Previously, the close cycle at ServiceNow took roughly seven days. Twice daily we had check-in conference calls with 30 people to track where we were at in the morning and again in the afternoon. There was no such thing as real-time visibility.
With FCA you don’t need two conference calls a day with 30 people. You just open the app and it tells you in real time who is ahead and who is behind, what is ready to be approved and what needs to be focused on, without you ever having to bother somebody. A click of a button shows you which tasks every single person owns and how far they are from completion - the best part of our solution is that we do the work in ServiceNow. Bottlenecks are instantly transparent. Historically, if something was going wrong with the close, you would need to get on a call and ping five or six people to find the root cause. Now you can get that information in seconds.
We also use machine learning to predict where problems might occur. Do you foresee a problem on the horizon? The app proactively calculates that for you. You go from needing to be head down and reactive to truly being able to be proactive. That makes the process easier and less stressful.
Best of all, automation allows our accountants to gather and input data faster and check their work for errors in real time. That frees up time for them to focus on higher value tasks. It cuts a grueling 12-hour workday to a manageable eight hours. Thanks to this solution, we’ve been able to shave a full day off of our close cycle, and our accountants have been given time back during the close.
As a finance nerd I prefer to let numbers tell the story. Using FCA, we’ve saved an average of 551 hours during the month-end close process. We’ve achieved a 13% increase in month-end close efficiency. We have been able to shift the equivalent of 3.7 full-time employees from manual tasks to more strategic activities.
On the heels of our internal success with FCA, we had the chance to showcase the power of FCA with PayPal. When PayPal went live with the app, the feedback we got from them was dramatic. After their first month, they reported their fastest financial close in two and a half years. Equally if not more important, they told us their finance employees were much, much happier.
As part of a strategic agreement, Deloitte is the Lead Launch Partner for ServiceNow’s Finance Operations Management product. With Deloitte’s background and expertise in the world of finance, they’ll help customers to realize the benefits of FCA.
FCA is just the beginning. We want to create a connected suite to leverage digital automation to ease finance workloads for many of the core processes within the office of the CFO. That is our roadmap for the future. The roadmap starts today by bringing visibility to accountants who too often disappear into the darkness of the close cycle.