Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) technologies are offering new levels of automation and intelligence in the Office of Finance. These technologies are underpinning many digital transformation efforts in finance and accounting. For RPA, which is all about eliminating tedious repetitive manual tasks, most growth has come from shared services centers implementing RPA solutions to support transaction processing, such as:
About 20 years ago my mentor and former boss, Richard Creeth, was introduced to a new company called OutlookSoft that had developed a corporate performance management (CPM) product called Everest on top of Microsoft SQL Server and Analysis Services. Richard was well-known back then as an industry analyst and co-author of the OLAP Report and up-and-coming vendors were eager to court his good opinion. Richard was also the principal of a boutique consulting firm that specialized in financial reporting, consolidations and planning which QueBIT acquired in 2008.
Once upon a time Oracle’s Hyperion EPM (Enterprise Performance Management) solution, built on the Essbase platform, was the market leader for everything “FP&A” (Financial Planning & Analysis) from the annual budget to the rolling forecast, profitability analysis and everything in-between.
Workday Adaptive Planning OfficeConnect makes it easy to develop packets of professional financial reports that need to meet strict layout and display requirements. Using OfficeConnect we’re able to take advantage of all that Microsoft Excel has to offer with layout, design, charting and calculations without giving up the single source of the truth that the Workday Adaptive Planning system provides. However, this only meets a portion of business requirement when it comes to enabling the business to deliver the organized data in a timely and consistent manner. For those who are actively planning and forecasting, a real-time connected web portal such as Workday Adaptive Planning is the right place to be. For those who consume portions of this data on a semi-regular basis, such as the traveling salesperson or branch manager, the requirement is often an email, likely containing a file or printout. The goal is simple: to provide a professional and personalized report to an end user on a scheduled basis without any manual labor, user interaction, or training of a system that is not necessary for that person to do their job. ReportWORQ was built for this purpose.
In a previous blog post, we strongly encouraged customers who currently use Perspectives for their Planning Analytics & TM1 Excel reporting to consider making plans to switch to the newer Planning Analytics for Excel add-in (“PAfE” for short, previously called “PAx”). PAfE is designed to support the future of Planning Analytics Excel reporting, and offers new reporting options, like Quick Reports, which are not available in Perspectives.
These words are being written in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. Businesses, faced with unprecedented uncertainty, are asking questions such as:
COVID-19 is a 'black swan' event. The pandemic is world changing; old models and old datasets aren’t going to directly apply for quite a while. You will need to rely on human expert analysis of all the complicated legal and emotional factors that are influencing the different markets.
If you have ever worked late on an Excel analysis that required extensive data manipulation or mappings and wondered “could there be a better way?”, then this blog post is for you.