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Quality matters! BOARD receives the Swiss Made Certificate

9 August 2017

By Pietro Ferrari, CTO, BOARD International

In this era of globalization and 7X24 software development teams scattered around the world, it’s hard to tell where your software comes from and to what degree quality control has been applied before its release.  Many very large IT vendors outsource most of their development to teams that only need Internet connectivity to contribute.

While those practices certainly drive down overhead for a vendor (usually a mega-vendor), and boost productivity when the sun never sets on iterative software development, they also increase the potential for bugs and errors in new releases that are often only discovered after customers complain.  Sometimes directions and expectations between teams can simply get “lost in translation.”

But development performed entirely by teams in the same country or who speak the same language guards against those dangers. That is what BOARD International has practiced since our founding more than two decades ago, and we are extremely proud to carry the “Swiss-Made Software” certification brand on the BOARD Platform and all related software and services at customer sites around the globe.

The Swiss-Made brand certified BOARD has proven that its software production processes are carried out entirely in Switzerland.  Moreover, the Swiss-Made brand stands for such Swiss values as innovation, quality, reliability and precision, all crucial factors in software development.

While Switzerland usually brings to mind superior chocolate, watches and banking services, the country also is home to the world-renown physics labs of CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research), ubiquitous products like Velcro, and even Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, which he developed in Bern.

We at BOARD are equally proud of the innovation, quality, reliability and precision built into the BOARD decision-making platform, which blends forecasting and planning analytics with BI reporting in a zero-coding, drag and drop environment for rapid development and management of BI and Performance Management applications.  The singular BOARD platform architecture is available as a Platform as a Service or on-premises offering.

Thanks to its programming-free toolkit approach, global enterprises such as H&M, KPMG, DHL, Mitsubishi, NEC, Puma, Rolls-Royce, Siemens, Toyota have rapidly deployed end-to end decision-making applications in a fraction of the time and cost associated with traditional solutions.

 


PwC Predicts the Future of the Finance Function

18 July 2017

By Daniel Phillips, Marketing Manager, BOARD UK

As business finance functions face pressure to deal with a growing array of data sources, it becomes increasingly clear that spreadsheet-based consolidation, reporting and forecasting can no longer keep up with the pace of change. While spreadsheets are obviously going nowhere fast (recent research by financial modelling firm F1F9 suggests 71% of large British businesses use spreadsheets to make key financial decisions), the question of how to maximise the effectiveness of the modern finance function remains, when exports and comparisons of data from different systems clearly still play a huge part in their activities.

BOARD and PwC recently came together to explore just that, delivering a two-hour breakfast briefing at The Brewery in London entitled “The Future of Frazzled Finance Teams”, attended by over 80 finance professionals. Featuring keynotes from PwC, ZF, Calvin Capital and BOARD, the event explored the ways in which finance departments are dealing with an increasingly demanding and data-driven environment.

Technological advancement in the office of finance

Unsurprisingly one of the key themes to emerge from the morning was that of upgrading finance technology. In a benchmarking survey by PwC, 56% of respondents felt improvements in finance technology would make finance processes more effective. In a similar vein, PwC shared the fact that it regularly sees over 40% of time spent on waste and activities that could be automated in relation to billing and management reporting. Both of these statistics are indicators that the future of the finance function lies in greater, more effective use of technology.

‘When’ not ‘what’

When the word ‘automation’ is mentioned, there’s an assumption this will mean a negative effect on human job roles, but the reality is far from this. In PwC’s survey, regular activities such as billing, management reporting, budgeting and forecasting are rated amongst the top tasks which could benefit from an automated approach, freeing up time and enabling staff to perform more value-added activities, in turn increasing efficiency and productivity.

With the tools already available in the marketplace to support this step change in process efficiency, it seems more a question of ‘when’ rather than ‘what will things look like’. BOARD offers companies the capability to perform financial consolidations, produce budgets/forecasts and deliver management reporting packs with just a few clicks, and more than 3000 organisations worldwide are already benefiting from being more financially and operationally efficient.

Take the journey

In PwC’s experience, the move to a more future-proofed finance function is a journey. Establishing good financial processes, underpinned by a robust business solution, can do wonders for your organisation.
If this blog has peaked your interest in taking your first steps, take a look at the event overview video below to get a feel for how things went on the day, check out our Events page for more upcoming sessions, or request a free BOARD demo for a demonstration of our capabilities. Change could be easier than you think.

 

 


As a CFO, how do you keep up with all the technology changes?

5 July 2017

By Mark Sands, General Manager, Asia Pacific for BOARD International

If you don’t stay on top of disruptive technologies, there is a good chance your company may experience loss of profit… and possibly even demise in the long term.

Harsh, but studies say it’s true.

A recent Robert Half Management Resources Survey found that 41% of CFOs believe staying current with changing technology is the greatest pressure their accounting and finance teams face. Technology changes were considered more important than regulatory compliance (24%), harnessing/managing big data (17%), and finding and keeping skilled staff (16%).

The survey conducted interviews with more than 2,200 CFOs at companies in more than 20 of the largest US markets. CFOs were asked: “in general, what would you say is the single greatest pressure facing your accounting and finance function?” Thus, it was revealed that CFOs find it hard to keep pace with current technology and the opportunities, as well as the associated risk.

This article will focus on the stress experienced by CFO’s in keeping up with all the tech changes – and how a one stop software solution can help to eradicate those concerns.

Yes – updating technology requires an initial investment of time and resources, but it can pay off in terms of improved financial reporting, enhanced security and the ability to make better decisions. Organisations can harness data that generates transformational insights, all the while strengthening internal controls and remaining compliant with regulatory mandates.

Adding to the pressure on CFOs are the scope and sheer number of technologies the finance function must now handle: ERP, data-mining tools, BI software, and data security platforms. CFOs and their teams need to be across everything from Microsoft Excel to Access, Hyperion and QuickBooks.

Exacerbating the challenge are the growing number of cyber-security threats and the increasing menu of technology choices and challenges created by scattered cloud-based hosting and software-as-a-service options.

But what if that all came in one secure, integrated, stress-free package?

Reaching enterprise financial goals is very difficult without a flexible plan for how you’re going to get there. Business needs change, and BOARD supports that process without locking CFOs  into complex technologies that require specialised skillsets or take too long and cost too much to maintain.

CFOs must understand what technology can really do – not necessarily from a user perspective but certainly how the technology affects the financial function and the business overall.

Even if you already have tools that do that, it’s likely, they’re not well integrated, if at all.

Nowadays, you can find plenty of point solutions for data visualisation, data discovery, planning, forecasting and advanced analytics, but when it comes to making decisions you would need all of them perfectly integrated and able to share the same metrics, the same data, the same view of customers, products and markets to make sense.

With BOARD, you can analyse, simulate, plan and predict in a single platform. Think a self-service data-discovery environment that enables you to easily search for information, interact intuitively with your data, and perform in-depth analyses with the utmost simplicity. The programming-free approach empowers business users to rapidly develop and maintain sophisticated analytical and planning applications with minimal IT Support.

BOARD is the only software platform that seamlessly unifies Business Intelligence, Performance Management, Analytics and Data Discovery in a single product.

To find out why the BARC Planning Survey 2016 positions BOARD as a leader across a wide range of categories and way ahead of all our main competitors – and what that leadership can do for you, download the document at this link:

>>> Barc Planning Survey 2016

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