Life in the finance department can be taxing, especially during the monthly, quarterly and year-end financial close. Workflows that are managed off-line in various disconnected desktop solutions make it difficult to accurately assess the current status of the close. This leads to many endless evenings and frantic calls when the systems fail and the completion of the close is at risk.
“Working late nights and weekends meant I missed out on holiday dinners and kids’ soccer games,” said Amir Jafari, Vice President and General Manager of the Finance Business Unit for ServiceNow™.
A chaotic close has a negative ripple effect, slowing many finance-related workflows, Jafari noted. “And finance teams are even invisible to each other. The right hand often doesn’t know what the left hand is doing — or what remains to be done to complete the cycle.”
The fact that many organizations rely on antiquated reporting systems and processes compounds the challenge. Often, the finance team ends up pulling data from one system, reformatting and entering it into another system to provide a patched single source of the truth.
The result: the finance team would pull a “vanishing act” as they scrambled to prepare quarter-end financial statements for stockholders, SEC regulators, and management teams.
How to Give Accountants their Lives Back
Modern finance organizations leverage a digital workflow technology platform to improve not only business processes but also to restore balance between an accountant’s work and home life for a better professional experience.
Born out of Jafari’s desire to improve the professional and personal lives of the accounting team, ServiceNow built its Financial Close Automation. The results:
- Saved an average of 551 hours during the month-end close process.
- Achieved a 13% increase in month-end close efficiency.
- Shifted the equivalent of 3.7 full-time employees from manual tasks to more strategic activities.
“But more importantly, my finance team is much, much happier,” Jafari said. “And the days of disappearing into the darkness of the close cycle are finally, officially over.”
Learn more about ServiceNow’s latest innovations here.