The Host Analytics’ Future of Finance Tour 2016 opened with lots of valuable insights and information from industry experts and Host Analytics executives in New York City on September 22nd.
Attracting more than 100 attendees, including Host Analytics customers, prospective customers, and partners - the first stop of the tour was a great success and set the tone for the cities to follow. Here are some of the highlights.
Moving Finance From Counting to Considering
Host Analytics CMO Ben Plummer kicked off the event with his welcome and keynote session focused on finance transformation. He highlighted the challenges organizations face in navigating the changing business and technology landscape, and what it takes for finance departments to shift their focus from counting and back-office scorekeeping – to considering the possibilities and being a better business partner to management. This includes:
- Automating key processes to eliminate errors, and increase Finance productivity and morale
- Accelerating key processes such as planning and reporting, so you can shift more time to value-added analysis and faster decision-making
- And getting better Alignment across the organization. Making Finance a better business partner by connecting better with operations, aligning financial and operational plans, and helping the lines of business become more successful in achieving their goals.
Creating a Future-Ready Finance Team
Next up was Steve Player, noted author and Program Director for the Beyond Budgeting Roundtable (BBRT) North America. Mr. Player’s session built on the transformational theme of the event, and highlighted the activities that Finance teams should continue doing, stop doing (including “dumb stuff” like rekeying A/P invoices), and start doing. The “start doing” list included modern techniques such as:
- Continuous Monitoring of KPIs
- Driver-based Rolling Forecasts
- Leveraging Big Data
- Scenario Playing
- Moving to Cloud-Based Applications
- Visual Analytics
Mr. Player’s session, as always, was entertaining and informative.
Transforming Finance Panel Discussion
After a lively networking session, the event continued with a customer panel that included Jim Perry, Sr. Manager Finance and Business Intelligence at iCIMS, and Lee Johnston, Sr. Manager FP&A at LT Apparel. During the session, which was led by Host Analytics VP of Product Marketing John O’Rourke, the panelists highlighted the challenges they had and how a cloud-based EPM platform helped them streamline planning and reporting processes, increase Finance productivity, and free up their staff to focus on value-added analysis and decision support activities. The panelists also answered several questions posted by the audience.
Moving to the Digital Controllership
The morning program finished up with a session led by Deloitte, a co-sponsor of the Future of Finance event series. In this session, Managing Director Tom Toppen and Partner Kyle Cheney highlighted the advancements in technology of recent years, and the impacts of the digital economy on individuals (using the example of Fantasy Football) as well as organizations. The disruption caused by technology and digital innovation requires organizations to think and act differently to generate value. Then they reviewed how digital technologies can help organizations accelerate the financial close and reporting process. This included the impacts of Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Cognitive Computing, Visual Analytics, Mobile Platforms and Cloud in the following areas:
- Transaction Processing
- Financial Consolidation
- Financial Close Automation
- Management Reporting
- Financial Reporting
- External Reporting
- Compliance and Governance
The key message was that organizations that do not embrace new technologies and the notion of “digital controllership” will not be efficient or competitive in their markets. Don’t get left behind!
EPM in Action and Getting More From Host Analytics
After lunch and networking, the event broke into two separate tracks. The EPM in Action track included a demonstration of the Host Analytics Cloud-Based Enterprise Performance Platform, a review of an EPM maturing model designed to help organizations elevate their EPM IQ, and a session focused on EPM implementation best practices and case studies.
The other track was designed to help existing customers get more from their Host Analytics implementation. This included a review of advanced features in the platform, a product roadmap session as well as a session focused on the “power of the connected enterprise” with Host Analytics Modeling.
Overall, it was a great day, with lots of valuable insights provided for Host Analytics customers, partners, and those who are considering cloud-based EPM solutions. This was just the first stop in a 9-city tour that runs through the end of October.
To learn more and find out when the Future of Finance tour is coming to a city near you, visit the registration page. We hope to see you on the tour!