Big city, bright lights – Prophix visits FP&A Innovation Summit 2014 in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Skyline - FP&A Innovation Summit 2014 On a recent trip to the fabulous city of Hong Kong, myself and Prophix CEO Paul Barber attended the FP&A Innovation Summit 2014 and learned first-hand about some of the many challenges finance leaders were experiencing in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. Finance leaders from renowned companies such as Volkswagen, ANZ Bank, Kaspersky Labs, GE Capital, Philips, and Aedas Group were in attendance. What I heard was not surprising or unique to APAC, but synonymous with challenges faced by companies around the world each and every day.

Prevailing themes were:

  1. Spreadsheets continue to be the dominant tool used for budgeting, planning, forecasting, business reporting and financial consolidation, despite its numerous limitations. Finance professionals were well aware that as a company grows and requires more rigorous planning and consolidation processes, spreadsheets fall short of the mark. We discussed at length the constant effort that was required to ensure accuracy along with the great time spent managing and maintaining these documents.
  2. Companies who made the investment years ago to move away from spreadsheets to dedicated corporate performance management applications were unhappy. Legacy products from the mega vendors such as SAP, IBM, and Oracle have failed to make their products easier for finance departments to use. In a dynamic and fast changing environment like Asia, finance executives do not want to rely on costly consultants to each time they have to recast financial forecasts—they want to be able to do it in house with their own staff.
  3. The preference for a single unified solution over multiple applications or numerous modules, each with its own technology, user interface, and costly licensing models. Finance users don’t have time to learn multiple applications or move data around in order to perform crucial tasks such as management reporting.
  4. Finance departments were seeking new tools to automate and reduce the number of repetitive tasks associated with financial consolidation and reporting. Eliminating the number of manual tasks leaves more time available for performing value added analysis enabling finance to become a more strategic decisions making partner to senior management.


Whether I am traveling the world or speaking by phone to one of our customers, the challenges remain the same. And in resolving these challenges finance executives are united – they want a provider who listens to and understands the Office of Finance.

This is why Prophix developed a unified solution with finance users at the helm. No longer at the mercy of IT or consultants, Prophix empowers the Office of Finance and enables organizations to foster a culture of differentiation. Unburdened by the risks associated with spreadsheets, companies are vastly improving internal communication and processes with compelling results.

I thoroughly enjoy listening to, and learning from, the people I meet in my role as the head of product planning. To design and deliver a product that meets the needs of the market, you have to be constantly validating, asking questions and learning everything you can. I’m pleased to say that during my trip to Hong Kong I learned a great deal from the business leaders I met. My hope is that I was able to share with them my own experience witnessing the success that comes with addressing those problems with a solution like Prophix.

Prophix is proud to be working with a number of great customers in Asia including Singapore Management University (SMU), Vopak Terminals, Robinsons, and Pacific International Lines (PIL).

Geoff Ng

As Vice-President of Product Planning, Geoffrey is responsible for managing the long-term product and technology strategy at Prophix. Geoffrey began his tenure at Prophix as a management consultant leading the implementation of financial analytics systems at over 70 organizations throughout North America.