INDUSTRY OUTLOOK APRIL Enterprise Performance Management

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1 INDUSTRY OUTLOOK APRIL 2013 Enterprise Performance Management

2 Chief financial officers must address a growing list of modern business imperatives, and EPM can help. Business today is moving at light speed. At the same time, organizations are governed by stricter regulations requiring more stringent compliance. This creates a demand for more informed decision-making and faster turnaround times in an environment of greatly increased risk. For that reason, Chief Financial Officers these days are expected to take on more than their traditional share of responsibility and accountability in the corporate hierarchy. Over and above their traditional roles in finance and transaction processing, CFOs are now being looked to as enterprise change agents and advisors to top management. To aid in these added responsibilities, CFOs need standardized, enterprisewide data to make more accurate and faster decisions. Technology the right kind of technology can help. The spreadsheet, the traditional tool still widely used in offices of finance the world over, is clearly narrow in focus and severely limited in functionality. ERP systems are effective but, in terms of data consolidation, unwieldy and incomplete. This puts a spotlight on Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) applications and processes. EPM offers the promise of effective information management, performance measurement and business optimization. CFOs can leverage EPM to standardize and optimize their organizations from the inside out, and at the same time help differentiate their organizations from their competitors. CFOs are the ones who need to drive the adoption of EPM processes and technology. And many are beginning to realize that. In a survey last year, research firm Gartner found that nearly two-thirds of CFOs were planning upgrades to their business intelligence, analytics and performance management technologies. 1 PRESSURE ZONES CFOs are under increasing pressure in specific financial areas. One of the many critical ones is the financial close. Due to the global, round-the-clock nature of business today, there is an increasing demand for shorter, error-free close periods. In fact, The Data Directive, Economist Intelligence Unit survey, 2013, commissioned by Wipro Technologies, found that improvement in financial close management was rated among the top two process areas for which CFOs say data creates a clear positive difference. 2 Again, in a recent survey of CFOs regarding the financial close process, Ventana Research, a research and advisory firm, found that completing the accounting cycle quickly and accurately is a good measure of efficiency and more. Companies that 1. Top 10 Findings From Gartner s Financial Executives International CFO Technology Study, John E. Van Decker, Gartner, May 16, The Data Directive: How data is driving corporate strategy and what still lies ahead. Economist intelligence unit survey, 2013, commissioned by Wipro 2 APRIL 2013

3 take six days or fewer after the end of the period to close their monthly, quarterly or semiannual accounts demonstrate a basic level of effectiveness that those that take longer do not, according to Robert Kugel, senior VP of research for Ventana Research. Unfortunately, that kind of financial performance is starting to lag. According to Kugel, companies in general take longer to close today than they did five years ago. 3 Another critical area for CFOs is statutory reporting. Due to burgeoning regulatory and compliance requirements, there are far greater demands for organizational transparency. Those demands as well as the difficulty in addressing them increase in scope depending on the size of the organization, its business model and its global footprint. However, such transparency can be facilitated through standardized compliance reporting methods deployed throughout an organization. A third area of increasing importance is the planning, budgeting and forecasting process. Due to the dynamic nature of business, and the need for agile business models, there are greater demands for flexible budgeting and planning capabilities, incorporating both short-term and long-term driver-based financial planning. Such pinpointed yet flexible budgeting requires tightly integrated financial and operational planning models. EPM technology and processes are designed to address each of these areas of importance. Organizations that have older or under-performing EPM systems will benefit Improvement in financial close management was rated among the top two process areas for which CFOs say data creates a clear positive difference. The Data Directive, Economist Intelligence Unit survey, 2013, commissioned by Wipro Technologies from modernizing and optimizing that technology and those processes to target today s emerging challenges. BEYOND THE SPREADSHEET Most CFOs realize they need more than spreadsheets to handle today s multifaceted business requirements. Yet, there is still a great deal of inertia in connection with upgrading technology and its inherent potential for disruption. An over-reliance on Excel is an obvious problem that a lot of companies create for themselves, says Tanoop Gupta, General Manager and Global Head, Enterprise Performance Management for Wipro Technologies. That s because moving beyond the spreadsheet may involve upsetting traditional, deeply ingrained, dyed-in-the-wool financial processes. Overcoming that over-reliance requires a decision that will affect not only how they use technology, but also some of the processes that are part of their planning, budgeting and forecasting. The advantages offered by EPM applications and processes offset the potential for business disruption. At the same time, that disruption itself may be one of the biggest advantages of EPM. For instance, EPM can help CFOs in their efforts toward faster and more efficient financial closures through standardized financial data and data management processes within organizations, including their subsidiaries. Integration with ERP systems helps with access to financial and nonfinancial data, including details of transactions, and 3. The Financial Close Measures CFO Effectiveness, Ventana Research, July ventanaresearch.com/2012/07/02/the-financial-close-measures-cfo-effectiveness/ 3 APRIL 2013

4 end-user-oriented workflow technology helps facilitate efficient data delivery. Implementing EPM not only aids in collecting and consolidating standardized data, but also helps organizations improve the way they go about their consolidations. A typical EPM engagement in financial consolidation will address the business processes in addition to the technical implementation, says Wipro s Gupta. It also brings up opportunities for improving these business processes, not just of optimizing them in their current setting, and that makes it a far more efficient financial close. EPM can help CFOs in the area of statutory reporting, by providing a sophisticated level of governance, visibility and transparency into the financial close and reporting cycle, enabling CFOs to be confident in the numbers they report to stakeholders. EPM technology supports and incorporates reporting standards such as IFRS and XBRL. By identifying the correct metrics to enable driver-based planning models, EPM helps with establishing effective and efficient planning, budgeting and forecasting activities. EPM also provides much-needed audit trails a feature greatly appreciated by finance executives. Indeed, EPM allows CFOs to approach planning proactively. Any planning, says Prem Swarup, General Manager and Global Head, Business Intelligence for Wipro Technologies. It could be as simple as travel and expenses, or it could be their revenue plan, sales plan, or workforce plan, he says. All of that requires certain budgeting, certain planning, and some kind of a forecasting, which can be automated with technology tools. THE MULTINATIONAL CHALLENGE A steady stream of mergers and acquisitions shape and reshape the outlines of the modern business environment. And that process shows no signs of abating. Experts say to look for cash-rich American companies to boost M&A activities this year. 4 A merger or acquisition presents an immediate challenge in terms of financial reconciliation. There is a certain time period provided by statutory agencies within which the merged entity needs to submit its regulatory reporting. Two sets of regulatory reports have to be consolidated and a single, reconciled statutory report needs to be submitted. But the M&A challenges don t end there. Financial systems, processes and tools need to be evaluated, optimized and integrated to facilitate the smooth flow of financial data from the new entity to the acquiring organization as quickly and effectively as possible. Those challenges are even more pronounced when it comes to multinational corporations. Consolidations across different countries are arduous. Budgeting in multiple currencies and then translating that data into a single currency for planning and analysis purposes can be time-intensive. And when it comes to statutory requirements, to be in compliance with foreign regulations regarding, for example, currency translations, is a daunting process that if not handled correctly can result in a worst-case scenario of having to restate financial results. Foreign tax laws are emerging as an area that will require strict oversight and considerable effort. 4. PwC Says Fundamentals Are Strong for U.S. Mergers and Acquisitions Activity in 2013, PwC, December APRIL 2013

5 EPM technology and processes address these challenges. The complicated process An over-reliance on Excel is an obvious problem that a lot of companies create for themselves. Tanoop Gupta, General Manager and Global Head, Enterprise Performance Management, Wipro Technologies of intercompany eliminations is one striking example. If you take massive corporations and you view the number of these intercompany transactions, eliminating each one of those transactions is absolutely vital, otherwise it may result in incorrect numbers being submitted to, for example, the SEC, says Wipro s Gupta. And how that is addressed and how that is handled both from a business process standpoint and from a technical implementation standpoint is another key benefit EPM offers organizations. GREATER RESPONSIBILITIES CFOs are also moving up the organizational responsibility chain, being looked at to provide leadership in areas other than those traditionally assigned to the financial function, such as strategic planning, execution and performance measurement. For instance, there is an increasing need to identify and execute viable and effective strategic plans to enhance an organization s business agility, competitive posture and, ultimately, value. The financial function is in a position to interpret and institutionalize those measures and actions. EPM technology and processes can help in that effort by enabling CFOs to develop realistic strategic plans, measure performance against goals, and monitor the progress of those actions on a regular basis, and then communicate this information across their enterprise. CFOs are also in a strong position to help accomplish two compelling, present-day business imperatives: maximize profitability and enhance cost management. EPM can help CFOs understand cost and profitability beyond the usual lines of business, such as product lines, service areas and customer segments. SUMMARY Financial processes are driven by data, and the quality of that data is of the utmost importance, especially as it relates to the changing role of the finance function in most organizations. EPM technology and processes, in conjunction with business intelligence efforts, can help CFOs maintain a high level of quality regarding their financial data by pointing out where that quality level falls short. According to Wipro s Gupta, When it comes to the data side, where BI gets involved, it is a rare EPM engagement that does not reveal underlying data issues. Business intelligence, analytics and information management technologies are becoming more and more of a priority for today s CFOs because they address many of the areas where financial operations are most vulnerable, and the areas where CFOs increasingly need to focus to help advance their organizations. Savvy CFOs need to champion initiatives to transform their finance functions and enhance their organizations by aligning spending and organizational priorities through the use of these powerful technologies and processes. 5 APRIL 2013

6 ABOUT ANALYTICS AND INFORMATION MANAGEMENT SERVICES Wipro is a leading provider of analytics and information management solutions enabling customers to derive actionable business insights from data to drive growth, enhance cost management and strengthen risk management. Wipro works with customers to develop end-to-end analytics and information strategy, leveraging process assets and solutions based on analytics, business intelligence, enterprise performance management, and information management. For more information, please visit ABOUT WIPRO TECHNOLOGIES Wipro Technologies, the global IT business of Wipro Limited (NYSE:WIT) is a leading information technology, consulting and outsourcing company that delivers solutions to enable its clients to do business better. Wipro Technologies delivers winning business outcomes through its deep industry experience and a 360-degree view of Business through Technology helping clients create successful and adaptive businesses. A company recognized globally for its comprehensive portfolio of services, a practitioner s approach to delivering innovation and an organizationwide commitment to sustainability, Wipro Technologies has 140,000 employees and clients across 54 countries. For more information, please visit 6 Copyright Wipro Technologies 2013

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