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Workday 26 - financials see further major enhancements

Brian Sommer Profile picture for user brianssommer April 24, 2016
Brian Sommer likes what he sees in Workday 26 but is eyeing the future for acceleration in sales volume

workday financials W25
I did a call late last week with Workday’s Betsy Bland and Tom McEvilly re: Workday’s new release 26 and the new financial accounting capabilities within it. Here are my quick notes.

The financial product line now has over 200 customers with more than 100 of them live/in production. Adoption of the solution beyond the U.S. is growing.  Customers using Workday Financial Management are now live in at least 35 countries. These customers are headquartered in five countries (U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia and Netherlands).

Support for more languages has been enhanced with this release and more translations will arrive as customer demand dictates. The software adds language translations for German and Simplified Chinese. These are in addition to Continental French, Canadian French, Spanish and English. Portuguese and Italian should ship with Workday 27.

Previously, country specific configurations of the software existed for: United States, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and Netherlands customers. Release 26 adds the following countries: France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark.  Release 27 will add country specific configurations for a number of Asian countries.

The software has had real time consolidation and consolidated reporting functionality for some time.  In Workday 26, Workday has added support for multi-fiscal year consolidation.  They have also added the Journal Connector, making it easier to roll up accounting data from Workday and non-Workday financial accounting software. The product takes flat-file uploads from other systems, attaches Workday tags and performs other logic to permit a more comprehensive financial view of a company’s operations.

While this functionality may permit some customers to do away with a separate consolidation module, it may not solve all consolidation issues for all customers. For example, it cannot currently support a situation where a subsidiary uses a 4-4-5 accounting calendar and the parent company is on a monthly calendar. That’s scheduled for a future release. Readers should expect this functionality to continue to mature even as Workday readies new budgeting/planning/forecasting functionality in a forthcoming release (see below).

Release 26 also has a number of new capabilities beyond the above.

A new collections analytics application computes a score that predicts the risk of a late payment or non-payment of a customer’s bill.  Customers may not get access to the risk algorithm (to tune or alter) but the tool is using a variety of data points within the Workday application to help users identify which customer accounts warrant increased scrutiny and what cash flow impact these situations could create.

I asked Betsy if she was satisfied with the speed with which Workday is rolling out new analytic applications. She indicated she was but she also said that they’ve been focused on building the upcoming budgeting/planning functionality. That functionality is scheduled for a September release.

Workday has enhanced its revenue recognition functionality. The software has a compliance analysis capability.

Procurement functionality is more complete, too. Full RFQ to product/service delivery functionality is present in the software.

In all, release 26 goes a long ways to making the software more valuable to firms with global operations, multiple subsidiaries, and, revenue recognition compliance needs.  Workday should see financial application sales pick up short-term but once the budgeting/planning module is launched, sales could really accelerate. Why? To date, most cloud financial accounting solutions lack an integrated budgeting/planning capability. When Workday delivers this, it will be one of the few cloud vendors to do so and it will be the only one to do so for large enterprise customers.

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