What Is Financial Management Software?
Financial management software solutions allow organizations to more effectively and accurately control and manage financial operations throughout the entire business – including across multiple companies, subsidiaries, divisions, countries, and sites. With powerful features and functionality, financial management systems dramatically streamline and enhance the way vital financial data is collected, processed, stored, accessed, and presented to users within and beyond the enterprise.
Key Benefits for Your Company
A financial management software package can deliver significant value and rapid return on investment. Some of the primary benefits include the ability to:
- Create process consistency across the entire enterprise.
- Align financial information across departments, business units, and remote offices for complete global visibility into financial status and activities.
- Build a solid compliance framework that ensures adherence to regulatory laws and guidelines through increased speed and integrity of financial reporting.
- Uncover and manage risk through improved control and auditing.
- Identify and leverage new revenue opportunities through in-depth strategic analysis.
- Does My Company Need Financial Management Software?
- Every company in every industry can benefit greatly from a financial management software package.
- Not only will financial management software help improve the way critical financial-related processes are managed across the entire business – resulting in increased efficiency and smoother execution of core business operations on a global scale – it can help companies avoid the risks and severe penalties associated with non-compliance with financial reporting laws and guidelines.
Common Financial Management Software Features
The financial management software packages on the market today provide a broad range of capabilities designed to dramatically enhance global financial operations. Most available offerings provide support for:
- General accounting procedures. With financial management software, organizations can fully automate and improve the way they execute, manage and monitor their core accounting operations, such as accounts receivable, accounts payable, cash flow, and general ledger.
- Global financial processes. Financial management applications enable companies to effectively conduct business – and manage all associated financial tasks and activities – at locations across the world. Features span international markets with support for multiple currencies and conversions, languages, country-specific laws and guidelines, and multi-national transactions.
- Forecasting. The ability to predict vital financial activities such as income, revenues, and expenses is crucial to accurate and effective strategic planning. Financial management solutions enable companies to leverage historical data about financial transactions to forecast and plan for the future.
- Cash flow tracking. In global organizations, it may be difficult to monitor income as it comes into different entities and business units, and track funds as they move between and out of various locations and divisions. Financial management streamlines consolidations, allocations, budgets, and other financial activities across an entire enterprise, providing complete, real-time visibility into cash flow transactions and status at all times.
- Reporting. Financial management software packages provide the ability to generate complete balance sheets, profit and loss statements, and other standard financial reports required for regulatory compliance. Additionally, many of them offer ad hoc analysis capabilities, so financial professionals can easily satisfy their own unique information needs.
What to Look for When Choosing a Financial Management Software Package
Financial activities often serve as the “hub” of business operations, particularly in organizations that operate on a global scale. Therefore, the seamless sharing of vital information across departments, business units, and locations is crucial to ensuring smooth, problem-free transactions. The financial management software package you choose must tightly integrate with other business systems across your company. This is particularly important for multi-national companies that typically maintain disparate applications and databases that reside at different locations in several different countries. For example, your financial management software must link directly to your inventory management and supply chain systems, to ensure that sufficient stock levels are kept to meet all demands. And, it should tie into sales force automation systems to guarantee accurate and timely collaboration on forecasts.
The integrity of confidential financial data should be of the utmost concern when choosing a financial management software application. The system you select should provide numerous integrated security controls – such as firewalls if it is Web-based, and multiple levels of password protection – to ensure that information is kept secure from unauthorized access at all times.