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Command Center – creating intelligence for the finance function

Arush Kumar
October 8, 2020

In today’s competitive business environment, CFOs and finance controllers need rapid access to real-time performance data and insights to help them make smarter and faster business decisions.

Enter the Command Center – an independent reporting function within a company’s Global Business Services (GBS), responsible for preparing and publishing insight-driven and business-focused reports on the processes and functions that make up an organization’s business operations.

The changing role of the Command Center

Traditionally, the Command Center has mainly focused on SLA and KPI reporting on the quality and timeliness of an organization’s individual processes. Typically, these Excel-based reports were created manually, were not user-friendly, and provided minimal business and financial insights for senior finance leaders.

Today, the Command Center provides timely and easily accessible insight into an organization’s business operations and financial performance. This includes finance and business metrics such as days sales outstanding (DSO), the percentage of accounts payable e-invoicing, the percentage of automated balance sheet reconciliations. It also includes a CFO dashboard that displays items such as balance sheet analytics and variance analysis.

Data visualization tools such as Power BI or Tableau are integrated to provide easy-to-read graphics that display data combined from multiple input sources. This ensures that the reports are relevant for different users and functions, easy to understand and drill down into data if required, and can be accessed at any time on any device. As an example, reports on days payable outstanding (DPO) and sales variance can be created for a purchase-to-pay (P2P) manager and finance controller, respectively.

Enhanced decision-making and benchmarking

The Command Center provides critical value insights and intelligence to help organizations make better business decisions and generate financial savings. For example, by analyzing the different kinds of customer disputes contributing to DSO, actions can be initiated to address those disputes.

Insights can also be expanded to include predictive analytics that assists working capital management. Examples of these insights include how delayed vendor payments can impact working capital and predicting payment dates through analyzing customer behavior.

Further added value comes from natural language generation (NLG), which automatically generates commentaries on financial performance such as sales and expense variance. This enables a CFO to develop analysis whenever required and make immediate decisions rather than wait until the end of the month for a manually created report.

The Command Center also benchmarks financial process performance with peer organizations in the industry and compares them with external benchmarks created by Hackett or APQC. A consumer products company, for example, can compare purchase order (PO) compliance or auto cash match percentage with peer organizations in the industry and initiate actions to improve its performance.

To summarize, an organization’s Command Center shouldn’t merely be seen as a support function. It should be effectively leveraged as an invaluable business partner that provides intelligence in the form of insights and reports to enable faster and more accurate decision-making.

To learn how Capgemini’s Intelligent Command Center delivers timely and easily accessible insight into our clients’ day-to-day business operations, helping them make decisions informed by data, contact: