Business Intelligence for Finance


As an everyday citizen, there’s a time of year that is filled to the brim with stress and unpleasantness: tax season. Analyzing a year's worth of finances, expenses, and revenue can be tough for the single person, couple, or family.

It involves a structured organization and a basic knowledge of numbers and law. Now, imagine instead of an average four-person household, you have a multi-million dollar revenue business and over 80 employees to manage. And that’s just a mid-sized company.

Let’s just say that while tax season is busy, it’s also managing the workload throughout the year to ensure smooth sailing come April. Client payments, employees’ salaries, expense reports, differentiating hourly rates, revenue, and of course staying in the green for a profitable year are among the massive task list a financial department must overlook.

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Most Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are ideal solutions for a financial department due to its automation and capacity to connect to third-party applications designed for finance.

However, like many things in life, it can sometimes have limitations in how specific data is analyzed and reported. But if an ERP is faced with certain restrictions, how can a financial department hope to maintain accurate numbers?

Easy. A business intelligence (BI) platform.

Eliminate Spreadsheets

Whether you're the Chief Financial Officer, a financial controller, or an accountant, you've likely mastered Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. However, this relationship can often be contentious. While manageable in small setups, spreadsheets become cumbersome in medium to large-sized businesses. Managing finances, accounts, expenses, employees, clients, and invoices for over 40 employees using spreadsheets can quickly become complex. 

Tools like the Data Exporter, facilitating saved searches from NetSuite to Google Sheets, are invaluable. Take your saved searches from NetSuite and easily export them to Google Sheets, where you can leverage colorful charts, custom filters & formulas, pivot tables, and private sharing with your clients, partners, and shareholders.

Optimizing Financial Operations

The Profit Margin

Whether you are selling products or services, the ultimate goal is to stay profitable. This applies whether you're managing inventory or delivering services. For service-based companies, maintaining a healthy profit margin is paramount.

Apart from revenue, service companies measure success through project profitability. If costs exceed earnings on a project, it's a warning sign. Consider a scenario where a client pays $200.00 per hour for on-premise work in New York. If expenses like travel, salaries, and overtime surpass this, profitability is at risk.

The challenge lies in accurately assessing profitability. While ERPs and spreadsheets track this, manual processes invite errors and hinder data analysis.

Month's End

Month-end reporting is a dreaded task, especially for finance teams. Despite seeming like ample time, the reality is a constant struggle for time.

For small to medium private companies, it can take up to 20 days post-month-end to gather accurate data. Public companies might close reports within a week.

Manual processes for month-end close and report dissemination burden finance departments. Tax season adds to the workload, with audits, engagement reviews, and tax returns making March and April overwhelming.

Launching BI for Finance

A Business Intelligence (BI) tool often remains hidden behind spreadsheets, which serve a purpose that is rarely replaced. Just as an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system streamlines spreadsheet usage, business intelligence simplifies the required data reports.

Ensuring Financial Health

Staying in the green is at the core of the finance department. BI aids in forecasting, supply chain management, and financial reporting, ensuring optimal inventory levels and financial stability.

Streamlining Tax Season

Business intelligence for finance is invaluable during tax season. The heavy data requirements during this time often necessitate manual review and meticulous data analysis. BI software alleviates stress, helps track data accurately, and minimizes the risk of errors.

Investing in Stress Alleviation

As the core of a company, the finance department shoulders significant responsibilities. Investing in BI software can alleviate stress, streamline data management, and ensure accuracy, helping accounts stay on top of their game without mistakes.

Empowering Finance with Data Manipulation

A business intelligence platform can manipulate vast data sets within a data warehouse, crucial for finance dealing with massive data volumes. This is especially true for service companies managing time entries.

Revolutionizing Product-Based Companies

For product-based companies, a BI tool brings unparalleled allure to the table. While an ERP handles inventory, Work in Progress (WIP), and warehousing, BI takes it further with forecasting on products, supply chain management, and warehousing, enabling companies to predict inventory levels accurately.

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