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Cloud Based Consolidation & Reporting Webinar

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Cloud Based Consolidation WebinarThis Cloud Based Consolidation Webinar showcases Host Analytics' cloud based close and disclose application. It highlights how pre-built financial and accounting intelligence in the cloud can reduce the time to close and allow for more analysis and fact-based decisions. With Host Analytics' application companies can:

- Improve internal controls on producing financial statements
- Consolidate across multiple entities, ERP's, and currencies
- Seamless disclosure management, budget and forecasting
- Case studies will show how companies consolidate with 100% precision and reduce the time to close by up to 75%

This video is from the Proformative webinar "Technology Webinar Series: Cloud Based Consolidation & Reporting" held on December 5, 2012. The webinar features a presentation from Rob Frascone, Host Analytics.


Cloud Based Consolidation Webinar


Well, before we get into the actual demonstration of the software, I just want to kind of give an overview of what we're going to be talking about today, before we get to that point. Of course, we'll use PowerPoint as that way to do that.

What I want to do today in this Cloud Based Consolidation Webinar is just go through a couple of high level concepts really around what we provide here at Host Analytics for our customers, and why perfect performance management and specifically why budgeting and planning, and consolidation solutions are so important. If you think about companies that are using outdated manual systems, and the biggest example of this is Excel, by far, what happens is when you use these old systems the process is fraught with inefficiencies.

It takes way too much time, and there's frequent and recurring errors. Some of these errors you don't even know exist in your process and throughout all of those spreadsheets. This can lead to, sometimes, expensive compliance issues. When it comes down to it, the most common consequence from a lack of modern technology is that executives and managers in the organization are suffering from making poor decisions.

They're making poor decisions because they lack the actual financial facts in order to really understand what's the full spectrum of risk and reward from some of those decisions that they're making sometimes on a daily basis? They're really lacking the insight into the company's performance. What are those results when you're looking into the rear and looking forward, of course?

I think how we see this play out is we see budgets not being hit and forecasts that are really all over the board. One of the issues that are driving this is just the difficulty in closing the books within what we call that decision window. There are only a certain amount of days that you have to go through that process of closing the books to free up enough time to really do the proper analysis that the business really needs.

With many organizations, the close and disclose process, closing of the books is very inefficient and it's very difficult. It's fraught with inefficiencies. Some of the things that cause that are lack of workflow, lack of control processes, and inadequate financial reporting tools and poor bearings analysis from those inadequate tools. This can result in really a risky disclosure process.

(inaudible 00:02:33) study, called their CFO signals in the first quarter of 2012, and I won't read the slide here. You can see some of the things that they found out. One of the biggest challenges that finance faces is being able to provide metrics, information, and really more importantly the technology and tools needed to make the sound business decisions that executives and managers need to make on a daily basis.

What they found was that this whole area was one of the biggest areas of concern for CFOs who responded to that survey. What does Host Analytics do to really help you solve this problem that you have? The first thing we can do with budgeting and planning, and consolidation, is to help organize the data and process that data better to help make those decisions more timely, more accurate, and more based on real financial facts.

We're going to be going through a lot of information about the close process and the disclose process. We'll talk about the various roles and the various activities throughout that particular process. What you can see is that it's a very complex process and even within finance there are going to be a lot of people involved. They're basically illustrated here on this particular slide. We will definitely cover that.

Let's switch over and just talk about the Cloud a little bit in relation to Host Analytics. We deliver our solution, our budgeting, planning, and close and disclose solutions over the Cloud. Why does that matter, and how does it all fit with what we're talking about today?

Cloud technology offers many advantages over the more traditional software, typically installed (inaudible 00:04:21). If you think of the old manufacturing factories having a power producing plant onsite and moving together all of their electricity and gas off on a grid, it's a pretty simpler concept. You go to a utility-based approach using a subscription-based model, essentially.

What does that mean to you? Well, it means that your total cost of ownership, which is really what matters - and to do that comparison we can help you go through that process - but that's really the thing to be focused on. What's that total cost over a time horizon when you factor in all the factors? Not just the software and the maintenance versus on premise, but what about all the hardware, the time to provision that hardware, and the personnel required to run all that hardware, administer all the software, etc.? It's really based on (inaudible 00:05:11).

Editor's Note; You may be interested in a wide variety of the many other recorded webinars Proformative offers, such as Corporate Finance Strategy Webinar, Coporate Financial Forecasting Webinar, Host Analytics Demo Webinar, Corporate Finance Productivity Technology Webinar and Recurring Revenue Webinar.

Total cost of ownership and the time to value is decreased. You begin to see value from your investments much, much quicker. Instead of having to pay for all those upgrades to get the system upgraded to the latest and greatest version and the time it takes to do that - get all the hardware provisioned and in place and what have you, all the innovation, all those best practices, all those updates - are going to be included in your subscription fee in a Cloud model.

What Host Analytics does is help companies put in place global standards and best practices in business decisions so that customers can easily make quick decisions on initiatives. Like, "Should we cut costs? Should we invest in a new plant? Should we hire those sales reps that we've been thinking about hiring based on where we thought our plan was for revenue and for sales?"

What they can do is they make these go and no-go decisions. They can make these decisions based on financial facts, and that's really where we come in. That's pretty much our view of the world when it comes to corporate performance management software, especially in the close and disclose space.

Host Analytics has broad capabilities across consolidation, close and disclose, reporting, and it's been built up over a 12-year life of the company. We are actually the only financial consolidations and reporting suite in the Cloud right now, able to handle the close and disclose requirements required of Fortune 500 companies. If you have a centralized or decentralized process, it's really up to you.

We can certainly accommodate that, help you automate those processes within close and disclose, improve accountability and control, and help you with disclosure management as well. This is one thing I remember a lot from my days in finance - and I'll talk about that later - but just the time involved to take data from your ERP system, get it into an Excel format, and veer that up with a Word document. Believe it or not, this was our process, and we were a public company. Then go through the iterations when you had close, disclose entries and changes that you had to make.

It was very time consuming, very error prone, and did not put us in a good position where we were in that decision window, we were closing the books quickly, disclosing quickly, and then doing analysis and really helping the business run the business, which is what I thought was really my primary job. We'll talk about that as well. That can cover the basis from public companies and we having about something like a third of our customers are public companies, as well as private.

All companies report regardless of size, and regardless of whether or not they're public or private, if it's financial statements for investors, financial statements for banks, if it's a budget book, forecast book. Any kind of consolidated reporting that you needed to do where you're taking all different types of financial reports or graphs, or KPIs, marrying them up with some narratives and producing a final document, we can certainly help with that. We'll talk about that during this software demonstration.

Just a quick snapshot of some of our customers, I won't read about. You can definitely see them. We cover the gambit when it comes to industries from CPG to technology, manufacturing, financial services, and healthcare. What I was saying about before, we see this really in every role in the organization across our customer base, so it's not just in finance.

With all the data, both the external data and the internal data, financial data, and operational data, you need to see that. You need to be able to have it on any device and be able to access all this data in order to be able to make decisions.

John gave a background of what my experience has been. I've spent most of my life in finance and accounting. Really I like to tell people it's been probably 95% of my career is finance and accounting, and only a few years so far in pre-sales. I've sat in your shoes, done very similar or maybe identical type work that you all are doing out in the audience.

When you think about the typical close and disclose process, I hope people are laughing a little bit. This isn't my son, number one. It's hard to interact because I don't hear anyone laughing or saying anything. Number one, this is not my son. Number two, I don't think it's actually a little boy holding up a big boulder. I think he's just standing there and that's what it's supposed to look like.

In Greek mythology, there's a character called Sisyphus. Sisyphus was a Greek king who was sentenced to rolling this large boulder up a hill, only to see it roll all the way back down right after he let it go. He had to do this perpetually. Sometimes we think about the planning process, the close and disclose process in that kind of realm.

End partial Cloud Based Consolidation Webinar.

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