#1. A single version of truth for increased visibility

“If there’s a big shift or disruption in the market, your systems should not slow down your ability to adapt. They need to be agile. It’s really important to take as much complexity out of your IT environment as possible and have as little customization as possible.”

CFO, HSO customer, Garden and outdoor retail chain

#1. A single version of truth for increased visibility

The pressure on CFOs to provide a more accurate picture of performance is higher than ever. Four of ten finance professionals across industries say that their organisation has become more focused on financial scenario planning and stress testing as a result of the pandemic.

Yet less than 29% are confident that the financial data they use for analysis and forecasting is accurate. And 28% are concerned that they’re unprepared to provide data quickly enough to help their organisations respond to a crisis.4

The effectiveness of retail CFOs responding to disruptions fundamentally hinges on the consistency, accuracy, and scope of their data. However, accessing reliable data quickly is a monumental task due to the sheer amount generated across retailers’ external platforms and internal systems.

Stored in independent silos, data frequently don’t match up, and any query or report can generate multiple answers. Lacking a single version of the truth, CFOs don’t know which levers to pull to improve profits or where to reallocate resources in a crisis quickly.

4. “70% of global business leaders and finance and accounting professionals lack confidence in the data used to make financial forecasts,” February 2021.

Retail CFOs need to understand drivers across their operations, from the sales pipeline to pricing trends and e-commerce operations, and even associated spending like ad campaigns and brand placements.

Combining data across a variety of channels—including financial, inventory, sales, marketing, and Point-of-Sale (POS) systems—creates a single version of the truth that gives retail CFOs visibility across global operations.

When financial and commercial information is integrated, reports and business insights are more accessible, and finance teams don’t need to spend weeks gathering and reconciling data.  Simplified, real-time reporting also ensures CFOs can quickly zoom in on key data, like sales figures, in-stock items, and profitability.

Moreover, unified data reveals a lot about what is happening on a retailer’s backend and supply chain, enabling CFOs to identify bottlenecks within operational processes and
course-correct as soon as market conditions change.