Why 3 Global Financial Services Firms are Implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance (ERP) Despite the Economic Climate – and Chose Dynamics Over SAP, Oracle, and Workday for their Complex Requirements

Financial services firms are either successes or failures based on how well they serve their clients. To do that, everything in the background must be running like clockwork—from technology like ERP for financial services to business processes. That is especially true during a time of economic downturn, which we’re experiencing right now due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Regardless of the climate—and particularly during a time of economic uncertainty—firms must not lose focus on the customer. Instead of postponing or even cancelling a technology project that will deliver much-needed benefits and competitive advantage, many executives are arguing that this actually is the perfect time to move forward. Here is why three of our financial services clients did just that. 

Other than being in the financial services industry, these firms have several additional attributes in common: they are large and have complex operations, including their accounting and finance structures, they each have multiple legal entities and complex consolidation processes, and they are growing fast. Two of these firms have aggressive growth-by-acquisition strategies, and one was dealing with multiple accounting and enterprise financial management/ERP systems.

Each firm is at a point in their growth where it was critical to implement new technology. Otherwise, they risked straying from their focus as well as losing the confidence of their clients—or losing them completely.

These firms were looking for an ERP for financial services solution that could:

  • Improve handling of complex financial allocation processes
  • Digitize core processes to reduce errors and the time required to process routine tasks, such as accounts payable invoice processing, bank reconciliations, and global financial consolidation/close
  • Increase the efficiency and effectiveness of audit and internal controls
  • Enable more effective collaborative workflows to expedite processes, including standardized routing of approvals
  • Consolidate data into a single system for a higher level of transparency and better-informed decisions based on a true picture
  • Provide robust reporting (pro-forma and other) capabilities, allowing analysis of real-time results that enable timely decision making
  • Offer scalability and flexibility, allowing for growth and the ability to easily add functionality without impacting the core accounting system

Each firm evaluated the big players in the ERP space, including SAP, Oracle, and Workday, but decided on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance, implemented by AKA Enterprise Solutions. The reasons for the choice went beyond the maturity of Microsoft Dynamics as an ERP solution, which has been proven to provide the strength, functionality, and stability required to support a company’s size and complexity.

Two big reasons for choosing Microsoft Dynamics 365 as an ERP for financial services

The first differentiator that put Dynamics on top was that it is more than an ERP for financial services application. It is an organizational platform. The difference is in one word. A software platform refers to a flexible framework that provides the core components to allow multiple applications to perform tasks that are coordinated—not just accounting and finance functions found in an ERP application, but everything from the ground up, starting with an all-important Cloud foundation.

A platform also makes it easier to add new features and capabilities as an organization changes—or in the case of an investment firm—grows, organically or through acquisition. It has the flexibility to incorporate new technologies as they become available, making it the ideal framework on which to build and grow a business.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 provides that framework by enabling a company that implements it to leverage the entire Microsoft stack—including Dynamics 365, collaboration with Microsoft 365 (Office) & Teams, Azure Active Directory, Predictive and Artificial Intelligence power by Microsoft Azure, and Power BI—taking it well beyond accounting and finance, but also making it easier for very diverse companies to operate under one umbrella.

The second differentiator was AKA’s DynamicsAdvantage Multi-Entity Financial Management for Financial Services, a solution built on Dynamics 365 by AKA for organizations with multiple entities and global operations. AKA has worked with financial services for many years, and we’ve taken the experience and knowledge we’ve gained to build functionality to address specific needs of the industry, extending Dynamics 365 to make it an even better fit as an ERP for financial services. This application automates the processes involved in setup and maintenance of multiple entities, simplifying and streamlining consolidation of multiple entities on multiple levels and more, while providing better visibility and increasing the accuracy of financial data. Most importantly, it works seamlessly with Dynamics 365.

A smart decision for tough economic times—and beyond

Then the coronavirus pandemic hit. Understandably, each firm had to make the decision to move forward or hold fast until the crisis had passed. But each firm saw that implementing their new solution would deliver benefits immediately that would not only help them survive the economic downturn by reducing operational risk and operating costs, but come out of it stronger, ahead of their competitors:

  • Streamlining of complex multi-level financial allocations that not only save time, but also maximize the amount of recoverable expenses
  • Ability to roll up and consolidate multiple entities quickly and efficiently without introducing errors—even at the group level—for data-driven insights that enable strategic decisions
  • Scalability and flexibility to support rapid growth and expansion, both organically and through acquisition—including rapidly onboarding new companies—and to adapt quickly to future changes
  • Reporting and analytics that increase transparency and agility across multiple lines of business, including risk & trend analyses

Choose an ERP for financial services that’s more than an application

Looking to make a change to a new ERP for financial services solution or upgrade your existing application? Consider looking at an ERP that can fulfill the role of organizational platform—one that can create a seamless operating environment and facilitate change, growth, and expansion. Talk to the Financial Services experts at AKA Enterprise Solutions. We’ve been working with financial services firms for decades, creating shorter time to value and real transformation—and we can do it for you.

By | 2020-06-12T13:01:18+00:00 June 9th, 2020|Finance & Operations (ERP/AX/GP)|0 Comments
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Contributor: Rick Harper

Rick is a Sales Executive with AKA Enterprise Solutions. An AKA veteran, Rick has more than 20 years of experience helping organizations across industries, including financial services, achieve their goals.

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