Aptitude Software: Turning CFOs into Chief Value Officers

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Adam Flowers, Aptitude SoftwareAdam Flowers
Over the last few years, banks have increasingly been forced to address several fundamental changes to the industry. Consumer expectations are changing, new tech-first competitors are emerging, and new business models—from open banking to Banking-as-a-Service—are forcing banks to change how they do business. At the same time, they are under pressure to reduce costs, increase profit margins, and retain the most valuable customers.

In response to these changes and challenges, CEOs, CMOs, and other business unit heads are turning to the CFO for strategic guidance. Beyond the traditional responsibilities of number-crunching and overseeing financial reporting across multiple accounting standards, today’s CFOs are being asked to become enterprise-wide strategists and proactive decision-makers, utilizing technology to look at the bigger picture. To meet these expanding requirements, CFOs and their teams require immediate access to the right data, in one place and in real-time.

Technology Limitations

Unfortunately, for most bank CFOs, existing finance architectures are often not equipped to meet current and future requirements. In many large banks, finance teams face clunky legacy systems, disparate data, finance operating model that cannot be scaled for digital banking, and complex technical landscapes that require constant manual intervention. The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted gaps in the automation of business processes and underscored the need for solutions that enable CFOs to access real-time insights to support better and more efficient decision-making, manage risk, and address the complex needs of stakeholders. These requirements and the current environment are resulting in increased urgency around the need for digital finance transformations.

"AAH Allows Users to Consolidate and Optimize Processes for a Strategic Compliance Approach and Use Regulatory Data to Deliver Value beyond Compliance"

Progressively Transforming Finance

Aptitude Software, a global financial software specialist, delivers innovative financial solutions that help CFOs and finance teams run their businesses, forecast decisions, and comply with complex regulations. Aptitude enables a bank’s finance team to embark on a progressive finance transformation journey and shift from a focus on backward-looking reporting to high-value strategic guidance. Aptitude Software can help banks consolidate multiple disparate data sources, like risk, finance, and treasury systems, to create a standardized finance data model. This accurate financial data foundation acts as a single source of truth, allowing banks to analyze available data in real-time and utilize it to accurately forecast and make decisions for the future. “We help CFOs shift from a governance role to one that provides strategic forward-looking guidance, making them a trusted advisor to a business. In other words, they turn into a chief value officer,” says Adam Flowers, Aptitude’s Regional Director, APAC.

Aptitude uses a ‘cloud-first’ software development methodology, and all of its products can be deployed to the cloud or on-premise, providing clients with choice and flexibility. Aptitude’s flagship product, the Aptitude Accounting Hub, (AAH) is purpose-built to centralize and automate finance accounting and reporting while delivering a detailed financial data foundation for business insights and decision making.
It allows the finance team to take a leading role in driving the strategic and economic performance of a business. “AAH provides the speed, scale, and adaptability required to serve the fast-moving banking sector and exploit the value of financial data to deliver value through business insight,” adds Flowers. “It simplifies the most complex of finance architectures, which is why it is fast becoming an essential for any finance transformation.”

Aptitude also has several solutions developed to meet accounting and regulatory compliance requirements, including IFRS 9, IFRS 15, IFRS 16, IFRS 17, and LDTI.

We help CFOs shift from a governance role to one that provides strategic forward-looking guidance, making them a trusted advisor to a business. In other words, they turn into a chief value officer

The Value of an Accounting Hub in Banking

Accounting hubs are increasingly recognized by finance and technology experts as an essential part of today’s finance architecture. What sets AAH apart is its built-in IP, which includes pre-packaged, industry-specific accounting and business events, along with a multi-GAAP, accounting rules engine, which provides a solid foundation for the transaction, contract, and reference data at the most granular level. AAH also acts as a single source of truth for regulatory and risk reporting, providing trade-level data that feeds into financial statements, regulatory reporting, and monitoring. AAH centralizes an organization’s accounting rules and integrates and aligns data from multiple upstream sources to drive a more streamlined, automated, and transparent reporting process. This allows banks to benefit from bringing all finance data together for activities such as scenario definition, forecasting, modeling, accounting, and reporting. “AAH allows users to consolidate and optimize processes for a strategic compliance approach and use regulatory data to deliver value beyond compliance,” mentions Adam. Finance teams can better understand revenue and income diversity by market, characteristic, and funding, and unlock the value of financial data to provide actionable insights to the business.

Client Success Stories

Unlike many other solution providers in the finance transformation space, Aptitude has a proven track record of successfully implementing finance-owned solutions that deliver results. In one instance, Aptitude helped a leading retail and commercial bank reduce their overall cost and complexity by progressively transforming their finance technology landscape. After acquiring multiple recognized brands over the years, the client was looking for a platform that could handle the complexity of multiple systems and data sources. They needed to consolidate data for reporting purposes and automate existing reporting processes and wanted a scalable platform that could start addressing existing divisional projects and grow into a company-wide strategic solution.

After being selected over a large technology incumbent, the Aptitude Accounting Hub solution was integrated into the client’s existing infrastructure, to support the bank’s dynamic development and deliver financial control and transparency. “With Aptitude, they gained a flexible and cost-effective platform to progressively transform finance,” adds Flowers. Furthermore, because the project resulted in a simplified and standardized finance function, with automated reporting and operations, the bank was able to easily migrate to a cloud general ledger, becoming the first in the UK to achieve this milestone.

Anticipating Tomorrow’s Needs

Aptitude takes pride in being the only financial management software company that brings together finance expertise, innovative software, and a laser-sharp focus to the office of the CFO. They have been selected by world-leading organizations that want game-changing control and foresight when there is uncertainty, fear, and opportunity. Client successes are what propel Aptitude forward.

For the road ahead, the company seeks to further strengthen its presence in the finance and banking market by utilizing the latest technology for componentization and containerized delivery. All future development will be done in conjunction with clients via advisory boards and in collaboration with leading financial and accounting firms to identify new opportunities. The heart of Aptitude’s product development, testing, and product design is its Innovation Center in Wroclaw, Poland, which is becoming a hub for the best tech talent in Europe. “In the near-term, we will also be continuing to invest in our UI to make our products even more intuitive for finance users and enhancing the embedding reporting to further reduce finance’s reliance on IT. We are also investing in the cloud operations side of the business over the next 24 months,” wraps up Flowers.
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Adam Flowers

ACI Worldwide, the Universal Payments (UP) company, powers electronic payments for more than 5,100 organizations around the world. More than 1,000 of the largest financial institutions and intermediaries as well as thousands of leading merchants globally rely on ACI to execute $14 trillion each day in payments. In addition, thousands of organizations utilize the company's electronic bill presentment and payment services. Through its comprehensive suite of software and SaaS-based solutions, ACI delivers real-time, any-to-any payments capabilities and enables the industry’s most complete omni-channel payments experience

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