Corporate performance management (CPM) projects can find where the bodies are buried

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Almost every business you work for will have some skeletons hidden away in the data closet and as the financial controller it is your job to find them. Whether due to mistakes or corner-cutting, these little inconsistencies or past errors can be easy to overlook. But if left unaddressed they could hold your team or organisation back from achieving its full potential.

Sure, you can continue to hold the status quo and do as your predecessors did, but the fact remains that:

a) If caught early, the negative impacts of these skeletons can be reduced or mitigated completely.
b) Someone will find them eventually. It is better if that someone is you. Issuing a retraction or correction can be embarrassing or career-limiting.

CALUMO has run hundreds of reporting and planning projects over the years and unearthed some very scary skeletons. These are often related to data, systems or business processes; but all of them have been significant enough to cause a shock for the financial controller.

Here are a few discoveries one of our clients made when first starting to use CALUMO to deep dive into financial data, systems, and processes:

  • The CFO was very surprised to hear that transactions were still being posted to general ledger periods 6 weeks after they were closed and reported to the board;
  • The financial accountant was shocked to see suspense accounts she had never seen before being used all over the ledger and cleared out before month-end;
  • Accounts payable sub-ledger accounts were being created in the general ledger as a workaround;
  • GST was being added to hours worked rather than the amounts on timesheets;
  • Foreign currency denominated transactions were being booked at the incorrect FOREX rate in the general ledger; and
  • The trial balance didn’t balance, to the tune of two-hundred grand!

The discoveries made and remedies put in place as a result of these projects will have far-reaching, long-term benefits for the clients.

When mistakes are discovered (not by you), it undermines the very essence of what the Finance team needs to be – trustworthy and correct. With the increased oversight afforded by a CPM solution, the client, executive staff, and business partners will now be able to trust the numbers and be confident using them to inform strategic decisions.

These skeletons can be buried just below the surface or deep in the financial annals. The good news for you is that CPM technology has advanced to the point where it can do most of the shovel-work.

CPM platforms, like CALUMO, now offer financial professionals unprecedented insight into their data. Though financial reports can give you a great view into how your business is performing financially, they can't provide visibility into the business processes your organisation uses to get there.

It has never been easier to hold a magnifying glass to your organisation. Don’t be afraid of what you might find there. Skeletons can be challenging to face, but an undiscovered mistake upon which a business decision is made could end up costing your company a fortune.

To see how CALUMO's FP&A technology can help you find the truth, reach out to info@calumo.com.