This post has been developed thanks to the latest AptConnect21 keynote session. Lucinda Faucher, Head of Product at Aptitude Software together with her team of Product Owners created an illustrative role–play, where typically boring finance products presentation got enriched with hypothetical, yet close to real-life, situations that many finance professionals can relate to.
In each of our posts, we are trying to relate to that experience and focus on showing the audience the true benefits of Aptitude Products. We hope you will enjoy it!
Part 1 – challenges of the acquisition
It has been already 6 months into finance transformation between ABC International retail and investment bank and Z Insurance Provider. The acquisition of the insurance business has provided the bank with new business opportunities, yet there were numerous challenges linked to them.
For Ehren, the Bank’s Financial Controller, some of the issues were directly linked to Bank’s Finance IT Landscape. They were clearly stated during their last status meeting, which occurred between Finance and IT Dept. after the acquisition day.
1. A persisting need to accommodate additional data sources which created complexity in Bank’s systems.
2. Emerging volumes of manual journals – intercompany reconciliations – which takes time from even the most skilled Finance team to process.
3. The insurance business needs to become IFRS17 compliant by the end of 2022.
4. Complex calculations using data from multiple sources.
5. The demand to deliver FP&A and reduce cost has increased even more after the acquisition.
The cross-departmental team was given a task to respond to those issues quickly and most likely using already given resources. Luckily, there were still some options left in Aptitude Accounting Hub –software that was implemented by the bank a year ago and now could be transferred also to a new insurance business to help dealing with the problems.
Ehren was aware that Bank’s financial IT landscape has been evolving lately and it currently involves many disparate systems running on outdated technologies. Yet, she has been under pressure to meet reporting requirements while reducing costs. And the key to this is high-quality granular data.
She also struggled with limited time to complete month- ends due to limited resources in her team. Aligning data between different systems required a lot of effort and time and involved a great deal of manual work to go around the processes.
Fortunately, some of these problems have already been addressed. Using Aptitude’s Accounting Hub capabilities allowed Ehren’s team to respond quickly to changing business needs and opportunities.
Part 2 – the solution that works
One of the advantages was that Aptitude Accounting Hub had capabilities to ingest, store and maintain client’s key reference data as well as internal config data to define key system behaviour. Typically Bank’s finance data was spread across a myriad of systems. It resulted in data being often unsynchronized which led to validation failures in downstream systems.
Normally, Ehren and her team were spending a large portion of her time correcting issues, chasing down the root causes, getting systems updated and new data resent.
However, with the implementation of AAH she had the following options:
1. If she was confident that the new data feed was imminent, Ehren could choose Aptitude Accounting Hub to automatically re-submit errors, so the previously failed records were resent without further intervention.
2. If there was pressure to save time at the month-end, Ehren could update the reference state directly in the hub and provide a full audit trail. This would mean she didn’t need to rely on upstream systems anymore and she could resolve the cases much quicker. And it could be done with any kind of data stored in AAH – either reference data or configuration data.
Another improvement in her work she enjoyed was migrating all data screens into a new angular framework. Thanks to that she experienced:
– Better portfolio alignment, which means that access to the modules was available quicker.
– More security against malicious threats (highly important since Bank was using the SaaS model here).
– Much improved UX – all her team members could freely tailor their screens to their needs and allow greater levels of control on how information is displayed.
– Finally, the great feature was infinite scrolling – which meant no more page number clicking when working with a large number of records.
Part 3 – let’s discuss it more strategically, shall we?
All those things made an impact, especially during stressful month-ends. Previously, working on different data in myriads of different systems required making changes in data, uploading it to other systems and solving problems that appear in the process.
Today, thanks to Aptitude’s Accounting Hub functionalities, the typical process look much different:
– Ehren makes changes in associated account data
– The updated records are saved and already visible to Ehren with the status “waiting for approval”
– David, as the person authorized to approvals, grants it and the records are updated.
Every time data governance is maintained and Ehren doesn’t have to wait for the “golden source” to process the data.
Thanks to all these improvements Ehren can engage in much more meaningful conversations around financial planning – a subject she has always wanted to have more time for. Apparently, according to Accenture’s report Intelligent Finance Operations: The CFO’s most powerful asset, 99% of CFOs wants to use real-time data to navigate risks but only 16% says they tap data at the needed scale. It was about time for Ehren and her team to get out of this 16%…
Are you interested to learn more about equipping your finance team with Aptitude Products? Or would you like to know more about FIIT Consulting finance transformation experiences? Feel free to reach out to us via: https://fiit-consulting.com/contact/