Wolters Kluwer and its expert financial management solution, CCH® Tagetik, unveil the results of their annual survey on Statutory Consolidation(1), conducted among around fifty companies in France (including 70% of large groups).
The year 2022 is accompanied by a major upheaval in the field of statutory consolidation. Historical solutions such as BFC (SAP) and HFM (Oracle) are preparing to leave the market and are thus pushing financial departments to find alternatives and reinvent themselves. At the same time, a new cycle is emerging, driven by two major revolutions: at the technological level, the Cloud allows companies to accelerate their digital transformation using specialized solutions, while at the functional level, the role of financial departments extended to performance management, which must now include extra-financial indicators.
These developments represent an opportunity for CFOs to rethink their approach and complete their tools.
A trend confirmed by Wolters Kluwer’s latest barometer, which takes stock of statutory consolidation in France and the expectations of financial departments in this area.
Among the main findings of the barometer:
A necessary modernization of tools
Thus, 58% of the financial managers surveyed have planned to change their consolidation tool – including 77% for the long term. Their choice of new solution will be informed by questions of ergonomics and ease of use, criteria that are “very important” for 69% of them (and “important” for 97% of them). The proposed features will also come into play. The possibility of carrying out ad-hoc analyzes through an “Excel like” interface, the reconciliation of intercos, the rules engine and the fact of having a tool that can be managed by the teams, are essential to meet their needs.
Other key information/revelation from the Wolters Kluwer barometer: 79% of financial managers did not reconcile the intercos with the invoice. A tool capable of streamlining this process therefore seems essential.
Extra-financial performance, a key criterion
Other major changes are added to the evolution of the market. The role of the CFOs has expanded. The latter now steer performance by establishing forecasts and relying on standard reporting tools, going beyond their primary management mission. Reputational dimensions and ESG initiatives must in turn be taken into account and measured, in order to inform decisions and integrate performance indicators. New regulatory requirements in this area therefore push CFOs to expect their consolidation tool to include extra-financial KPIs.
· Currently, only 19% of them have a consolidation tool allowing them to produce such KPIs! The production of a universal document with ESG is also the priority innovation for 47% of them.
Artificial Intelligence, an ally of CFOs
Finally, the cloud now allows companies to outsource to publishers the technical problems related to their digital transformation. The services offered by the management solutions are therefore reinforced and close collaboration is all the more essential. Other technologies are nevertheless at the heart of the concerns of CFOs. The use of artificial intelligence appears to be an essential innovation to be explored and better exploited.
· Their priorities are predictive analysis (33%) and machine learning (19%), in order to better guide their strategy and identify optimization opportunities more effectively.
(1) 2022 study carried out with Losam Agency with around fifty Consolidation departments in France (including 70% of large groups)
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Great barometer of Statutory Consolidation 2022: The expectations and needs of financial departments
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