Salesforce plus the ERP: In Perfect Harmony (Office of the CFO Series, Part 3)



As discussed in our two previous posts in this education series, Salesforce can address and support key priorities that matter to CFO’s and Finance departments. The clear establishment of the Sales Master, Financial Master and an intelligent data model are vital to the success of the evolving nature of the Office of the CFO.


4 ways that Salesforce + ERP supports Finance

The top four ways that Salesforce, with the addition of an ERP, can work together to manage these functions are by providing:

  1. Better alignment between Sales & Finance teams
  2. Audit support for financial reporting requirements
  3. A customer-centric, data-driven view of your business to enable strategic decision making
  4. Strong financial forecasting and reporting of KPI’s.

The key to a wholistic view of your customers

With the rapidly changing landscape in which businesses find themselves today, the CFO has taken on a different role than in the past and moved into a much more strategic thought leader within the organization. Additionally, the days are long gone where Sales and Finance can live in separate silos with functions that are not interrelated. Today’s customer expects businesses to view them holistically and this requires a partnership between Sales and Finance with data that empowers both departments.

I tend to center this partnership on the subject of revenue. I love the story that revenue (and related activities) tells about an organization. From lead to attrition, following the revenue (anticipated or actual) produces data points without subjectivity to help tell this story, with the CFO as the storyteller. With the Sales Master living in the CRM from Lead to Invoice with an integration to the ERP as the Finance Master, this story remains uninterrupted.

The single largest benefit to connecting Salesforce with the ERP

Having gone through too many financial audits to count, I believe one of the largest benefits of the connectivity between Salesforce and an ERP is the audit reporting facilitation created from this relationship (for which the CFO is ultimately responsible). For example, with the compliance requirements of ASC 606 as the new revenue recognition method for businesses providing goods and services contracts, having an integrated solution to provide reliable and efficient audit procedures is integral to a successful audit.

With the Sales Master owning the customer contract identification, performance obligations and determination/allocation of the transaction price and the Financial Master residing in the ERP consuming this information to manage revenue recognition and financial reporting, it provides a transparent audit of customer data in a precise way that disparate systems and manual processes cannot match.

Real time decision-making at your fingertips

The ability to make “real time” actionable, strategic decisions has never been more important than in the climate we have endured over the last couple of years and remain in currently under continued economic uncertainty. The integrated Salesforce + ERP solution provides businesses the ability to do just that. It can mean that many departments are no longer beholden to wait on one another (and possible manual reporting processes) to make key business decisions. Bringing this integrated data to people across an organization results in better, more efficient planning and actions taken. Transparency in this data breaks down communication silos and ultimately reduces the “time to dollar”.

Through automation, business decisions can be made and configured in these two power house systems to save time on routine tasks, improve data accuracy, increase solution adoption and provide better quote/sales enforcement and governance. This significantly relieves the operational constraints facing these teams today.

Ditch the reactive strategy for a proactive, data-centered strategy

This holistic view of the customer, transparency of data, single source of truth and intelligent data model provide the backbone of the reporting and forecasting requirements of the CFO. They can leverage the data resulting from these shared tools to provide the reporting and analytics of the KPI’s toward which the CFO is driving. Although the traditional accounting department maintains a monthly close, today’s CFO often does not have the flexibility to wait for the outcomes of those financials to report on the strategic needs of their organization. Being able to interact with an active pipeline based on clean data for projections aligned with a company’s current financials is a requirement to enable the CFO to be proactive in their decision making rather than reactive to market conditions. The culmination of power of these two tools creates a perfect harmony rather than disconnected dissonance.


Up Next in our Series,
The Office of the CFO: Enabled through Salesforce

Stay tuned for Part 4 of this series, Salesforce and the Sales Catalogue, coming soon!

For more details about our 7-part series, visit our original post here:


Written by Marei Draper, Principal Consultant and Business Architect at Uptima