Optimize your finance team’s use of technology to create a more agile budgeting process that streamlines your entire group.

We have just started 2023, and while uncertainties under Corona were high, it has been even higher after a year of war and high inflation. At least, during Corona, we could focus on business development and meeting the consumer where they were. However, it is almost obscure to believe we can predict how the year will turn out this year. Yet, most company procedures dictate that you must prepare a budget to be approved by the board and which you can operate by next year. Hence, you must still tackle the challenge of planning for 2023 and get the most out of the situation.

Divide between organizational planning and finance departments

A recent study from Mckinsey showed that we currently see a big divide between the planning for next year. Finance leaders want to focus on what we can change here and now, and organizational leaders are still focused on the future.

Read more about other CFOs’ prioritize in this piece: Into the storm: CFOs pivot to managing financial headwinds

Combine finance’s need for looking at the here and now with the management’s for long-term strategy

We must prepare ourselves for an iterative process where plans and numbers will change frequently. Some would say this is no different from usual. However, it should be more natural this time, and we can adjust our mindset going into the process. In addition, Finance must be able to combine the usual role of simply taking the management’s plan and translating it into numbers, becoming the driver to making the right strategic choices in the company. Options that are realistic with high inflation.

The challenge that most finance functions face, though, is a heavy reliance on Excel templates or inflexible systems. Especially in group finance departments, we often see the budget sent from every department across all subsidiaries. As a result, creating and updating numbers will take up most of the time, thereby taking time away from Finance to assess the plan and actions to assume critically. In worst cases, it is not even possible to edit and update as often as is needed in uncertain times to create a realistic budget and reach the organizational goals. 

Start a more agile budgeting process to support faster strategic decision-making

Technology already plays a more prominent enabling role in the group finance department but not in creating an agile budgeting process from input through consolidation to output.

Here are three ways that better tools can enable a more agile process:

Assumptions: They are typically discussed between business leaders and the strategy team and then distributed via Excel templates for the individual entities and units to use. However, imagine a simple change where they were inputted into a system and cascaded automatically to all users. This would help them build dynamic formulas linking them to their unique business drivers. Moreover, it would enable management to see the impact of assumption changes with the click of a button.

Business modeling: Very often, you see business leaders creating separate models in Excel where they can model their business. They do this to develop the input that needs to go into the system. However, this could quickly become a tool where each unit or entity would build its distinct business model linked to the financial drivers needed for budgeting.

Self-service reporting: Each time management decides on making changes to assumptions or just the numbers in general, this can easily be a lengthy process. The information is cascaded to units or entities to make the changes, consolidation needs to happen, and IT needs to run some jobs to get the data into the reporting system. Imagine if this instead was fully integrated. This way, management could simply make the changes they were discussing and see the impact immediately. 

The potential seems obvious, yet this remains a pipe dream for many companies!

However, Cloud is making more tools easily available even to small- and mid-sized companies. You may need to connect several tools to make this work, but it would still be obvious to start exploring the opportunities. Like the integration between the budgeting and planning software, Phocas, and the consolidation and reporting tool, Konsolidator. 

Break your habits and the barriers that act as obstacles to agile processes

Despite the apparent challenges, many companies continue to use the same planning process they have used for years. They fail to explore the potentiality of combining niche solutions in the market – departments can get capabilities they could only dream about before. This is an apparent mistake as a significant amount of corporate resources are wasted in a process that rarely produces valuable outcomes.

Hence, it is time to try something different. 

Try designing the ultimate planning process and start exploring how to make it happen. You will likely find that there are many digital tools available that can help you execute this new process

– How are you approaching the ongoing planning process?
– Are you doing what you have always done, or are you exploring new ways?
– What tools are you deploying into the process, and when was the last time you changed any of those tools?

You must resolve the paradox of huge uncertainty and decade-old planning processes. Start exploring new ways today, and your planning process will produce much better outcomes! It will also enable Finance to drive the right strategic choices rather than just producing numbers. 

You can see our software partners here, illustrating the possibility of building the best system for your department. 

The fantastic and all-time-consuming report is coming up – for most companies, anyway. And we are, of course, talking about the annual report. As we are in the middle of December, there are some things you and your finance team can do now – ensuring January will be mainly focused on the numbers and controlling these. Because, let’s be honest, that is a massive task no matter what.

10 tips you can implement already in December

We have collected the top 10 pieces of advice to go through before your numbers are ready, and we are not talking about the project plan – even though we do hope you have that one ready. But no, we are talking about the small things that will ease the visit from YOUR auditors and ensure YOU do not experience any more significant mistakes that need to be corrected while you look at your numbers.

#1: Download the IFRS checklist

The IFRS checklist is probably the best resource for preparing the annual report. The auditors will also use this as an audit resource, so if you can already go through it – you will already be halfway there. The checklist outlines your annual report’s methods, measurements, and presentation requirements. If your company uses other accounting standards, your auditor will still have those available.

Download the checklist here or contact your auditor (they will always have the most updated version).

#2: Remember to check accounting policies

If you have your accounting standard, like the IFRS checklist, you can now start placing it on the relevant pages in the annual report. Even though you might not have all the financial statements ready, you will know where they will go. Sometimes things like accounting policies are easy to overlook in the annual report. And the auditors will definitely look at those – so simply go through them every time you correct numbers on a page.

#3: Update your auditor on your processes

If you have changed your reporting method and implemented a new reporting or accounting system – share this information with your auditors. It will prepare them for how you deliver your numbers, how you collect data, and how to do the audit trail. As a result, your finance team will save time.

#4: Align processes and calculations for non-controlling interest, exchange rates, and intercompany eliminations.

Already in the preparation of the group reporting, you can outline certain numbers, which you know will be complex, like:

  • Non-controlling interest
  • Exchange rates
  • Intercompany eliminations

If you calculate in a spreadsheet, ensure that you have no broken formulas and that you streamline calculation methods; for example, how do you calculate exchange rates? Many of these will already be automated and correct if you have the appropriate software. But it is a good idea to double-check if the system can handle goodwill, for example, and fix that now.


We have said this before, and we will continue to do so. Prepare what you can. The daily tasks such as month-end reporting, quarterly reporting, price increase, and so on – also happen in January. So if you do not have a project plan or timeline – make one today.

We have created a simple excel project plan, including a timeline – that you can easily adapt to your needs and content for the annual report.

Download the project plan in Excel here.

#6: Make a timeline for what has happened during the year.

Management review is a large part of the annual report. But sometimes the most simple advice can help you write it. Ask yourself: can you remember everything that happened during the year? If yes, write it down. If not, talk with some from different departments, go through announcements, press releases, and even social media – and then write it down.

The result: you will find that most of the management review will write itself.

#7: Be updated on people's time away from the office

For many finance teams, the annual report follows the year – and we have Christmas at the end of the year. In your planning, keep track of who is on holiday and when – and, more importantly, who will be your contact person if a key stakeholder is away from the office. There is nothing worse than the feeling of delaying an entire process or audit due to one person being away.

#8: Align your subsidiaries

Your subsidiaries are an important part of the annual report, but the group controller or finance manager will often control their numbers. As they also have everything else to control in the annual report – align with them now on deadlines. A great piece of advice is to divide your team into country-specific controllers. Meaning if you have subsidiaries in the US, Indonesia, and France, try assigning one group controller to each. Then you can cut down your time on controlling to a maximum of one week at the beginning of January. This is, of course, only possible if you have a larger team. However, you can save a massive amount of time if you align the delivery date with every subsidiary already in December, not January, when the new year race has begun.

#9: Proofread & ensure consistent use of phrases

Get someone who is not necessarily from your team or even from finance to proofread the entire annual report. And start already now. It would help if you had some pages ready. Do not wait until the last minute – the time it takes to review and proofread is often overlooked.

If you talk about restructuring, keep that phrase going. Do not suddenly talk about adjustment – stakeholders might not read every page, so it should always be clear to them what you are talking about. Create a short annual report dictionary where you write strategic goals, initiatives, etc.; in that way, everyone writing can always see what has been used on other pages. Easy, peasy.

#10: Do you report in ixbrl?

You should already know when and how to report your financial statement. As soon as you have approved your financial report, ensure the one who uploads knows how to report in iXBRL. Take an hour out of a day in December and go through this with your team.

Do you review and take a long, good look at your annual report process every year? Without an actual project plan and strategy, things can get messy, rushed, or in the worst case, error-filled. And it can be nearly impossible to correct those after publishing the annual report.  

We have put together a checklist of what to remember before starting, the essential elements, and a project plan template you can use or edit as it fits your company. Whether you are new to the role of project lead for the annual report, new to the team, or just seeking inspiration on how other companies are planning their process, this blog is for you.

This piece will cover the following:

  • 5 tips to succeed in planning the Annual Report
    • Tip 1: Start early
    • Tip 2: Include people with Annual Report experience
    • Tip 3: Present your data visually
    • Tip 4: Include your CEO’s statement letter
    • Tip5: Ensure you have dataflow processes in place
  • The group CFOs checklist for getting started
    • Set the project team
    • Agree upon key objectives, key messages, and themes
    • Outline the report
    • Prepare your timeline and project plan
  • Download project template with timeline [Excel]

5 tips to succeed in planning the annual report

For many finance professionals, the annual report is approaching. And compared to other financial reports, this report demands attention and information from more people than finance. Trying to get everyone aligned and ensure that nothing will be rushed can seem overwhelming, even for the most experienced finance professionals. The following five tips originate from our own company experience, an insight into learnings from our customers, and inside knowledge from years in the finance industry.

Tip 1: Start early

When to start the process depends on when your fiscal year ends. For many finance departments, it follows the year, and those of you will already have begun the process. Maybe you have too. If not, then now is the time. If there is one key element to remember: The annual report needs more than finance!

If you have a deadline mid of February, we will recommend a start in mid-October; it is always better to be prepared and be ahead. Everyone working on the annual report will still have their daily tasks, meetings, and ad hoc deliverables – starting early, you can minimize delays and adequately plan the process.

So, collect your team, and get ready for kick-off.

Tip 2: Include people with Annual report experience

Before starting, it is a good idea to look into agencies, strategic partnerships, consultants, or other people who have experience with the Annual Report.  These experienced people are valuable in this process. They will have all the knowledge you need about the stakeholders and the requirements the annual report needs to make an impact. You know the numbers, but the value is more than the financial statements –sometimes, we forget that in finance.

The annual report is more than just a regular financial report. It is one of the most read documents, especially by investors, so there is no room for mistakes. Therefore, you need people with experience who can write and influence the project’s direction. But also help to ensure you reach deadlines and align all efforts with the goal – all the way through.

Tip 3: Present your data visually

Looking back at earlier annual reports, how have you presented the data? It might not be a top priority usually, but maybe it should. The annual report is a heavy document, and in a world where we constantly consume much information, how we present it becomes a critical factor.

Therefore, include people who know color use, which sections to highlight, and language use (is it easy to read). Their fundamental purpose should be to ensure that the company’s overall presentation tells the right story. You can compare this document to a brand credibility presentation – the information it contains will feed into other communication documents throughout the year. Just think of your investor presentations, strategy, and quarterly reports.

And if you do it right, you can reach more than investors by showcasing vision, results, employees, case studies, ESG efforts, and strategy. Remember, it is not just your investors who read the annual report but also new employees, partners, customers, and more.

Tip 4: Include your CEO’s statement letter

Guess which part of the annual report is primarily read. You would think it was the financial statement. But frankly, it is the letter from the CEO. Therefore, start to use it to your own advantage.

A tip is to start this draft as early as possible, as it can also help to set the tone for the entire Annual Report. Ensure it contains recent initiatives, vision, values, and thought leadership – all you want to see from a good leader.

Note: a visionary is excellent, but a realistic and grounded one is better.

Tip 5: Ensure you have data flow processes in place

What is your process for collecting data across the organization? If you all share the same excel sheet, try to look into how much time you use on error-tracking. This result should guide you in deciding whether you need automated processes to minimize time spent on this. If there are one thing auditors and the audience do not like. It is finding errors in the numbers after the publish date.

If you always have these tips in mind before the kick-off meeting, you will already have an excellent start to the project.

The Group CFOs checklist for getting started

Where our tips are general considerations, we have created a checklist to guide you in producing a streamlined annual report.

If you are just getting started, you need to begin by locating key areas and goals for the project team to get started.

#1: Set the project team, roles, and responsibilities

Have you created your entire team, or unsure if you are missing something? These are the questions you should have the answer to when you kick off the project. For example, does your annual report include people from HR, Marketing, Board, Consultant, Finance, etc.?

    • Have you decided upon a project lead? (In many cases, this will be the CFO, but in some instances, the project lead will be the controller/manager)
    • Who will oversee the process regarding the storyline and company brand? (e.g., the head of marketing/communications, an external consultant, or a small team)
    • Do you need to involve the board?
    • Who provides content? (who in which department and company will provide content? It might be Development’s roadmap, HR’s employee insights, CEO’s strategy, a subsidiary’s new offering, etc.)
    • Who will be the final approval of content? (You can always edit content, so from the start, agree upon who will be the last link)
    • Who will help with the layout? (do you have a graphic designer internally who will have time to focus on this project, or do you need to outsource – outsourcing gives excellent results but also demand that you start early in the process)

#2: Agree upon key objective, messaging, and theme

When you have created your team, the next is to agree upon the key objective of this year’s annual report and, thereby, your theme and messaging. Base it on the answer to the two following questions, and it is always a good idea to look at the previous year’s objective and how the company reached that.

    • Who will be your audience? (if it is investors, new employees, current/new stakeholders, or others?)
    • What action do you want them to take when they have read it? (be specific)

In the kick-off meeting then, agree upon the following:

    • What is this year’s theme (Talk with the CEO, board, and annual report partners, and look at how to align it with the following year)
    • What are the key accomplishments you want to share? (Talk with directors across the company and locate the top accomplishments that align with your strategy)
    • How can you communicate your purpose and value throughout the report (Ensure to communicate in a way that shows it from your stakeholders’ point of view – make sure it is authentic and not ‘what sounds good’) 
    • Identify your key messages (Based on the question above, identify the key messages you want to portray throughout the report. Thereafter, locate the stories you need to support these)
    • Do your financial results support your story? (This close to year-end, you should already know about your results and whether they support your story – if not, rethink your messaging.)
    • How should the visual brief be? (Do you need new photographs, infographics, etc.?)

#3 Outline the annual report

What should you include in the report? Executive summary, a letter from the CEO, a letter from the chairman, an ESG report, etc. It all depends on whom you are talking to. But the key is to decide upon this in advance, which will outline the way you use the project plan.

    • The CEO/Chairman letter (As mentioned above, this is often the most read part of the annual report, but should you include the chairman)
    • Case studies (Who can be the face of your product’s functionalities and support your vision, mission, and purpose statements?)
    • Highlight pages & key events (Key accomplishments, reached goals, new initiatives, or other key facts from the previous year)
    • Strategy (product, market review, outlook)
    • Environmental, Social, and Governance (Ensure you have this one ready, and look into how other companies in your field fill it out, as many people today measure a company’s performance on this part too.
    • Thank you page or shareholder information (Are you an NPG, do you have important partners, are you a noted company – these pages depend on the industry you are in)

#4 Prepare your timeline and project plan

There is only one thing left: get the practicalities in place for the project plan.

    • What is the budget?(Whether you use external agencies, printing, graphics, consultants, or others – the budget will determine the possibilities)
    • What is the deadline? (Start by setting the end date – and work backward toward the start to develop a realistic timeframe for all deliverables)
    • When do you need the first draft of the written content? (We recommend writing and having everything proofread before the year-end. Then, you have room for error-checking the numbers, unforeseen elements like new risks, a delay in collecting numbers, etc.)
    • Locate dependencies (Do you need interviews, or are you dependent on the final Christmas sale – ensure these are visible for the team deadlines.)
    • Sign off on content (Whether it is the board, the CEO, the CFO, or others – be aligned entirely on the end date and make room for last-minute changes)
    • Make a transparent review process (who will be the reviewers of every part, who will have the final say, and how many rounds of edits do you want room for?)

Download project template with timeline [Excel]

The only thing left now is dividing tasks and locating all the areas you can do without the numbers. Go through last year’s report to see what worked. Can you re-use the format? Whether your group is starting your financial reporting or you are just seeking inspiration, we have shared an excel template for getting started today. However, do you already have project planning tools like Monday, Asana, or Trello that you can use across the company? Then we recommend building your timeline, division of tasks, and project plan there and just using our template for inspiration.

Good luck

Budgeting and forecasting are a must on the group finance team’s annual schedule. But whether you do it annually or monthly, top-down or bottom-up – there are some basic “best practices” you want to do to futureproof your company’s finances.

Budgeting is properly the most essential ‘project plan’ in finance for the upcoming year, and you do not want the project’ company revenue’ to fail because of bad planning. At Konsolidator, we talk with many CFOs, so besides our financial knowledge, we collect much insight after more than 1000 meetings with Group CFOs and finance teams. Read this article to learn the four main tips we have collected for the risk-conscious and strategic Group Finance team.

Budgeting and forecasting in groups – the current risk

The main challenges we see across groups do not happen in the ‘doing of the budget’ phase but in the data being incorporated into the budget. In creating the group’s budget, we often see over-reliance on historical data or collecting data from subsidiaries and departments by simply asking them to send their budgets. And by just copying and pasting their data into a larger budget, the finance team does not get the chance to do what they do best –understanding and analyzing the numbers. As with everything else, there is always a reason for cutting corners. The most mentioned reasons are lack of time and group complexity – especially in groups with subsidiaries in various countries – which may be due to a lack of resources. However, where we believe it will save time, it can bring a relatively large number of risks if the numbers are inaccurate.

An essential part of budgeting and forecasting in groups is to account for potential risks and accommodate them – simply put, it involves making as accurate as possible estimates about the future. Certain items will always deviate from the originally predicted costs. Still, if we can minimize unexpected costs elsewhere, set achievable goals, and prioritize spending, we can improve the company’s reputation and shareholder confidence and stay financially healthy. To do this leads us to the most crucial advice and what will shape the following four tips, namely:

“You need to understand your entire business and the current state of the markets.” 

4 tips for budgeting and forecasting in groups

In general, there are many pieces of advice on how you best do budgeting and forecasting, but if we should cut it down to only 4 specific tips, as the most essential, it is these:

      1. Include the balance sheet
      2. Include your cash flow
      3. Understand the dependencies
      4. Keep yourself updated

Below we have tried to put a bit more words on every single one of these and why they are so important. But what they have in common is this: you need to understand the complete business and not just part of it.


Include the balance sheet

As your balance sheet is a snapshot of your company’s assets, liabilities, and shareholder’s equity, it is essential to start there and not in the Profit/Loss as too many do. When companies are too focused on Profit/Loss, they forget/overlook the balance. Where your profit/loss shows your earnings and losses, it will not give you the foundation you need to create a sufficient budget. If we look at it as a house, your balance sheet is the foundation, and the profit/loss is the interior. One does not go without the other, but you cannot start to install furniture if the foundation doesn’t exist or has holes in it. 

Therefore, before starting your budget, it can be a good idea to clean up your balance sheet and ensure that old assets are removed. Furthermore, errors in your balance increase the chance of errors in your profit/loss statement. Looking at the balance will help your company to plan for the following year’s spending. However, your balance sheet is a snapshot and does not show your cash movements during the year. This leads us to the next tip, and the one too many groups dread the cash flow.


Include Your Cash Flow

Your cash flow tells you what you have available in your account at this very moment and is your eyes on the money floating in and out of your group and subsidiaries. It is one of the most critical indicators of a business’s performance – as it states your liquidity. Here you can see if you have had nearly no earnings one month or significant project spending in specific departments. Additionally, it provides the insight that your finance team needs to quickly determine, for example, why, where, and when your debitors are increasing and fix this in the coming budget. 

The challenge is that too many companies are not doing a regular cash flow, which will have to be initiated before budgeting and forecasting. So you can revise it, ongoingly. If you need an incitement to begin, know that one of the most prominent reasons for companies to go bankrupt stems from not doing a proper cash flow.  Furthermore, both balance sheet and cash flow are part of your reporting where you can automate most of the process of collecting data.


Understand the dependencies across the business and departments

As soon as you have the balance and cash flow, preferably automated, you can start to embrace a more thorough business understanding – from a finance point of view. There is an ongoing change in the role of the CFO, which goes hand in hand with more automated processes. And contrary to some beliefs, it doesn’t mean they move away from being number crunchers – just in a different way than before.

Technology makes it possible to help with problems we before had to do manually, bringing an opportunity for us in finance to handle the more complex issues that technology can’t address. How your business work together and the relationship among activities is not something you can’t just see from the numbers delivered. Instead of getting subsidiaries to send you their budgets – look at the cash flow and ask questions. If you automate the data collection process, you will free time up to actually analyze and create streamlined budgets across the group, minimizing the risk of unexpected costs. Even better if you also start to include KPIs in the budgeting, and start looking into Finance Business Partnering.


Keep yourself updated

If there is one thing we cannot underline enough, it is to: get a hold of the economic insight that can help you navigate in your different markets, like the local development of inflation. And here, many banks and other research centers worldwide, like Mckinsey have already done most of the work. And can guide you as they create trend analyses for e.g. micro budgeting and employee-driven companies, as well as predictions and insight into spending and local inflation development.

With inflation rising to new heights, this information can be critical in preparing for the next year, especially in countries where you do not sit. If you can already create room for this information in the budget, well, how can that not only benefit you?

In this tip also lies the beforementioned statement: “do not overly rely on historic and copied data”. You risk being removed from the ‘current’ state and themes in the markets. Look at the inflation, if you rely on historic data, you won’t incorporate elements that are very specific for the effect the inflation has on the coming year. You might have to save on certain areas you didn’t have to before.

Understanding your business – from a finance point of view

Understanding your entire business from a finance point of view is not about how you do it or that you go away from your area of expertise. Instead, it is ensuring that you prepare your company for the best possible and realistic outcome – in the future. And this is not done by copying and pasting last year’s budget – but by understanding where the numbers originate, why there is an increase, or where to decrease spending. For example, if you know your electricity will rise by 200 %, you need to find that money elsewhere. If you know your cash flow, you can see where the money is going in and out during the year – and if you also know the underlying dependencies, you will also be able to see why. And that why is what helps your team when planning for the following year. 

So before beginning your budgeting and forecasting in groups finance teams, our recommendation is to start going all the way back to the essentials – your data collection. You can also start by reading more about how to standardize your reporting and get control of your data flow.

Can “Time is money” be more literal than in Finance? Everything we do affects business growth, strategy, and cash flow. Amazingly in today’s digital world, many Finance departments keep several manual processes in Excel; this includes their consolidation – numbers shown to the government, investors, and the public. So, why do we insist on maintaining an error-prone manual process or delaying the implementation process?

When we talk about financial reporting, consolidation plays a significant part in Group finance. But because it is not a daily task, it often drops in prioritization when the department needs to be digitalized. There can be many reasons for this; however, as your credibility relies on these numbers, shouldn’t we prioritize it? One common thing is that automating this process will bring you one step closer to saving time and delivering error-free numbers. When we look at global research studies, one of the most common reasons accounting firms move to the Cloud is to ‘reduce errors through standardization of processes and tasks.  

Clean up your consolidation process with Konsolidator 

At Konsolidator, we have built software that is easy to use and can easily integrate with existing ERP systems. With our founders being former CFOs and auditors, this software has been developed with the expertise and insight of Group accounting – including thorough knowledge of what is essential and what is unnecessary when you need to streamline a complicated consolidation process. Konsolidator aims to eliminate common challenges with consolidation to help CFOs and Group finance professionals deliver more substantial results and get more time to influence the company strategy with their unique insight. If you are doing financial consolidation right now, it might be a good idea to see if consolidation software is for you.

Are your consolidation ‘needs’ handled in Excel // download the checklist

Find out where you are using too much time on a standardized process:

  • Is it collecting data from subsidiaries?
  • Maintaining an error-free spreadsheet?
  • Calculating Exchange rates?
  • Collaborating across locations?

There can be many reasons for this process losing time. The ones we have mentioned are classic and can all easily be solved with automation. Whether you should move away from Excel consolidation to a dedicated consolidation tool depends on your current situation. Thus, we have created a checklist to make it easy for all finance professionals to assess their Excel Consolidation challenges. To ensure you can deliver accurate and timely data with Excel, go through each point and see where your Group is. More than three ticks usually equal consideration for a new consolidation tool. 

Is cloud software for your department?  

The answer, in most cases, would be yes. Even Cloud doubters have started migrating towards Cloud – according to Gartner’s research, 85% of companies are planning their move. We can understand this, especially when looking at the increasing focus on remote work and collaboration. Choosing cloud software for your consolidation means you get an automated tool with all the necessary features to do a complete consolidation, alongside the added reward of reducing errors through standardized processes and tasks. Other features of the Cloud are:

  • Easier collaboration and remote working
  • Saving time and costs
  • Getting real-time access from any portable device
  • Increased security
  • Mitigating risk
  • Adding flexibility and scalability to help grow the business
  • Centralized document storage

Integration plays a significant part when you choose Cloud software. 

Ensuring that our software is easy to integrate with the rest of your digital ecosystem – is vital. There are many opportunities to create a digital ecosystem that focuses on integrations, not on how much ONE system can bring with digital development today. Say you need an ERP system, a consolidation system, and a reporting system – the more you try to incorporate everything, the larger the system gets and the more difficult it is to implement, learn, and maintain. With Cloud, the supplier looks after the software, making it simple to use. It can integrate with everything you have – ensuring that data flows seamlessly from one application to another. And when it is not relevant, you can end your subscription. 

Meet Konsolidator

Konsolidator’s cloud-based financial consolidation software is the tool to remove the complexity from consolidation, enhance reporting, digitalize your department, save time and resources, and make better decisions for your Group. Bring digital transformation to your finance department with Konsolidator®.

Learn more about how cloud consolidation can help your team deliver more substantial results. And even more importantly, ERROR-FREE results. Click here for a quick chat about whether your company needs to clean up its consolidation.

If you are using a cloud ERP or accounting system for your consolidation, you can get two weeks free trial with your own or demo data.

For finance professionals to take center stage in front of the CEO and perform as advisers rather than number crunchers – they need to get out of their comfort zone.

Over the past 30 years, the role of the CFO has gradually moved towards becoming a key on executive boards. Additionally, automation and digitalization are equipping you (and your fellow finance professionals) with new tools. When the processing of numbers and delivery of reports become fully automated, you no longer need to spend up to 90% of your time ensuring that the numbers are correct. And this combination can strengthen the perception of the finance team’s value on strategic decisions.

A whole new role surfaces, one for which many finance professionals need to prepare. It also means that the CEO and the other members of the management team can and should expect other qualities from the average CFO. The CFO and Controller need to be advisers rather than merely deliverers of figures, and as finance professionals ourselves, we would like to encourage this trend.

The new weekly schedule

According to the traditional weekly schedule, you work on the financial report on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. On Thursday, you do the final touches on the report and send it out in the afternoon by email.


On Friday, you check whether anyone has done or noticed anything.



Begin the process again on Monday.

In the future, the week will look like this – (and it already does in some finance departments):

  • Monday: The report will be ready at 8 am because everything is fully automated. You skim it and go to meetings with your stakeholders, ask questions, and agree on the state of the business.
  • Tuesday: You brainstorm about how to improve the business based on your data insights.
  • Wednesday: You identify the best ideas and decide what to do.
  • Thursday: You implement the initiatives that boost the business.
  • Friday: You calculate how much money the new initiatives have earned for the business this week.

Into the spotlight

We tend to let those responsible for the business area decide what to do, based on our spreadsheet numbers. However, these people need help understanding the meaning behind every number.  So how do we, as finance professionals, take center stage and become involved in presenting the report? One clear answer is: It starts with digitalization. 

Digitalization of the finance function enables speedy delivery of the figures to the entire group; in minutes and hours compared to days and weeks. In addition to the figures presenting a real-time picture, time is freed up for analysis and advising the rest of management.

If we present a report with three-week-old figures, five minutes later, the people responsible for the business will be sitting and discussing what they should do – without us.

If financial work is to make sense, we must deliver actual figures and evaluate the business’s performance.

We need to challenge the mindset: ‘You don’t earn anything on these particular customers, so why are you holding onto them?’ Then, it is up to the people responsible for the business to decide whether to act or whether other factors make these customers worth keeping.

We must ask all departments to tell us more about the business and their strategy. This will allow us to get back to them the following month with recommendations.

Why is it not simply the job of the people responsible for the business to read the figures themselves and do something?

Because their job is not to understand the figures but to generate business with customers, they do not have time to delve into the numbers, but we do. We need to point out when something looks wrong, and there is potential for improvement. Then, the business people can do their job.

This will turn the finance department into a value-adding profit center, transforming it from a mere cost center with a mission to improve efficiency. 

Why retraining is necessary

Progress requires effort. Many controllers feel more comfortable fine-tuning and removing errors from Excel spreadsheets than standing in front of senior management to present a report. The way forward is to start with baby steps. But if a tiny step means more tinkering with Excel, there will not be much progress.

The finance function must be more aware of its strengths. While we have been slaves to systems and processes, we have neglected the management role. Now we need to assume it.

We need to be leaders rather than spreadsheet wizards.

The finance department is the only department in the organization that truly understands numbers. Therefore, it makes no sense that the company stops using this insight once the report has been delivered. We need to assume the business’s adviser role and continuously apply our unique understanding.

There is no longer any excuse for not moving forward because we have access to all kinds of systems for automation. This means that many finance professionals will have to think innovatively. There is still a need for eyes and hands to balance the figures, but many skillful CFOs and controllers need to be retrained to think more in terms of the future – to step out onto the stage and advise. 

Claus Finderup Grove, CEO at Konsolidator 
Anders Liu-Lindberg, Co-founder of the Business Partnering Institute.