As the first generation raised with personal computers and smartphones, the Gen Y/Millennial generation has shown a propensity to adapt to new and modernized technology quicker and with greater ease than previous generations – and they don’t show any signs of slowing down. The same will likely be said as Gen Z joins the corporate world, too, which brings up a pressing question for corporate technology: now that Millennials are hitting their early-to-late 30s, how will office technology change?
Many businesses use Excel for its functionality, along with the familiarity and depth of experience already present in the workforce among older generations. However, the downfall here is that the platform is being pushed past the limits of its creation.
Spreadsheets were designed to aggregate and assess data, not to be a 360-degree, comprehensive financial tool. Nevertheless, despite this fact, people continue to use spreadsheets for calculations beyond their scope – like accounting and consolidation, forecasting and planning.
That likely won’t persist as the digital native generations reach the executive levels at companies.
Enterprise Accounting Software and Millennials (Including Gen Z and Gen Alpha)
As digital natives who have spent their lives using gamified apps and tools designed specifically for their purpose, it comes naturally to want that same high level of functionality and user-friendliness in the platforms, programs, and tools we use in the workplace. There’s always initial pushback on changes, but solid change management can solve most of those issues with the tech-savvy Millennials who are now making their way into leadership positions.
With their increased oversight and authority, we can, with a high degree of certainty, see more transitions out of spreadsheets and into highly-designed systems created for their specific purposes – even in departments that have been notorious holdouts like accounting and finance.
Digital natives love the sort of thing a CPM system like OneStream offers. OneStream can be accessed anywhere as a cloud-based platform and features a user-friendly interface. It even uses the same general idea as iPhones and the App Store. OneStream comes with a lovely blank slate (thankfully without the U2 album auto-loaded onto it) and the “Extensible Dimensionality” is the App store – expand or condense your OneStream tool as needed cost-effectively and efficiently.
Unified, in real-time, and connected. OneStream is a Millennial accountant’s dream.
Why doesn’t that apply to the older generations?
Seasoned Finance Professionals: A Love Letter to Spreadsheets
Finance officers have a sense of individual autonomy when working within a spreadsheet tool and continue to cling to it even after being shown the increased labor and time spent on legacy systems.
Using spreadsheets is far more than two-fold – it’s susceptible to human error as there’s the issue of tribal knowledge and the hit-by-bus scenario, and it lacks the broader capabilities of enterprise accounting software. As a result, many companies have lost millions – even billions – of dollars to spreadsheet errors.
With all these limitations acknowledged, why the resistance?
Primarily, the most commonly cited reason is simply that it’s difficult. Molly Cogburn, a Senior Financial Reporting Analyst & OneStream Administrator at Joerns Healthcare, can attest to that from her experience, saying, “It is not always easy to make that kind of transition because it is easier to stay put in a system that you have been using for a while. Additionally, finance departments are usually slower than others because of this adoption, but with the right software, the return on investment is undoubtable.”
Secondly, every year there’s a commotion about technology “taking away” jobs, with repetitive admin activities and process-driven tasks always on the chopping block. So, in that sense, yes, bookkeeping and compliance are the most likely to get automated away, and enterprise accounting software in the Gartner magic quadrant like OneStream provides that functionality.
In the bigger picture, It can’t do away with the strategic tasks. OneStream is a fuel accelerant for better accounting, consolidation, forecasting, and planning. It’s not a replacement for human ingenuity. Therefore, using quality technology can lead to a stronger company that’s more prepared for the future and capable of making smarter financial decisions.
Preparation is Key to Learning New Enterprise Accounting Software
Advanced planning techniques are used by the most innovative companies across the globe, but just because they’re cutting edge doesn’t mean they’re difficult to learn – even with no previous experience in CPM solutions.
The first step to any vital transition requires proper preparation. Finding the right implementation partner is just as important as finding the right technology, especially when transitioning out of a long-standing legacy system or process. Full-user adoption is the key to getting the full benefits of any new technology.
There’s an entire theory on change management, and it’s worth understanding in total, but, at Spaulding Ridge, we consider it a big part of our partnership with clients to not only onboard but to empower your teams in new tech.
Best-in-Cloud: Benefits of OneStream
OneStream is an enterprise accounting software that exceeds legacy application capabilities and handles all corporate performance management (CPM) processes, including reporting, planning, and analytics in one extensible platform.
Without these financial insights, a business cannot accurately forecast for the future and make data-driven decisions that can increase profit.
“I would say I’m really glad that I found OneStream. I’ve found that many people in the IT software space have incredible knowledge about what financial systems need today. These include scenario modeling, automating insights, continuous forecasting, among many others. There is so much more out there if you move beyond the wall that is Excel,” adds Molly Cogburn from Joerns Healthcare.
Some main benefits of using OneStream for accounting include:
- Reducing the time and cost of maintaining legacy applications
- Streamlining the financial close, consolidation and reporting
- Increasing agility in planning, budgeting, and forecasting
- Extensible dimensionality to get actuals in at a different level than you forecast at
The benefits of using OneStream as enterprise accounting software are valuable at all levels in finance, and I think seasoned professionals, Millennials, Gen Z, and on, can agree on that.
Spaulding Ridge and OneStream
Spaulding Ridge is a trusted OneStream provider. Our team is comprised of experienced CPAs, MBAs, and industry leaders who have first-hand experience with OneStream who will carefully address all challenges and customize your implementation specifically for your business and teams.
Have questions? Reach out to Colleen Webster to talk about OneStream and all of your accounting needs.