In a slew of announcements at the recently held Workday Rising 2012 user conference, one major theme has been that Workday, the cloud software company that initially started with providing human resource management system (HRMS) and which later added payroll software, now has 40 financial management customers as well (10 percent of its customer base). Most recently, the roster of Workday Financial Management customers has been joined by the University of Rochester, TripAdvisor, and J.B. Hunt.
Workday 18 Financial Management
The recently released Workday 18 had major Workday Financial Management application enhancements to bring more global capabilities to large multinational organizations, together with advanced industry-specific functionality (see the related PR). Some advancements to Workday Financial Management included the following:
Workday Financials “Secret Sauces”
Worktags bring new levels of operational efficiency and accurate accounting through a unified accounting and financials core, and the ability to simplify the chart of accounts and reduce administrative maintenance, while maintaining rich, multi-dimensional business visibility. Another part of Workday’s “secret sauce” is the built-in Business Process Framework (BPF)—a fabric of effective and proactive control and governance by modeling, monitoring, and analyzing processes. Workday apps are built on top of BPF (i.e., no bolt-on workflow/BPM solution is needed), whereas most other business apps were built well before the advent of workflow software.
Built-in (not optional) budgetary controls, auditing, and configurable workflows facilitate governance and compliance across the organization to cost-effectively adapt to changing regulatory and organizational requirements. Flexible business process framework and an always-on audit trail allow for the creation of workflows and controls relevant and necessary to the business. There is also a better ability to accommodate new business requirements and processes, including mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity and re-organizations, without relying on information technology (IT) support and investment due to Workday’s business-driven configurability.
Built-in and actionable BI tools provide faster access to reports and relevant business data. Workday’s real-time reporting and business-event driven analytics increase efficiencies around business processes and provide executives with critical business insights to make better decisions. Richer contextual insights into the details of the business through business event data captured at the transactional level create the ability to develop germane financial, operational, and management reports.
It is refreshing to see so many contemporary features in Workday Financial Management—tags, events, compliance, people elements, effective dating, etc.—all architected from ground up. Still, while Workday is good at storing budgets, it cannot do budgeting, per se. TidemarkEPM is one of the partners in this regard (i.e., budgeting is a critical issue for government agencies). Future product developments will be along the themes of more scalability, reporting, and depth in terms of GAAP/IFRS compliance, global capabilities (e.g., for Latin American countries), document-sequencing, governance, risk management & compliance (GRC), etc.
Granted, Workday Financial Management might still be behind SAP, Oracle, and CODA Financials in terms of in-depth feature-by-feature comparison. But the attractiveness of Workday, in addition to its true cloud deployment and design concept with agility in mind, stems from the greater control to adapt and accommodate to new business requirements and processes, while reducing the level of IT support. Moreover, a consumer-driven, intuitive user interface (UI) enables finance operations to better manage information and extract insights with minimal training for improved operational efficiencies and employee engagement, with reduced support costs. Last but not least, Workday has long offered built-in mobile access across tablet and smartphone devices empowering the organization with greater accessibility to business information and insights.
Can Software Help Employees Enjoy Their Workday (More)? – Part 1. September 28, 2011.