The role of software solutions in modern financial managementby Udit Jain on June 13, 2007
New legislation, expanding national competition, and an increasingly demanding consumer have all applied pressure to the mid-size retailer. Information technology can be a significant aid to smarter financial management for any retailer. Solutions that impact this issue are not just the obvious financial systems.
Newer generations of software solutions have dramatically improved over what was available only a few years ago. If a retailer has a specific issue, many will seek a best-of-breed type solution. With these point solutions, retailers will need to understand the issues involved with integration with legacy systems, maintenance, staffing knowledge requirements and data compatibility. Many retailers are finding that a fully integrated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software solution is a viable alternative, solving many issues with one solution. understanding which path is the correct one varies by circumstance and need.
Effective use or upgrades to a wide variety of software solutions can dramatically impact successful financial management. For instance:
• Modern supply chain solutions can provide the entire retail operation with a clear view
of the movement of their most significant investment—inventory. Improved visibility
provides insight and focus on areas for improvement. Significant benefits can be found in the supply chain to impact the finances of any retailer.
• Inventory & purchasing management solutions enable tighter management of Open-To-Buy issues.
• Improved forecasting systems can enhance the accuracy of financial and merchandise plans.
Better forecasting leads to clearer direction and control of the company’s future.
• Even the humble spreadsheet can be an invaluable tool for all sorts of planning,
forecasting and analysis. In fact, it could be argued that Microsoft Excel is the most widely
installed merchandise management system in the world.
• Financial software solutions need to be current, highly auditable and most importantly,
integrated to other core systems to ensure accuracy in reporting.