One of the biggest challenges facing finance managers, not to mention CFOs, is determining the quality of data being collected by their organizations. Hyperion Solutions Corp.'s new Web-based application, Hyperion System 9 Financial Data Quality Management, tackles the problem by catching errors and inconsistencies at the source system level, before information is sent to corporate finance to be consolidated. A module to the company's core business performance management (BPM) application, the new solution puts corporate finance staff at the center of setting and changing verification controls, while freeing them from having to do all the actual troubleshooting late in the game.

A data preparation engine helps users integrate, change and validate data from general ledger, human resources or any other transactional systems while other features verify mapping and intersections to compare source data to the consolidated system for completeness. "We're pushing the onus for ensuring data quality onto the financial staff submitting that data into the corporate systems, versus the people at the receiving end," says John O'Rourke, senior director of product marketing at Hyperion. "We're giving the corporate finance staff the tools to control that." Financial Data Quality Management is the result of Hyperion's recent acquisition of Upstream Software, a data readiness and workflow management solutions provider. The application is designed to be set up, maintained and supported by finance staff, with a minimum of input from IT staff apart from the initial installation. "It offers a lot more flexibility for finance to respond quickly to any changes in validation rules, account structures or other elements of the business process," says O'Rourke. An updated audit trail from the balance level to the source document offers users greater transparency into collection and verification processes.

A tax integration option collects information from multiple source systems and transmits the consolidated results to a company's tax preparation application or external tax service.

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