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TRG in the Board Room Blog

3 vital functionalities to any financial management software

Posted by Minh Nguyen Quang on

Financial management software is the crucial part of every organisation. It helps them manage and understand every aspects of their business from accounting to project  management and strategic planning. When the financial management system cannot work in a jointed way, it is likely that the consequences will affect the profitability and the success of the organisation.

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 "Get software that enables you, not controls you"

Whether you are deciding to adopt a financial management system or you are already having one, you should consider the three following areas in order to decide if the system could provide you ultimate solutions: reporting, system integration, and functionality.

Reporting ability

Reports! Reports! I need reports! Do you remember how many times you have to repeat this to your accountant at year end, month end or whenever you need reports to back your decision? You know that generating a financial report is not a fun at all. Why is it such a difficult task to do? Think of your current reporting process, the financial information and transactions are recorded in multiple systems. To generate a report, you have to gather data from different systems then extract and analyse the information in a consolidated format. As accounting cycle itself is a very complicated one, it takes hours of working to locate, gather, input, clean and analyse data. These steps often cause data entry errors and nonsensical information. Therefore, the reports you get cannot give you a clear view of the business performance rather than confusing information that is impossible to make any decision out of it.

Solutions:  All you need is a financial software that offers an integrated system which allows you to import and export data quickly. Data will be compiled from a variety of sources/systems and transformed into relevant and complete financial information automatically. It should be easy to use and requires less technical support. Here are some helpful abilities of a financial software that you should look for:

  • Ability to generate quality reports in the real time.
  • Ability to generate different types of reports on demand.
  • Ability to visualise data.
  • Ability to offer what-if analyses.
  • Ability to adapt to changes in business structure, without changing
  • Less support required from IT team.

System integration

Normally, some financial software do not provide all the necessary functions to users. To fix this, users tends to add multiple software applications to create a system that can meet their demands. However, they cannot create a platform that integrates multiple systems. For example, some functional applications like accounting or human resources require different platforms to run and maintain and these platforms need to be purchased. The problem is that these platforms cannot integrate with each other. When you maintain them as separated systems data need to be entered manually into each of them. This is time consuming and costly. More importantly, with these systems you cannot get the right information due to duplication and fragmentation.

Solution: If you cannot adopt a system that offers a wide range of functions, you should look for the one that acts as a single platform which allows different applications to integrate with each other smoothly. In details, a financial software that can merge multiple system should be:

  • A system that can host different applications/systems in a single platform.
  • A system that can integrate data from multiple sources, reduce duplicates and fragmentation.
  • A system that is flexible enough to allow no data to be stored outside of it.
  • A system that can meet requirements of a specific industry.

Functionality

Think about what you want in your financial system, what problems that you are trying to solve and potential issues that you might cope with in the future. Normally, people just care about the systems that can address the current issues and forget about what they might face with in the long run. In addition, these financial systems are offered at a lower price than others and that’s the reasons why so many organisations come up with systems that have limited modules and functions. Traditionally, financial software has basic accounting functionality which reduces the amount of information that could be retrieved and processed by users. That means the attained information could be insufficient, incorrect or fixed. In practice, several companies try to ease the shortage of information input by developing methods to store information outside the main financial systems. This system is normally not fully integrated into the main systems which causes data fluctuation and duplication.

Solution: There are plenty software that are available in the market offering a range of modules and functions. These software are easy to be configured to meet different users’ needs. Some specific features of a full-function financial system:

  • Apart from basic modules such as general ledger, account payable, account receivable and Purchase, it should have functions like Project or Job Costing, Inventory, Assets, Payroll, Human Resources, Financial Reporting.
  • The flexibility to adopt to change in a business model without any impact on the organisational structure, purpose and business model.

Conclusion

When selecting a financial software it is important to consider its technical functions that help enable reporting flexibility and efficiency.The financial software you choose should offer a more complete suite of modules that includes more extensive functionality, and provides open technology for better integration with other systems.

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Topics: Financial management solutions, integration, flexibility, profitability, Data Mining

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