Everything is hectic. One employee is complaining that they can’t find a certain file. Another employee’s sporadically emailing people to figure out if they should add tax for a particular PO. Sales reps are calling to figure out what stage the contract is in.
There’s no avoiding the scramble at quarter end. But a couple years ago, the TIBCO finance department found a way to make things a little better. By using an enterprise social network, the finance team streamlines accounting close information and communication, and even enhances collaboration with their auditors.
To increase efficiency and reduce errors, employees share best practices on a private subject within the network. One employee advises that his teammates add tax for orders from Spain; another employee explains that a certain vendor is always being charged tax when they shouldn’t be and offers tips on how to recalculate. The subject works as a live Q&A, for employees to search and reference, helping them find in-depth answers and eliminate errors.
Cutting Out the Email Clutter
“Before tibbr, I was always cleaning out my inbox all of the time,” said one employee from the finance department. With almost 90 people on one email distribution list, employees would receive hundreds of emails, many of which had the same title. One email, for example, had 60 replies which everyone was CC’d on. Employees would have to open each one to find out if it pertained to their work.
By moving email conversations over to a private “Accounting Close” subject on tibbr, employees see a transparent history of the latest reports, conversations and so forth. Employees post status updates, so everyone knows the latest stage without sorting through their inbox.
Bringing Reports into a Social Context
Much of what TIBCO finance does is based within financial applications. Currently our ERP management system pulls reports (transfer reports, general ledger reports) and sends automated messages into tibbr, so the right employee from finance knows when to get started on the next step. The messages include links so employees can go back to the original report destination. Before, the process used to be email heavy, but now employees don’t have to email each other to know when something’s processed. Plus, they can post messages, provide further details and collaborate in context of the latest reports to help make better decisions.
A Better Handoff to the Auditors
Typically auditors are handed a flash drive or receive a secure transfer with all of the necessary requests, but now the finance teams shares all reports securely on a tibbr private community. According to our auditor, the new way “gives us an opportunity to work directly with the right people.” Otherwise the auditor would have ask who to talk to with follow-up questions about specific reports.
“One thing when you’re dealing with auditors, they’re always asking ‘where is this?’” said a TIBCO employee. “tibbr provides one place for them to find it.” By providing a history of documentation (contracts, invoices, purchase orders etc.), tibbr saves the finance team time from answering (often repeated) questions.
So, rather than running around asking questions, getting bogged down by emails or experiencing analysis paralysis because they’re spending way too much time looking for errors, folks in finance can focus on close responsibilities, deal processing, financial analysis and other daily business activities.