At Randstad, we are on a constant journey to shape the world of work around us. The CFO Network Series sets out to accomplish just that.

Held in the format of a roundtable, the CFO Network Series brings together top level finance leaders from different industries to discuss the critical issues that impact their world of work on a daily basis.

In the first CFO Network series of 2016, Benson Wong, APJ Controller, Ivy Lai, APAC Controller, and Yvonne Borgert, Senior Manager, from Salesforce shared more about how the implementation of a new digital system transformed their financial closing in terms of process as well as human interaction.

Salesforce, the leading enterprise cloud computing company and #1 CRM globally, has grown to be one of the most highly valued cloud computing companies in the world since its inception in 1999. Since the very beginning, and its listing on the New York Stock Exchange in 2004, Salesforce has been experiencing meteoric growth rates. The company is driven by a constant focus on its customers, its employees and the wider community in which it operates.

This rapid growth (in both revenue and size) led to increased demand for a global, transparent and scalable financial close process. With only a couple weeks to complete the review, across each region and market, a simple mistake or setback could jeopardise the entire closing process.

With the growing need for global real time issue resolution and knowledge sharing as well as increasingly stringent compliance management, Salesforce developed the Finance Cycle Manager (FCM) application, built on its own technology platform.

Through FCM, Salesforce built a solution that could provide:

  • Real time status updates
  • Accountability by assignment of tasks to individuals
  • Issue escalation and collaboration
  • Knowledge database to track how tasks were completed or issues resolved
  • Mobile and cloud technology to provide instant access regardless of platform or location

The FCM offers CFOs and financial controllers the ability to deep dive into the finance process and gauge progress from a global level, right down to individual tasks happening in a specific office.

Instant chat is available allowing any person to crowd source ideas and solutions, something that was previously impossible through traditional e-mails which would need to be forwarded through several people before arriving at the correct destination or resolution.

With its success since launch, the FCM system is now going beyond the financial close and being adapted to handle other back office processes, such as payroll, statutory audit and SOX cycles, to help Salesforce in its quest for continued growth and customer success.