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Workday and the Digital Transformation of Finance

Turning forensic investigators into an intelligence service

Traditionally Finance Departments and their supporting back office systems have been dominated by operational processing demands. Accounts receivables and payables officers are turning over high volumes of transactions while accountants forensically examine and adjust detail at the end of each month to ensure compliance and controls are met, and ledgers balance.

By turning traditional code combination driven processing on its head through the automation of account posting rules and compliance based business processes, Workday Financials can liberate highly skilled Financial staff from the darkness of operational activity into the light of real time trend analysis and the provision of a vital business intelligence service to the whole company. Freed from back office constraints and tabular systems, Workday propels the intelligent Finance function to centre stage.

The future of the company Finance function will not be buried at the bottom of a spreadsheet or be a reporting function on the current health of the business. Instead the Accountants in the business are being asked to lead the future direction of the business and will need technology to deliver the insights and consistency of data that creates business agility and stability.

So how does Workday enable the accountants to emerge from old processes and ledger based systems, to deliver this intelligence service?Deploying Workday technology can help turn the traditional financial operating model on its head. The key is the pivotal and powerful Account Posting Rule Set in Workday Financials. By spending time up front in the deployment process defining the accounting rules which govern where in the Ledger a transaction will post, accountants and finance department staff are forever freed from the unnecessary journaling and corrections of transactions into the correct account.

Technology is only one aspect of the transformation from CSI to MI5. The deployment approach plays an equally important part. Workday methodology is an agile and iterative method where the user community has early and frequent access to the prototyped solution. This is especially key in Financials where often potential issues with a solution are flushed out only in processes run only periodically, month and period end for example.  In more traditional waterfall approaches to deployment, the project (and funding of it) are often well advanced by the time potential issues with the design are highlighted as part of user acceptance testing.

The journey from forensic function to intelligence service is revolutionary, and it’s only the beginning. As robotic processing and machine learning technologies are adopted the Finance function will shift into yet another gear. But only if it’s ready. The time to transform is upon us and we are effecting exciting, fundamental change with our customers through Workday Financials deployments. Together we shift the technology, we shift the thinking and we shift Finance into the future.

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