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Diary of a Mad Financial Manager: I Need a Completely Integrated Business Software Solution!

Topics: ERP, Accounting, Business Activity Monitoring, ERP Evaluation

Posted on Jul 16, 2014 11:30:00 AM by Russ Lesko, Sr. Business Consultant

Does this Mad Financial Manager sound like you? 

Diary_of_a_Mad_Materials_Manager.png8:00am – You arrive at work. You open your office door and see 5 purchase requests and 4
expense claims slid under your door. Gee, you wish you didn’t play so hard with your kids yesterday. Your back hurts just trying pick these documents up.
8:15am – You check your emails. Some guy on the sales team is still bugging you about his expense claim. Three suppliers are threatening to hold shipments unless they get paid. Auditors are due in after lunch. And to top it all, there is some kind of payroll problem.8:30am – You sneak out to buy a lottery ticket.

9:00am – The CEO welcomes you back, and wants to know when the morning flash report will be ready. The flash report is critical for viewing payables, cash flow, receivables, orders, etc.

9:15am – You call your analyst to see how the flash report is coming along and learn that she has called out sick.

10:45am – You try to construct the flash report but are uncertain where the analyst typically pulls the numbers from. You see a whole bunch of ledger books and copies of POs, invoices, etc. and wonder if that is what you need to look through.

11:00am – You walk to the CEO’s office to say you are working on the flash report but you are presently researching some missing pieces. You know that is a little fib, but it bought you some time.

Noon – You wolf down your lunch while trying to prepare the materials you think the auditors may want to see. You get a visit from that sales guy looking for his expense reimbursement and while he thinks he has your attention he adds, “Hey, my commission check is also late!”

1:00pm – You have a quick meeting with the materials manager and warehouse supervisor about the next monthly physical inventory. Since this how you back into your cost of goods sold number, you stress the importance of the count and reconciling inventory variances. You look forward to the next TWO WEEKS of this count.

2:00pm – Hello auditors! You open up your Excel spreadsheets, written notes and attachments to walk them through your balance sheet and income statement. You have 2 people assigned to the auditors to search through files for purchase authorizations, vendor invoice validations, payment authorizations, evidence of internal controls, analysis of account variances and documents that support account balances, confirming your accounts receivable balances.

2:00 – 5:00pm – The sweet sound of file cabinet drawers squeaking in and out of place permeates the entire office.

5:15pm – The sales manager calls about the expense reimbursement for that sales guy.

5:30pm – OMG! You can’t find that lottery ticket!

6:00pm – Now to start planning month-end. Luckily, you have that 100 page checklist.


Wouldn’t it be nice if:

  1. You had a completely integrated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) business software solution that had tight accounting integration with every aspect of the system.
  2. You had a highly interactive financial reporting system wherin all inquiries about any transaction could be completed online.
  3. You had a business process workflow solution that could define the collaborative steps that need to occur to complete a business process with structure and accountability.
  4. That sales guy could look online at the process flow for his expense claim and know exactly where it is.
  5. You could depend on the financial reporting system to accurately reflect inventory accounting and balances and not have to rely on a costly and disruptive physical inventory each month.
  6. You could drill into any financial transaction online and immediately answer any questions from an auditor.
  7. You could use a business activity monitoring automation tool to provide a leading indicator of potential variance issues that could eventually become major financial issues.
  8. You could leverage technology to provide key financial performance indicators on role-based workspaces that would ensure all members of the management staff, including the CEO, could begin and end their day with relevant and actionable financial intelligence.
  9. The time to do a month-end could be condensed into a couple hours, not days.

    ...and the list goes on.

A complete technology-enabled enterprise-wide business software solution is what this Mad Financial Manager needs, as it combines all essential ERP elements with business process management and automated alerts, allowing you to have a better day by leveraging technology to:

  • Provide maximum visibility into all financial matters.
  • Establish best practices for sales and operations planning to align all resources around sales, inventory and financial goals.
  • Structure workflows to move approval processes more efficiently through the system versus sliding paper under the door.
  • Gain online and immediate access to real time financial details, enterprise-wide.
  • Rely on automation that ensures management receives key performance indicators on a minute-by-minute basis.
  • Manage exceptions versus exceptions managing you, by utilizing business activity automated alerts
  • Identify and assist in the avoidance of excess and obsolete inventory.
  • Utilize workspaces to accurately monitor leading indicators that measure the effectiveness of all finance and accounting functions.
  • Streamline period and year-end processes from a completely integrated enterprise-wide business software solution.
  • Maintain a self-reconciling financial database all in one place. Month end closing could actually be fun.
  • Reduce human errors in inventory-related transactions, resulting in accurate balance sheets and cost of sales reporting.


There are many ERP software packages out there, but it is important to perform a thorough evaluation to ensure you gain the features and functions necessary to integrate all aspects of your business.

The ERP Blog covers the impact of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), business software and accounting solutions on organizations in the manufacturing and distribution industries.

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