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        Desire to Shorten Accounting Cycle Drives Greater Adoption of Software

        By 2027, half of midsize and larger enterprises will use close management software to speed the close and achieve greater control of the process, a new ISG report finds

        Desire to Shorten Accounting Cycle Drives Greater Adoption of Software
        8:26

        VR_General_FinConClose_2024Demand for financial consolidation and close management software is on the rise as companies face greater regulatory and legal scrutiny and their need for speed and efficiency grows, according to a new research report from leading global technology research and advisory firm Information Services Group (ISG) (Nasdaq: III).

        The ISG Buyers Guides for Financial Consolidation and Close Management, produced by ISG Software Research (formerly Ventana Research), say that consolidation and close management software has improved in recent years, reducing workloads through automation, enhancing ease of use and providing a single work area for staff accountants to reduce administrative overhead.

        ISG Software Research projects that by 2027, half of midsize and larger enterprises will use close management software to speed time to close and achieve greater control of the process.

        For enterprises with especially complex structures and reporting requirements, the ability to consolidate using multiple accounting standards at different levels and branches of the corporate hierarchy requires especially robust software platforms, the report notes.

        “The need to increase the productivity of finance and accounting departments has been driving demand for consolidation and close management software. Over the past decade, applications have become more capable while easier to implement and use,” said Robert Kugel, executive director of Business Research at ISG Software Research. “Midsize and larger enterprises have a wealth of options to choose from to meet their operational needs and budgets. Our rigorous, fact-based assessment gives buyers a starting point for creating a short list of providers for evaluation.”

        The reports note that today’s consolidation and close software offers more effective collaboration features to streamline the close process and ensure resiliency, including secure data sharing as well as centralized document storage for working papers and supporting evidence.

        Most companies agree that organizations should complete the accounting close within a business week. Workflow automation is especially useful in accelerating the close-consolidate-report cycle, specifically to manage the process in a hybrid working environment and for organizations that span the globe, the reports say.

        The reports note that with workflow-enabled processes, administrators spend far less time ensuring individuals have started or completed their tasks, hand-offs are smoother and, where reviews and approvals are required, these events are recorded and easily accessed by external and internal auditors and support attestations that internal controls and procedures have been followed.

        Consolidating and closing the books should be almost exactly the same from one period to the next, including processes for handling exceptions and unexpected events and managing the close calendar. With workflow management, the reports say, the controller and chief accounting officer can spend less time on administration while having greater situational awareness and control.

        Today’s technology also can help finance and accounting executives make their departments more productive, improve the overall working environment, and enhance their ability to attract and retain the best talent in a resource-constrained environment, the reports note.

        Advances provided by artificial intelligence and generative AI will likely make dedicated close management software an even more compelling choice, especially in a time of growing complexity in accounting and the need for increased staff productivity, the reports say. While accounting relies on doing the same things consistently, how they are done is always evolving because of legal and regulatory changes and the constant change in how accounting principles are reflected in processes.

        The ISG Buyers Guides for Financial Consolidation and Close Management evaluate software products based on these capabilities: ownership structures, currency, intercompany management, journals, roll-up structures, multi-GAAP reporting, data validation, collaboration, compliance and auditing, application of AI/Gen AI to processes, reconciliations, process and administration, and analysis and reporting.

        For its 2024 Buyers Guides for Financial Consolidation and Close Management, ISG assessed software providers across three financial consolidation and close categories – Financial Close, Financial Consolidation, and Financial Close and Consolidation – and produced a separate Buyers Guide for each. A total of 21 providers were assessed: BlackLine, Board International, FloQast, Fluence Technologies, IBM, insightsoftware, Infor, Jedox, LucaNet, NetSuite, OneStream, Oracle, Planful, Prophix Software, SAP, Talentia Software, Trintech Adra, Trintech Cadency, Vena Solutions, Wolters Kluwer and Workday.

        ISG Software Research designates the top three software providers as Leaders in each category. For the 2024 study, the leading providers in ranked order are:

        Financial Close: Oracle, BlackLine and SAP

        Financial Consolidation: Oracle, OneStream and SAP

        Financial Close and Consolidation: Oracle, SAP and Board International

        ”The heightened need for efficiency and speed in financial processes require automation and software to achieve accurate results in a timely fashion,” said Mark Smith, partner of Software Research at ISG. “This Buyers Guide is an authoritative tool to best understand, assess, optimize and select the right software providers.”

        The ISG Buyers Guides for Financial Consolidation and Close Management are the distillation of more than a year of market and product research efforts. The research is not sponsored nor influenced by software providers and is conducted solely to help enterprises optimize their business and IT software investments.

        Visit this webpage to learn more about the Buyers Guides for Financial Consolidation and Close Management and read executive summaries of each of the three reports. The complete reports, including provider rankings across seven product and customer experience dimensions and detailed research findings on each provider, are available by contacting ISG Software Research.

        About ISG Software Research

        ISG Software Research, previously Ventana Research, provides authoritative market research and coverage of the business and IT software industry. It distributes research and insights daily through its user community, and provides a portfolio of consulting, advisory, research and education services for enterprises, software and service providers, and investment firms. Its on-demand service provides structured education and advisory support through subject-matter experts. ISG Buyers Guides support the RFI/RFP process and help enterprises evaluate and select software providers through tailored assessment services and the ISG Software Research Value Index methodology. Visit www.ventanaresearch.com for more information and to sign up for free community membership.

        About ISG

        ISG (Information Services Group) (Nasdaq: III) is a leading global technology research and advisory firm. A trusted business partner to more than 900 clients, including more than 75 of the world’s top 100 enterprises, ISG is committed to helping corporations, public sector organizations, and service and technology providers achieve operational excellence and faster growth. The firm specializes in digital transformation services, including AI and automation, cloud and data analytics; sourcing advisory; managed governance and risk services; network carrier services; strategy and operations design; change management; market intelligence and technology research and analysis. Founded in 2006, and based in Stamford, Conn., ISG employs 1,600 digital-ready professionals operating in more than 20 countries—a global team known for its innovative thinking, market influence, deep industry and technology expertise, and world-class research and analytical capabilities based on the industry’s most comprehensive marketplace data. For more information, visit www.isg-one.com.

        Ventana Research

        Ventana Research

        Ventana Research, now part of Information Services Group, provides authoritative market research and coverage on the business and IT aspects of the software industry. We distribute research and insights daily through the Ventana Research community, and provide a portfolio of consulting, advisory, research and education services for enterprises, software and service providers, and investment firms. Sign up for free community membership to receive email notifications on research and insights.



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