Poll of nearly 500 financial professionals reveals misguided assumptions about cloud ERP reporting and lack of visibility into cloud ERP adoption
insightsoftware announced the results of a global survey that polled 471 financial professionals from organizations of all sizes and across numerous industries. The survey examined perceptions about the impact of cloud-based ERPs on the financial reporting process, and assessed the readiness of respondents’ organizations to adopt cloud ERPs.
Organizations are steadily moving business-critical data and workloads to cloud ERP systems, with the global cloud ERP market size expected to reach nearly $38 billion by 2024, according to MarketsandMarkets. While this shift will bring clear cost and efficiency advantages, it will not solve the inherent limitations of native ERP financial reporting, which is typically designed to support only basic reporting needs, rather than the specialized reporting requirements of finance departments.
Yet, when respondents were asked how they expect the move to a cloud ERP to improve financial reporting, they listed the following perceived benefits:
- Faster reporting (nearly 40%)
- Improved report automation (30%)
- Reduced reliance on IT (25%)
- More accurate reporting (21%)
“This survey exposes broad misconceptions that cloud ERPs will help to overcome the pain points associated with native ERP financial reporting, including the need to manually manipulate static data and depend on IT teams, all of which result in a time-intensive process that’s not conducive to the speed of business,” said Wes Gillette, vice president of product management at insightsoftware. “Unfortunately, these same financial reporting roadblocks that exist with on-premise ERP systems remain unchanged in cloud ERPs. For finance teams, it’s just ‘the same problem, different server,’ and in fact, new issues with performance can arise in the cloud, making financial reporting even slower. Finance professionals that anticipate these challenges can help their organizations prevent reporting delays and ensure the transition to a cloud ERP is a smooth one.”
When asked about plans to move to a cloud-based ERP solution, just over 30% of respondents said their organization is already using or planning to use a cloud ERP within the next year, reflecting a continued deliberate but measured approach to cloud ERP adoption. This is likely due, in part, to the complexity of migrating financial (and other) data and preserving the often highly-customized functionality of on-premise ERP systems. However, a majority of respondents (44%) were unsure about their organizations’ plans for cloud ERP adoption:
- 44% are not sure about plans to move to a cloud ERP
- 25% are not currently planning to move to a cloud ERP
- 21% of respondents are already using a cloud ERP
- 10% are planning to move to one within the next 6 – 12 months
These findings reveal finance teams’ relative lack of visibility into cloud ERP deployments. While this is not overly surprising since ERP deployment decisions are typically driven by IT, it highlights an opportunity for finance teams to proactively engage with IT early in the decision and planning phases to ensure integration of tools that are optimized to deliver high-performance, automated, intelligent financial reporting from cloud-based ERP systems.