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  November 13, 2007

Webinar Series:
Achieving the Modern Fast Close: Renewing your Close, Consolidate, Report Process for Performance Insight and Impact

Part 2: Automating Financial Consolidation - The First, Best Step in Close, Consolidate and Report Makeover
  • Thomas Willman, Program Leader, Account-to-Report and Enterprise Performance Management Advisory Programs, The Hackett GroupLearn More
  • Gary Simon, Group Publisher of Financial Systems News (FSN) and Managing Director of FSN NewswireLearn More
  • Delbert Krause, Director, Product Marketing, Cognos Learn More
  • Automating Financial Consolidation - The First, Best Step in Close, Consolidate, and Report Makeover

    This Webinar will review the impact of automating the close, consolidate, report process. We will review the impact of automation on the key steps in the cycle: collecting and certifying data, preparing for the close, consolidating the results, and distribution to internal and external decision-makers. You’ll hear how automation in the hands of finance is the first, best step to accurately streamlining the close process, reducing data errors and facilitating timely results. We’ll review the parameters of the Fast Close as it exists today to support statutory and compliance requirements.

    To begin, The Hackett Group will discuss the key process improvements enabled through the automation of the financial consolidation process and the impact this has on the cost, quality and responsiveness of the finance organization. Hackett will also discuss insights gained on companies that have automated the consolidations process.

    Then, Gary Simon, Editor of Financial Systems News and Author of “Fast Close to the Max, will describe the shift from a narrow focus on statutory reporting (events such as Sarbanes-Oxley and the requirement for broader performance reporting have underscored the importance of the Fast Close to regular monthly management reporting as well) to an efficient environment of management and performance reporting based on 5 key steps:

    1. Banish bad data
    2. Build an effective early warning system
    3. Use the best technology for the job
    4. Align the finance organization
    5. Secure the “Last Mile”

    About the Webinar Series

    It’s five years since Sarbanes Oxley became law, and for many organizations the goal of relevant, accurate, timely, auditable, controlled financial information remains elusive and out of reach.

    Surprising? Not when you look closely at the trends that prevent organizations from optimizing their financial consolidations:

    • The still-ubiquitous spreadsheet, preventing centralized management and process control.
    • First generation solutions, unable to support modern requirements.
    • A close process layered on by acquisitions, restructuring, and a host of source systems.

    This series is a step-by-step discovery of the benefits of renewing the close, consolidate, report process. We will engage thought leaders, industry experts, and customers throughout. Whether you are already resolving your financial consolidation issues or just embarking on your journey, this Webinar series will bring you valuable information to help you each step of the way.

    October 30, 2007
    Part 1:
    Delivering Financial Results: With or Without Spreadsheets - That is the Question
    November 13, 2007
    Part 2:
    Automating Financial Consolidation - The First, Best Step in Close, Consolidate, Report Makeover
    December 11, 2007
    Part 3:
    Ensuring Best Practices For Internal Controls and Financial Consolidation
    February 6, 2008
    Part 4:
    Performance and Compliance - Combining To Deliver Financial and Operational Insight
    March 4, 2008
    Part 5:
    Looking Ahead - Leveraging Financial Consolidation and Enterprise Planning

    • Controllers
    • CFO's
    • CIO's
    • VP's, Directors and Managers of Finance, Corporate Governance, Compliance, IT
    Tom Wilman
    Thomas Willman, Program Leader, Account-to-Report and Enterprise Performance Management Advisory Programs, The Hackett Group

    Mr. Willman is the Program Leader for The Hackett Group's Account-to-Report and Enterprise Performance Management Advisory Programs. He has over 12 years of finance, accounting and consulting experience across numerous industries. His experience has focused on helping CFOs and senior Finance executives to transform their organizations through the deployment of more efficient and effective processes, service delivery models and enabling technologies. Prior to joining The Hackett Group, Mr. Willman worked in Finance Transformation consulting with IBM Global Business Services and PwC Consulting. He also has several years of public accounting experience. He holds an MBA from Duke University, a BBA in Accounting from the University of Georgia and is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Georgia.

    Gary Simon, Group Publisher of Financial Systems News (FSN) and Managing Director of FSN Newswire

    Gary Simon, Group Publisher of FSN and Managing Editor of FSN Newswire, is a graduate of London University, a Chartered Accountant and a Fellow of the British Computer Society with more than 23 years experience of implementing management and financial reporting systems. Formerly a partner in Deloitte for more than 16 years, he has led some of the most complex financial reporting and information management assignments for global enterprises in the private and public sector. His latest book, “Fast Close to the Max®” is now available from FSN Publishing Limited.

    Delbert Krause, Director, Product Marketing, Cognos

    Delbert Krause is Director, Product Marketing, Performance Management Solutions at Cognos. Mr. Krause combines his formal education in finance and accounting along with 20 plus years experience in delivering performance management solutions supporting finance, business and IT users. He has worked in a variety of roles enabling customers achieve success across a broad range of solutions supporting performance management, from large international consolidations to enterprise planning and reporting applications. Mr. Krause's background includes formal training and experience in finance, working directly with customers and consulting, selling, and marketing performance management software solutions. Working with the Performance Management Solutions team at Cognos for the past 7 years, Mr. Krause's current responsibility is to help bring understanding to customers on the benefits of performance management and the role Cognos solutions play in delivering success.


    Cognos is the world leader in business intelligence (BI) and performance management solutions. We provide world-class enterprise BI, planning and consolidation software and services to help companies plan, understand and manage financial and operational performance.

    Cognos brings together technology, analytical applications, best practices, and a broad network of partners to give our customers a complete performance solution. We provide an open and adaptive solution that leverages an organization's ERP, packaged applications, and database investments.

    We give customers the ability to answer the questions -- How are we doing? Why are we on or off track? What should we do about it? - and enable them to understand and monitor current performance while planning future business strategies.

    Cognos serves more than 23,000 customers in more than 135 countries. Our solutions and services are also available from more than 3,000 worldwide partners and resellers.

    Additional information about Cognos is available at: http://www.cognos.com/compliance/index.html

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