“If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It”: One of the Many Excuses for Sticking with an Outdated Consolidation System

To say that consolidation has become more complicated over the recent years would be a major understatement. Finance teams are now pressured for faster, more detailed consolidated reporting – even as businesses have become more complex and global and compliance requirements have become more rigorous.

Yet, 45% of finance teams surveyed are using consolidation systems that are more than eight years old.

The Devil You Know…
Outdated consolidation systems, often held together with Band-Aids and manual workarounds; compromise true visibility into company performance, or easy access to the information to provide valuable business insights for decision-making. And then there are the hours (or days) required for manual entries and adjustments, reviews and approvals, and the updating of countless spreadsheets, documents and presentations with the most recent information. This last mile often results in a lack of data consistency and high risk of error that is inherent in manual processes.


In December 2017, we conducted a survey of more than 100 finance executives and professionals to get a broader understanding the consolidation challenges faced by finance teams today and the obstacles standing in the way of change. For us, one of the more alarming takeaways from the results is that only 6% of respondents said they are happy with their current consolidation system. So, it is time for finance to realize that the idiom “the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know” does not apply to financial consolidation and reporting.

consolidation survey results
The reasons behind this rampant dissatisfaction ranged from high maintenance costs and difficult and time-consuming upgrades, to lack of automation, difficulty in managing complex corporate structures, cumbersome user interfaces, and heavy reliance on IT for scripting and calculation maintenance. This shows that while they can the job done with their existing solution, they are not happy with the time and effort involved.


Willing to Pay More For Less
Another interesting takeaway is the willingness of many respondents to live with the challenges of an outdated consolidation system despite increasing maintenance costs and decreasing vendor support and enhancements. Two reasons respondents cited for staying with the status quo was a lack of budget and the assumption that moving to a new system would be too daunting in terms of time and cost.


The “Wish List”
We asked survey respondents to tell us the features they’d most like to have in a consolidation system. At the top of this list were:

  1. Better data visualization
  2. Self-service reporting and drag-and-drop dashboards
  3. Automated intercompany reconciliation
  4. Faster close
  5. Ability to do planning and forecasting in the same solution


Other ‘wishes’ include friendlier user interfaces, more collaboration and workflow; better integration with source systems; incorporating non-financial data for analysis and decision-making, more built-in financial functions, and minimizing IT support.


Do You Agree With Your Peers?
And what about you, if you had a “magic wand” what improvements would you make to your consolidation solution? If you were to make the move to a new consolidation solution, would you also opt for the cloud?


Our e-book, “The Five Requirements of Every Modern-Day Consolidation System,” can help you evaluate your current solution as well as the functionality of other solutions. You can also review the results of our consolidation survey to see how your organization compares by downloading our just-published white paper “STATE OF THE FINANCIAL CONSOLIDATION NATION - 6 Red Flags Your Legacy Financial Consolidation System is Ready for Retirement”.

Also, check out our website to discover more about CCH Tagetik Consolidation and video testimonials of customers who have made the move to modernize their financial consolidation process.

consolidation survey results

consolidation survey results

consolidation survey results

Don’t forget to download our latest white paper "STATE OF THE FINANCIAL CONSOLIDATION NATION"!

DOWNLOAD HERE!

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