Grant Thornton on 3 Opportunities Finance Teams Should Jump On
Grant Thornton, a Workiva partner, has a global organization with over 56,000 professionals in 135 countries providing audit, tax, and advisory services. In this Q&A with Mike Demerzhan and Ronald Gothelf of Grant Thornton, we talked about what overlooked opportunities they're seeing that businesses can pounce on right now, how to deliver efficiency, and why they're stoked to work with Workiva. Here's what Mike, Director, Business Consulting–Transformation, and Ronald, Managing Director, Business Consulting–Transformation, had to say.
Q: This year has been full of surprises. What structural changes do you expect to last long after COVID-19 is under control?
A: Remote working arrangements. COVID-19 has taught us that the majority of the work can be done remotely, and we don’t all have to be in one confined space.
As more employees work remotely, collaboration will become more and more critical, not just in the realm of meetings, but also in many other areas—such as preparing regulatory reports. The current system of manually compiling the necessary data for internal and external reporting is unsustainable as it does not allow for collaboration and process efficiencies.
Q: What are some of the overlooked opportunities for any business in times like this?
A: For most organizations, the overlooked initiatives that drive the most efficiency fall into three categories: automating manual processes, designing and building a new process, and finance and technology transformation. Here is our short list of opportunities to take advantage of now:
1. Process optimization and automation
Many organizations focus so much on liquidity and other challenges that they miss an opportunity to evaluate existing processes for efficiency and automation. Recessions present the perfect time to perform these evaluations as most organizations have the same amount of work with fewer employees, which creates significant challenges and burned out employees.
2. Selection of automation platforms
Businesses should be preparing to come out of the recession in better shape and more prepared for the next recessions. When selecting automation platforms as part of a finance or technology transformation plan, organizations should evaluate all the necessary technology that could automate the entire process from beginning to the end, not just a portion of the process.
3. Internal audit and risk management
The shift to remote work enhances opportunities for fraud, as well as IT and cybersecurity threats. Look for opportunities to perform more efficient and rigorous audits and risk assessments. Internal audit teams should not only make use of new technology in performing the audits, but they should also evaluate internal processes and technology for areas that could be automated and made more efficient.
Q: Why did Grant Thornton decide to partner with Workiva?
A: There are many reasons. Workiva developed a market-leading connected reporting and compliance platform that:
- Enables remote teammates to work together simultaneously from anywhere with a secure internet connection
- Automates the financial reporting process and streamlines internal audit and controls processes
- Provides significant time savings and efficiencies
Many of our clients already use one or more Workiva cloud solutions and have nothing but great things to say. Also, we, as advisors, need to be able to advise clients on the best solutions that will help them solve their issues, and when it comes to reporting, Workiva is among the best.
Learn more about how the Grant Thornton Advisory practice can help you take advantage of overlooked opportunities to get ahead of the next normal.