As global trade and science-driven data become more integral to strategy, finance departments are expected play an increasingly strategic role in business development. To keep pace with new expectations, financial executives need modern and dynamic tools. There’s only one problem: many institutions are still using outdated systems.
However, the major players in the financial management software industry have kept pace with modern technology. The result is a competitive buyers’ market filled with solutions designed to meet industry-specific needs and varying levels of organizational complexity. Decision makers have never had access to a wider array of options.
So what does the ideal financial management package look like? Your CFO would probably tell you that financial management systems software should include not just reporting and transactional features, but also tools for financial consolidation, business intelligence (data visualization and forecasting), corporate performance management (CPM), business process management, and online user communication tools.
A recent comparison of top financial management systems by Technology Evaluation Centers outlines functionality that should be addressed in any up-to-date global financials suite:
New Standard Financials Functionality
- Embedded and proactive controls monitoring
- Built-in financial close and reconciliation automation processes
- Built-in cash and treasury functions
- Single repository for the main ERP and third-party ERP sub-ledgers
- Unlimited budgets and budget versions
- Flexible budget modeling using shared dimensions and currencies with general ledger (GL)
- In-context view of budgets
Features for Industries and Users
- Industry-specific functionality, such as grants and encumbrance accounting (for government, research, healthcare, etc.)
- Responsive mobile UI design
- Shared data across the entire suite
- Access to in-memory database technology
A quick look at the financial applications comparison chart at the end of the report shows that the major-player solutions provide full support for virtually all standard functionality. In other words, it's a great time to be shopping for a strategic financial management system-and enterprise financial management software has never been more crucial to business success.