Ventana Research announced today its latest Dynamic Insights market research program on the Financial Close. Completing the accounting close quickly has long been an objective for finance departments. A faster close enables them to respond more rapidly to changing business and economic conditions, providing more time to analyze results, address costs and free up personnel for other duties. However, in more than a decade of tracking this metric our research has found slow progress in departments’ performance.
Ventana Research’s Dynamic Insights cover a range of important business topics, collecting data about how companies perform core processes. Uniquely, Dynamic Insights provide the individual participants with direct feedback on responses to a concise set of questions they answer, and a benchmarked score based on those answers. Based on their responses research participants receive a written assessment of his or her company’s efforts as well as research- and experience-based advice on potential next steps to improve outcomes.
Our research on the accounting close has consistently shown that companies with very similar characteristics (measured in terms of revenue, number of employees, location and industry) vary considerably in the number of days it takes them to complete their accounting cycle. The lack of connection between the structural conditions of a corporation and the time it takes to close the books suggests that the obstacles to a faster close are not innate, but the result of poor process design and execution, insufficient automation of the process as well as choices made by finance executives. One of those choices is deciding — for whatever reason — not to close sooner.
“Today, a growing array of tools and techniques are available to enhance the effectiveness of the analytics used by finance organizations, but we find that most corporations stick to the systems and approaches they have always used,” notes Robert Kugel, SVP & Research Director at Ventana Research. “Finance professionals continue to rely on desktop spreadsheets and they continue to use them inappropriately, even when there are practical, affordable alternatives. Dynamic Insights provide individuals with fast and useful feedback on how their company is performing and recommendations on what to do next.”
To learn more about the Ventana Research Dynamic Insights, visit: https://www.ventanaresearch.com/dynamic-insights
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