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Guest Post: What is Agile Finance, and how can it impact your organization?

By Andy McQuarrie

Agile finance will change your ability to impact your organization. It occurs when accounting and data analytics are combined, resulting in a supercharged discipline. Let’s step back and take a high-level look at how accounting and data analytics are perceived.

Accounting is a systematic process of identifying, recording, measuring, classifying, verifying, summarizing, interpreting and communicating financial information. Data Analytics is the science of analyzing data.

Accounting:

Pros

  • Language of finance.
  • Facilitates compliance oversight.
  • It offers a scorecard on the performance and health of the organization.
  • Discipline improves the quality of the data.

Cons

  • Not informative to the untrained eye
  • Evaluating financials can be a puzzle to be solved.
  • The timing of information delivery can be delayed. 

Data Analytics:

Pros

  • Instant error notification
  • Provides data discovery (path to clarity)
  • Dynamic: highlights trends and outliers
  • Improves timing on data delivery

Cons

  • Only as good as the inputs
  • Insufficient data to analyze
  • Design lacks flexibility
  • Selecting the correct analytical tool

Combining these two disciplines will enhance the pros and minimizes the cons of each, resulting in a powerhouse called Agile Finance. This supercharged discipline can be used to create a Single Source of Truth (SST) database to facilitate your organizations’ compliance, treasury, cash management, reporting and analytic requirements. With a SST database, you will have clean and detailed data to apply data analytics, enabling you to provide clarity, insight and understanding to impact decisions across the organization.  

Impact of Agile Finance:

  • Manage and facilitate compliance and reporting
  • Communicate key insights
  • Gain an understanding of the past, present and future
  • Maintain the quality of data collected
  • Create a more impactful role for yourself
  • Leverage efficiencies of scale to minimize the cost of operations

At The Hillman Company, we have successfully implemented these concepts and strategies, and they have transformed our ability to meet and adjust to the needs of executives, investment team, shareholders, and employees. The Hillman Company’s solution was validated with a current state assessment (benchmarking study) that highlighted the unmatched functionality of this approach, the efficiencies of scale, the breadth of data, and the real-time visibility to our portfolio and operations. The current pandemic has highlighted the need for agile finance during these challenging times.

Leveraging agile finance when facing unprecedented challenges:

  • Able to quickly correlate the current portfolio to the current environment
  • Able to manage business decisions based on accurate, timely and reliable data 
  • Have seamlessly migrated to working remotely
  • Have clear visibility to operations and its priorities

Multiview Financial Software is the cornerstone of our ability to achieve and utilize Agile Finance. Multiview’s enterprise software provides the flexibility to define and configure your financial solution to capture critical data by using accounting disciplines supported by Multiview’s ERP financial platform. In addition, Multiview provides robust and dynamic workflows that enable organizations to embed procedures and processes into its ERP platform. The Hillman Company uses data analytics to monitor and manage operations and resources.  

I am an enthusiastic believer in the concept of agile finance and encourage you to utilize this strategy to impact your organization.

Andy McQuarrie has a 25+ year career in Technology and Finance with a focus on developing, configuring, and identifying technology solutions to impact organizations and provide leaders with a strategic advantage based on reliable and informative data. Andy is an expert in organizational strategy and utilization of disruptive technology to meet the core objectives and goals of organizations.

Andy McQuarrie

About The Hillman Company

The Hillman Company is a privately held investment management firm with over 100 years of experience investing in private equity. The Hillman Company manages the assets of the Hillman family and their philanthropic arm: Hillman Family Foundations. While the managed portfolios also include traditional asset classes, they are heavily weighted towards private equity. The Hillman Company invests globally with emphasis in venture capital, growth equity, and energy. They are not only experienced partners in private equity funds, but an active and experienced co-investor as well. 

About Multiview Financial Software

Founded in 1990, Multiview builds powerful financial and operational management applications to companies across a multitude of industries. The organization’s flagship offering, Multiview ERP, is used across client organizations where they benefit from the powerful integrated modules combined with sophisticated real-time reporting. This allows for leaders to easily analyze key financial, statistical, and operational metrics that drive their decision making. Headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, Multiview maintains sales and support operations throughout North America.