FutureView Systems: Accelerating the Path to Building a Mature Finance Function
Using a combination of cutting-edge technology and tried-and-true methodologies developed from decades of hands-on finance experience, FutureView helps small and medium businesses (SMBs) quickly develop their finance functions to operate in the same way that they do in more seasoned companies. Accelerating this lengthy and oft-painful development process helps SMBs make informed decisions much earlier, reaping the benefits of good decisions earlier in their growth cycle.
FutureView Systems was established in 2018 to help SMBs address the common finance issues they face: spreadsheet proliferation, version control, manual processes, and lack of a common financial scoreboard. After numerous conversations with CEOs revealing these common finance-related headaches, FutureView Systems’ founders realized they had a battle-tested blueprint to solve them.
FutureView delivers its services through two software solutions (Foundation and the Platform), as well as Finance Transformation services to assist clients in improving the supporting finance infrastructure. Foundation is a core technology that eliminates the tedious task of extracting data from the general ledger system each month and re-organizing the resulting mish-mash of data into coherent Excel reports. It automatically extracts data from the G/L system at a transaction level, and transforms it automatically with coherent, organized financial data to be consumed in Excel, saving hours of repetitive effort by overworked financial analysts. The direct integration to the G/L system means that the data and all derived reports are automatically updated for new data, eliminating version control issues.
The FutureView Platform utilizes multidimensional On-Line Analytical Processing (OLAP) tools to layer on a sophisticated web-based reporting, forecasting, and planning process. With this platform, clients who previously spent agonizing months managing the mechanics of a budget process are not only able to complete budgets in a few weeks but can also add monthly forecasting to provide more current visibility to the business.
A case in point is Spoonflower, a custom print-on-demand eCommerce company that was recently acquired by Shutterfly. The client was heavily dependent on Excel, NetSuite, and its homegrown systems for consolidating financial data. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a surge in demand, which required an extensive and rapid scenario planning and forecasting exercise. Brad Schomber, Spoonflower CFO, credits FutureView for enabling the company to be proactive instead of reactive at a critical time, enabling its senior managers to do their job expeditiously to promote insightful conversations within the team to make quicker decisions.
In the hierarchy of needs, budgeting and forecasting are higher-level aspirations for many SMBs struggling just to close the books and create reporting packages. FutureView has the finance expertise to provide Finance Transformation, advising clients on everything from how to best organize the finance function, set up departmental structure, define the appropriate sources of truth, implement a responsibility matrix to create financial accountability and help streamline the monthly closing process which CEO and co-founder John Baule describes as the “electricity” that empowers all higher-level finance activities. Whatever it takes to enable the client to utilize their platform effectively. The FutureView Platform represents the point where financial information is converted into the raw material for organizational decision-making—as Baule says, “The numbers fade away and the underlying business choices take center-stage.”
Providing a rapidly growing SMB with a Fortune 100 quality finance function offers some powerful possibilities for enhanced outcomes