology.

    I see many data-driven finance departments using a single data repository to accelerate and lower the cost of monthly close processes. A single repository provides business units with faster access to local results, which simplifies local reporting requirements and prompts early error identification and correction. Business units spend less time reviewing because they have earlier visibility throughout the month. The corporate consolidations process is simplified through accessible transactional and sub-ledger details, which reduces the need to ask the field to clarify results.

    As important as these technical enablers are, technology is ultimately only one-third of the close-to-report cycle equation. A successful, holistic approach must account for people, process, and technology. How does your company rate on these close-to-report cycle dimensions?
    • Are roles and responsibilities in the accounting organization clearly aligned to every stage of the close process?
    • Are the events in the close calendar defined in a way that clearly assigns accountability back to specific individuals/roles?
    • How clearly is communication coordinated across all those involved in each stage of the process?
    • Are the activities throughout the close properly sequenced?
    • Is the process obstructed by manual steps occurring outside of the transactional-processing and reporting systems?
    • Are issues identified and analyzed in a way that resolves root causes?
    • Are the same processes/steps performed “because we’ve always done it that way” without questioning why?
    • Are current technologies fully utilized?
    • Are employees sufficiently trained and knowledgeable in the technologies that enable their part of the close process?
    • Can current technologies enable reduced “time to insight” through real-time or near real-time views of actual results?

    Technology will always matter, but it is most “sticky” when applied as part of a holistic approach. Companies like Toshiba looking to rectify breakdowns in their close processes and related governance mechanisms need to address the people, process, and technology factors that enabled such materially inaccurate reporting in the first place. In every company’s drive to accelerate the close process and head off a similar crisis, finance departments must think comprehensively if they hope to shorten the distance between reality and utopia.

    jay humphries bloggerJay Humphries is a Senior Pre-Sales Practice Manager within Teradata’s Data Driven Finance Center of Expertise. In his current role, Jay is focused on the intersection of finance, accounting and analytics in the Manufacturing and Oil & Gas industries. Prior to Teradata, Jay served in many roles to help organizations become more technology and data-driven, in areas such as management consulting, strategy, process improvement and ERP implementations.

    The post A One Day Accounting Close? Utopia via People, Process, & Technology appeared first on Data Points.

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  • admin 9:53 am on June 5, 2015 Permalink
    Tags: close, , , , , , , Quiz,   

    How Close You Are To Leveraging Individualized Insights And Improving Interactions With Customers? Take The Quiz! 

    quizData-driven marketing is the strategy of collecting and connecting large amounts of online data with traditional offline data, rapidly analyzing and gaining cross-channel insights about customers, and then bringing those insights to market via interactions tailored to the customer, at their point of need and in real-time. It enables highly individualized insights, which can help you develop collaborative, enduring bonds with customers.

    Whenever I recite that definition, I see marketers’ eyes light up. They’re instantly eager and ready to jump right in. But remember: Data-driven marketing strategy is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and you can’t implement a data-driven approach overnight. Instead, you’ll need to proceed methodically, developing individualized insights through a systematic framework of tools, standards, and practices implemented to integrate, automate and improve your current processes.

    Do you have questions about where your organization currently stands and how far you need to go to start realizing the benefits of individualized insights? If so, please take the time to check out our new set of assessment tools designed specifically for marketers like you.

    Within a few minutes, these quick assessment tools will help you determine how well your marketing processes and programs stack up. All you’ll need to do is rate your organization’s data-driven maturity from 1 to 5 in a few different functional areas (1 = infancy; 5 = fully optimized), then add up your scores and evaluate. 

    The four self-assessments cover the areas of data system integration, marketing analytics, digital marketing and marketing resource management:

    Data System Integration

    To develop a strong data driven marketing strategy, you’ll need to integrate disparate databases of customer information. Effective integration is critical because it lays the foundation for discovery of individualized insights through use of data and analytics. But it may be difficult to gauge the effectiveness of your integrations. How do you even know if you’re on the right track? This self-assessment will help you better understand how your data system integration stacks up. 

    Marketing Analytics

    Marketing analytics shed light on effective methods for engaging customers and help you leverage individualized insights to create interaction strategies that drive more revenue. But do your analytic tools let you see every data point that can add to an understanding of customer behavior? Use this marketing analytics self-assessment to gauge where you stand.

    Digital Marketing

    Today’s customers engage in a variety of digital spaces—email, mobile, social, websites, etc.—and you have to be sure you’re delivering the right message across all of these channels and platforms. Are you confident in the effectiveness of your digital execution? Take this digital marketing self-assessment  to determine if you’re on the right track.

    Marketing Resource Management

    Your marketing team needs to act on process and program insights to optimize the impact of its initiatives. Done right, marketing resource management enables more agile marketing that quickly responds to individualized insights. But controlling processes and programs can be challenging. This marketing resource management self-assessment will provide insights to help you improve your data-driven strategy from the ground up.

    After completing these four self-assessments, you’ll better understand where you need to improve so that your data-driven marketing strategy can empower your organization with individualized insights.

    And here’s the best news of all: No matter where you are currently, Teradata can help you go further.

    The road to individualized marketing that actually drives revenue is built by the increased data flexibility made possible by operational efficiency and paved by real-time inbound and outbound messaging enabled by individualized insights. Learn more about how to power your marketing by downloading our new whitepaper, Essential Steps to Marketing With Individualized Insights.

    The post How Close You Are To Leveraging Individualized Insights And Improving Interactions With Customers? Take The Quiz! appeared first on Teradata Applications.

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