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IBM Unveils New Financial Management Tool to Help Companies Analyze and Improve Finance Effectiveness



2008-07-25 04:04:00

IBM Unveils New Financial Management Tool to Help Companies Analyze and Improve Finance Effectiveness

ARMONK, NY–(EMWNews – July 25, 2008) – IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a unique

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

software-like assets.”

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


--  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.

About IBM

For more information visit

Randy Zane
IBM Media Relations

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