Data impacts all levels of the organization including finances. Their job of sending invoices and collecting cash can come to a standstill if there are data quality issues. Getting correct, current and consistent data makes the invoicing process go smoothly.

What if you could rely on Salesforce to contain the most up to date legal company name, address and correct contact (email and direct phone number) to address any billing or collection issues. This would not only ensure that your collection will go smoothly but also will free up time to focus on other, more pertinent tasks, such as analyzing your financial performance.

Quality of data also impacts financial planning and analysis. Without industry, revenue information or number of employees you can still conduct high level planning and analysis. But what if you want to become more precise? Perhaps you want to understand what industry or company size brings in the most revenue. You would need to have data that is standardized to perform a quick analysis.

So how can you ensure that you get the highest data quality in Salesforce?

First you should identify if you have a data quality issue. To do so you can track history changes to see how often mandatory fields get updated and by whom. This will indicate if you have an issue and the source of bad data. Doing the analysis or creating a report can help monitor data quality. It may reveal that certain departments or specific sales reps fail to exercise due diligence and require extra training. Or it may disclose that a third-party data source that Salesforce Admins acquired is outdated and should be verified and so on.

Secondly, you should look at all available fields and its completeness levels to identify opportunities for additional data that can help your financial analysis. Usually the data is available, but the issue is that it is not standardized and, therefore, it cannot be easily analyzed.

Thirdly, you can check if there are any duplicates in your system that may disrupt an accurate billing process and slow down tracking of sales. If you find that duplicates are an issue, the only way out is to dedupe.

In certain instances, there are two different departments or subsidiaries of a global conglomerate that have multiple accounts. While having multiple accounts is not an issue, especially if different departments or companies do not have centralized accounts payable, it can create confusion if you do not know about other bills. For example, accounts payable is calling you to update their billing address, but you have a few different companies with the same name in the system. Which one will you update? How long will it take to figure out what account the person is calling about? In this case, you would need to establish a parent-child relationship between the companies.

If you do find, that improving data quality saves you time, improve invoicing and data collection then proceed with data clean up, invest in data cleaning.