The rise of unified Corporate Performance Management
*This article was first published in Milestone Magazine, in the April 2021 Issue,
along with the profile of Karen Abramson, CEO of Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting. In the article she speaks not only about her journey within the Wolters Kluwer organization, from the Health DIvision to Tax & Accounting, but also about some recent innovative solutions and how the entire team managed to help customers navigate the new challenges, during the pandemic.
The rise of unified Corporate Performance Management (CPM) software solutions, based on Integrated Financial Data Models, has been steep in the last years. The anticipated benefits were to allow corporations to unify not only actual performance measurement with performance forecasts and predictive views, but also high-level decision making needs with detailed analysis and granular views of performance triggers.
Wolters Kluwer and its CCH Tagetik expert solution has promised those benefits to its customers a few years ago – how has the CPM vendor delivered? are its customers seeing tangible improvements in performance measurement and management attributable to technology innovations?
We hope to answer those questions from our experience in designing, configuring and rolling-out CPM processes and software solutions, one of the many being CCH Tagetik.
“I want all this covered by one single technology, in the cloud, integrated with my ERPs and my Business Intelligence platform”.
“I would like to plan my costs by category, each with own drivers, using as little data input as possible and as many driver- based calculations as possible”
“I want to plan sales by product and channel, using the result of an embedded sales price calculation engine and a bottom- up collection of sales volumes”
“Oh yes, and I want to plan Projects too and Capital Expenditure, and Cash Flows by drivers with an automatically calculated “Balance Sheet”
“And while I am at it, I would like to extract Actual data from my ERPs and calculate variances with “due-to” explanations”
“Finally, I want to consolidate the whole lot, produce analytic management reports as well as my IFRS-compliant external reports with all notes”
– those are the requirements Offices of Finance have today.
Then Information technology comes and says: “I want all this covered by one single technology, in the cloud, integrated with my ERPs and my Business Intelligence platform”.
The most important innovation that unlocked the door to detailed planning, budgeting and analytical accounting has been the Analytical Information Hub addition to the platform. It basically opened the doors to cover large volumes of data intake, data cleaning and enhancements, very granular calculations with as many analytical dimensions as wished.
Coupled with the latest in-memory database technologies or leveraging pull-connections of Business Intelligence solutions, CCH Tagetik became in the last years one of the products that we at Satriun love designing and configuring for our clients.
Today, most of our CCH Tagetik projects cover at least financial planning, budgeting, forecasting and consolidation, based on one Integrated Financial Data Model, a coherent workflow and intelligence to automate calculations or allow driver-based calculations.
On top of such needs, many of our customers add to the platform dedicated but integrated modules for specific regulatory compliance (i.e. Lease Accounting), Account Reconciliation, Disclosure Management, etc.
Our conclusion is that Wolters Kluwer with its CCH Tagetik expert solution
is one of the very few CPM software vendors that has kept the unified Corporate Performance Management promise – with high ability to execute proven by many successful deployments at corporations worldwide.
Casper van Leeuwen