The need to up-to-date, integrated information and analytical data is crucial to the success of the organization and certainly to the accountants, auditors, financial investment professionals and finance managers in any enterprise. But, in an age of user and data breaches, the IT team may be hesitant to allow meaningful, flexible access to critical business intelligence.
In order to protect the enterprise, and its interests, the IT team must:
- Ensure compliance with government and industry regulation and internal data governance policies
- Assure data security for proprietary information, personal user data, customer data, etc.
- Provide a dependable, scalable infrastructure and high-performance tools and features
Accountants, finance managers, auditors, financial investment professionals and other financial professionals are also responsible for protecting the enterprise, and its interests. To do so, they must:
- Ensure compliance with government and industry regulation, and internal policies
- Provide predictive analysis and planning information and reporting to ensure consistent results
- Identify problems, opportunities, and risks
- Support sales, new product development, insurance and risk management professionals, and all budget, planning and financial reporting requirements
- Gather, monitor and analyze data for Profit and Loss, Balance Sheets, Cash Flows and other standard reports
The tasks and responsibilities outlined above are just some of the things that IT and finance professionals must do to support the organization and, while these tasks can seem to put IT and financial professionals at cross-purposes, there is really no reason for conflict.
With the right Business Intelligence tools, the enterprise can:
- Integrate data from disparate data sources and present that data in a uniform, mobile environment
- Ensure appropriate data governance and user access and comply with security and data protection guidelines and regulations
- Allow for appropriate business user and professional access in a personalized environment that allows for meaningful views, alerts and reporting to support each business user and professional role and responsibility
- Provide scalable, flexible BI tools that will support growth and change in the enterprise
- Support the enterprise with mobile, browser-based tools that are accessible from anywhere and will encourage collaboration
- Help the enterprise to identify opportunities and risks and allow for accurate planning and predictive analysis
With the right business intelligence tool, the IT team can satisfy its own compliance and budgetary requirements. It can monitor and manage Sarbanes-Oxley Act SOX controls, and data security and access rights controls, and establish key reports and automated processes to alert the business to issues when a threshold is crossed, or an issue is identified. The team can also monitor data warehouses, legacy systems and best-of-breed solutions and identify redundant data, performance issues, data parameters, or data integrity issues.
If the organization can give the IT team a tool that is useful to them and their role, and satisfy data governance requirements while, at the same time, meeting the requirements of finance and accounting professionals, the enterprise can achieve a win-win for all parties and, in so doing, ensure that everyone has the information they need to do their jobs.
When the enterprise takes a wise approach to business intelligence, it can avoid conflict and ensure that the IT team, business users, auditors, accountants and financial and investment professionals have feature-rich, easy-to-use tools that are accessible and will play an integral role in business success.
Arbuda Dave – I am working as BI consultant and aim to provide best BI Solutions to my clients. Focusing on BI for Tally and upgrading Tally customers to self-servicing BI environment with interactive reports and Dashboard for Tally. Apart from this I like traveling, participating in Business Intelligence forums, reading and social networking.