IBM Unveils New Financial Management Tool to Help Companies Analyze and Improve Finance Effectiveness
analytical financial transformation tool to help companies more effectively
analyze and manage the performance of a company’s finance function.
Developed by IBM Research in conjunction with IBM Global Business Services,
the Finance Transformation Workbench tool (patent pending) uses advanced
IBM patented software and service methodologies to help Chief Financial
Officers and other senior finance executives identify underperforming
finance functions within their company and identify new opportunities to
transform and improve the finance function.
Analysis has shown that traditional methods that companies employ to
improve their finance functions are often lacking in their ability to
effectively and accurately identify exactly where pain points and
redundancies occur within the finance organization. Finance functions need
to have access to key metrics and benchmarks in order for companies to gain
optimal financial performance. CFOs and other senior finance executives
need to have simple and standardized finance processes to make fact-based
decisions reduce finance costs and effectively partner with business units
to enhance growth opportunities through integrated reporting and analytical
According to the recent 2008 IBM Global CFO Study, one-third of CFOs and
senior finance executives stated they are ineffective at measuring and
monitoring business performance. The study of 1,200 CFOs suggests that
current financial management models lack the effectiveness and flexibility
to accommodate the needs of global enterprises. The Financial
Transformation Workbench tool has been designed to address the CFO agenda
and help improve effectiveness of the finance function.
“CFOs need quick access to the truth, they need process and data
commonality through enterprise standards to achieve higher levels of
efficacy,” said William Fuessler, Global Financial Management Leader, IBM
Global Business Services. “The delay in understanding the true state of
the business can mean the difference between profitability and lost growth
potential. The Finance Transformation Workbench tool is yet another example
of IBM’s high-value services proposition which automates labor-based
process and uses our Intellectual Property (IP) to create repeatable
IBM’s Financial Management practice part of IBM Global Business Services,
developed the Finance Transformation Workbench tool to help company’s
address key challenges in financial processes and data collection. By using
this tool, companies can diagnose and develop specific opportunities to
improve an organization’s finance function and ultimately the performance
of the overall company. CFOs can examine which finance functions and
components are underperforming in comparison to industry benchmark measures
and the reasons why they are not performing effectively.
Specifically, the Finance Workbench tool can:
-- Analyze business performance -- Identify underperforming finance functions and components -- Identify transformation opportunities -- Assess the business value of finance function transformation initiatives -- Visualize linkages to various enterprise models -- Pre-populate finance function benchmark data and process taxonomies -- Leverage Finance Function best practices and methodologies -- Focus on increasing revenues and reducing costs
From an organizational and financial systems perspective, by investigating
the organizational responsibilities and IT application portfolio in
relation to business components, shortfalls such as duplications,
over-extensions, gaps and deficiencies can be identified. Using this tool,
specific solutions can be discovered to address the identified shortfalls.
Financial benefits of implementing specific solutions can be analyzed
further by conducting a business case analysis. The Finance Workbench
dramatically improves the ability, accuracy and speed with which an
organization can do this.
The Finance Transformation Workbench tool provides an integrated and
seamless view of various business models and financial data. These models
which are all linked together include: Finance Function component business
models, business process Taxonomies, (such as the American Productivity and
Quality Council Process Classification Framework) and organization
structure maps. The tool embodies a method for conducting this functional
analysis using a structured framework and approach to generate valuable and
actionable insights to finance executives. The tool is scalable and
customizable to an organizations needs.
This Finance Transformation Workbench tool underscores the future of IBM’s
services business. The services model of the future includes analytical
software coupled with high-value consulting services and world-class
research underpinning it. The future of services is about providing high
value services through the application of Intellectual Property assets in
an efficient, consistent and repeatable fashion. Software plays an
increasingly important role in the provision of consulting services, and
this tool supports IBM’s strategy to provide high value Financial
Management Consulting services for our clients in an efficient and
consistently effective manner.
For more information visit www.ibm.com.
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