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Need an Aspirin for the headache that comes with financial consolidation?

The scenario

Joe took the plunge and began his organic produce business seven years ago. Never in a million years did he anticipate the huge influx in organic demand within the fresh food market. Needless to say his business has skyrocketed. While growth is good, Joe has realised that expansion can get extremely hairy especially when having to deal with the reporting complexity that comes with multiple entities, divisions, business units and cost centres.

In fact it is not long before he discovers that the legacy spreadsheet and standalone accounting applications he currently uses don’t hold a candle to the software solution he requires to do the job quickly and efficiently. Joe’s day soon goes from bad to worse when it becomes clear that most financial consolidation solutions are complicated, expensive and time consuming.  And so the headache sets in.

So can Joe find an Aspirin to relieve his financial consolidation headache woes? Yes he can. Below are some financial consolidation must-haves that in our experience the RollupSheets team believe can cut through all of the pain points Joe is currently experiencing.

Recommended consolidation must-haves:

1)  Keep it simple stupid

Why opt for a seemingly sophisticated but complex system when certain solutions are able to provide all the required financial functionality in a more simplified way. RollupSheets streamlines and simplifies this functionality freeing up Joe to get on with the job of growing organic produce, without the hassle of having to deal with ineffective, complex and time-consuming collating and reporting processes.

2) Opt for home-grown

Having to deal with the reality of international competition and an ever-growing number of organic produce importers on a daily basis, Joe has already decided he will make every effort to source a local solution. And he’s doing the right thing. Opting for an international solution provider not only requires dealing with foreign currencies and time zones, but more importantly does not always provide the development and support turn-around that many smaller local solutions such as RollupSheets have to offer. Going local also means Joe won’t have to join an international queuing system for his development and support requirements.

3) Be hands-on

As an entrepreneur Joe is used to being hands-on and this approach will also serve to benefit him in the financial consolidation space. Here to maximise efficiency and successfully control project scope and cost, Joe will manage his own financial consolidation as opposed to leaving it primarily in the hands of the solution provider. Also advisable is insisting on defining fixed scope, time and the cost of his agreement with the solution provider, and thoroughly investigate their track record before committing.

4) Watch-out for the ‘smoke and mirrors’ approach

While certain solutions often come marketed with all sorts of extras these extras are often realised in the hefty price tag attached. Joe’s business only has budget for the core reporting function and any extras are merely ‘nice to haves’. Joe soon realises that sometimes the more expensive solutions are often just that - more expensive, and not necessarily superior.

5) If it’s simple, it’s self-maintainable

The RollupSheets solution allows Joe the choice to avoid contracting in consultants every time there is a change or scale-up in complexity, size or reporting application, saving him significant time, energy and cost.

6) Think adaptable and accommodating

There’s little doubt Joe’s growth and expansion will continue which means the consolidation solution he opts for should be flexible enough to be scaled according to his growing business requirements. RollupSheets is completely scalable making it the right fit for any growing business.

7) Time is money when it comes to adoption rate

Here, Joe needs to conduct a bit of research to see which solution has the highest adoption rate and how much training his staff may need during and after implementation. As always he is very aware that time equates to money. While certain consolidation solutions can take months to implement, what sets RollupSheets apart is the fact that no matter how large the organisation, the application can be rolled out within a matter of weeks.

8) IT infrastructure – Help or hindrance to the consolidation solution?

Additional resources that may be required to ensure the current IT infrastructure remains compatible with the consolidation solution require additional labour and resources. Joe is determined to keep the internal costs of reporting as low as possible. With RollupSheets this is easily achievable.

So while Joe has much to consider before deciding on a consolidation solution, he ultimately needs to keep in mind that it is the right combination of human skill, experience and technology that will assure success for him and his reporting team.

Author: F.R. (Rhys) Robinson, Ph.D Executive Director: Strategic Partnerships & Marketing for Infinitus Reporting Solutions – Service providers of RollupSheets