Indirect taxes — known variously as sales-and-use, value-added or goods-and-services tax — can get complicated, particularly in countries that have overly complex tax regimes such as Brazil, India and the United States. For example, in the U.S., state and local governments have their own statutes defining which goods are taxed and at what rates, and taxable items and rates change all the time. More recently, compliance has grown more complex with the Supreme Court’s Wayfair decision, which ruled to allow states to impose sales tax collection requirements on remote sellers that exceed a certain threshold, without regard to physical presence in that state. And now, going into 2022, sales-and-use taxes as well as VAT are likely to become more complex, and enforcement is likely to become more stringent in the wake of the pandemic.
Financial consolidation is the process of combining financial data (notably assets, liabilities, income and expenses) from multiple subsidiaries’ general ledgers across an organization for the purpose of creating a parent company report. The current reality for financial consolidation and close processes is that many organizations still rely on manual spreadsheets, which can lead to longer closing periods, errors and confusion. According to SVP & Research Director in the Office of Finance Robert Kugel’s Best Practices, “Finance organizations must apply digital technology to reduce time spent on repetitive tasks to accelerate processes, improve data quality and shift focus to forward-looking analytical work.” Luckily, digital finance software companies have come a long way and now offer a variety of different products to significantly improve Office of Finance operations and workflow.
The annual Ventana Research Digital Leadership Awards recognize organizations and individuals that utilize technology to advance business and IT. The Digital Leadership Awards showcase the professional leadership and their use of business applications or technology that contribute significantly to improved efficiency, productivity and the performance of their organization. This prestigious award recognizes leaders and pioneers who have contributed to their organization’s success and championed improvements across their people, processes, information and technology.
Over the past decade, close-management software has evolved to enable even midsize organizations to streamline department processes, operate in a virtual mode, accelerate the accounting close and reduce staff stress. It’s one step toward continuous accounting, which is defined by Office of Finance Research Director Robert Kugel as an approach to managing transactions recording and accounting that takes advantage of current technology to streamline and restructure the accounting function. In many organizations, accounting remains stuck in the past, failing to use available technology to reduce workloads and accelerate accounting processes. The objective of continuous accounting is to enable the chief financial officer, controller and chief accounting officer to be more effective by automating routine tasks, reducing errors, streamlining workflows and facilitating collaboration. Organizational efficiency and, potentially, accounting staff satisfaction is gained from the reduction of manual, repetitive processes that otherwise require review, sign-off and manual preparation of documented evidence.
Power ON is software designed for organizations to streamline their business planning, budgeting, forecasting, reviewing and reporting, in order to make these processes more effective and accurate. Organizations do a lot of planning: In addition to the budget, they plan headcount, sales, production and their supply chain, as well as other business functions, and traditionally execute this using spreadsheets as they are a familiar tool. However, spreadsheets make it difficult for individuals to plan, especially those in operational roles, and combining a set of spreadsheet-based plans and budgets into an enterprise-wide whole is time consuming and error prone. Power ON addresses the shortcomings of spreadsheet budgeting and planning by enabling executives and managers to work interactively with their models while examining and analyzing historical financial and operational data to better inform their planning decisions. It is designed to streamline planning and budgeting to enable more agile and connected planning. When departments share a common platform, it provides holistic data and analytics so that finance executives can have a comprehensive picture of where the company stands in real time.
A digital finance and accounting organization is one that uses software to enhance efficiency by eliminating manual operations and automating workflows, improving financial data quality. This is especially relevant to small to midsize organizations that need to minimize administrative overhead yet still have financial controls and operational visibility to achieve and sustain profitable growth. A continuous accounting approach can streamline tasks and processes, reducing time spent on repetitive tasks, ensuring data quality and providing a focus on financial outcomes and business performance.