Most finance organizations rely heavily on spreadsheets for financial analysis, resulting in excessive time spent on data preparation and formatting. When departments in the Office of Finance, such as accounting, tax, internal audit, treasury, and FP&A, are empowered with Alteryx, manual processing is replaced with automation to free up time for analysis and critical thinking. This results in more data-driven, real-time decisions to support business growth.
There are numerous financial data automation software solutions, so what makes Alteryx special? Learn more about how Alteryx can be used by your finance department below:
Alteryx in a Nutshell
Alteryx is a versatile process automation software solution used by 8,000+ organizations across many industries and departments. It offers a suite of low to no-code building blocks to create repeatable and auditable business logic for your parsing, cleansing, blending, and analytics needs. Once you build out your business logic in Alteryx, you can reuse that process on an ongoing basis saving your company more time and money than you ever thought possible.
Alteryx is not only a timesaving automation platform; Alteryx also provides a wide range of low-code, advanced analytics solutions utilized by non-technical business personas across accounting and finance departments. Taking advantage of the time saved by the automation solutions, Alteryx users turn to gleaning insights and making data-driven decisions utilizing the advanced analytics capabilities in the platform.
Common Data Challenges Solved with Alteryx
In today’s complex technology environment, departments in the Office of Finance receive data from many vendors and data storage systems, all with their own nuances and complexities for staff to prepare before they can perform their analytic roles and responsibilities. Your company may receive data and reports via SFTP, emails, ERP extracts, or shared file storage centers in many different file types, including Excel, CSV, text, XML, and many others. Staff must manually cleanse and prepare the source data in Excel before performing analysis or generating reports.
Utilizing Alteryx’s prebuilt parsing and cleansing tools, users are empowered to build templates to clean and structure source data into a workable format. Once the data cleansing templates are created for each of the data sources, business users can utilize these processes as they receive new data/reports. This automation cuts down on the traditionally laborious data cleansing process and frees up time for more value-add activities.
Most businesses rely on more than one data storage system across their business units and divisions for their financial reporting and analysis. However, desperate data sources often lack seamless integration across systems resulting in manual cleansing and combining processes to be performed manually in Excel.
When performing consolidations using Alteryx, users are enabled to quickly stream in and seamlessly blend multiple data sources using a wide range of ETL (“Extract,” “Transform,” “Load”) functionality. Once your specific consolidation logic is built once, it is stored by the Alteryx platform ready to be used again next time consolidation activities are needed.
Similarly to data consolidations, most businesses must reconcile transactions across multiple systems to ensure the source transactions tie to financial reports. Traditionally, reconciling transactions across multiple systems requires staff across the Office of Finance to manually review multiple extracts in Excel to tick-and-tie across sources. Often, the manual, time-consuming nature of these activities results in staff only being able to test and reconcile a sample of all transactions.
Alteryx users can perform one-to-one, many-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many reconciliations utilizing no-code joining and summarizing tools for reconciliation activities. Additionally, processing large volumes of transactions to reconcile the full population can be done using Alteryx’s automation capabilities and analytics engine in a fraction of the time it would take for analysis in spreadsheets – as a result, fully reconciling every transaction becomes feasible.
Current KPI performance is often performed on an-hoc basis due to the complexity of analyzing large volumes of data across disparate systems. Analysts are spending so much time cleaning and structuring data to calculate KPIs, that they do not have enough time to drill into what the metrics are telling them.
When clients use Alteryx to perform their KPI analytics, users can ingest data from multiple sources, build repeatable KPI logic, and push data out via reports or dashboards for further review. Users can set the KPI logic to be performed on a regular scheduled cadence for continual, real-time decision making.
Most businesses are required by governmental regulations and/or internal policies to have their financial statements audited for accuracy and completeness. If you are using Excel as part of your financial statement processes, staff are required to prepare process documentation and spend a great deal of time on activities to support the work they are producing.
One of the great benefits of Alteryx is that processes built in the system are self-documenting and able to be reperformed at a later point during the audit support process. This helps clients cut down on the time spent supporting their work for internal and external auditors and allows them to focus on their complex responsibilities.
Advanced Analytics in Alteryx
We still don’t have the technology to see the future, but data analytics and business intelligence solutions like Alteryx are the next best thing when trying to plan and budget for the future. Alteryx has a wide array of predictive and prescriptive analytics tools that can be utilized to provide incredible insights based on the data your business has dutifully gathered.
Some of these insights may have to do with trends that may not be easy to decipher with a traditional tool like Excel. Understanding your business trends through meaningful business intelligence can help your company create a plan to solve these problems.
Business intelligence can also help you pinpoint the root causes of recurrent issues for problems that are less straightforward. With enough quality data and proper analytics, business intelligence software can help you address the root of your problems instead of constantly trying to manage symptoms.
Aside from helping you notice trends and targeting the root causes of problems, data analytics serves many other functions in finance departments. Some of the most common uses of data analytics in the Office of Finance include:
- Risk management
- Financial forecasting
- Predictive and strategic analysis
- Budgeting and planning
- Fraud and anomaly detection
- Customer acquisition and retention
Is Alteryx Right for Your Business?
There are many automation and data analytics software solutions on the market, so how do you know if Alteryx is the best to suit your business’s needs? Its user-friendly interface and powerful financial analysis, automation, and data consolidation capabilities make it an all-around excellent system for most financial institutions.
If you are ready to learn more about data automation in the Alteryx Office of Finance, contact us today! We offer many solutions to help businesses like yours supercharge their data.