With today’s critical need for accuracy, completeness and speed in financial reporting, the finance team can’t afford to spend weeks collating data to generate reports. Your obsolete reporting software may be leaving your business exposed to a range of critical risks, and your finance team are left doing 'busy' administrative work. Instead, they could be adding value through knowledge sharing and analysis. It's time to add the power of data analytics to financial reporting, so customization and automation follow.
The finance team within your business needs to be able to quickly, easily, and cost-effectively get the answers they need to conduct business, comply with regulatory requirements, manage budgets, and forecast financial performance.
Point solutions like Hyperion Enterprise fall well short of meeting the financial reporting needs of a modern business and so do Excel spreadsheets. We all know Excel is used widely in accounting teams, but despite its strengths, Excel doesn't always provide every solution with a business' needs. The more a company changes or grows, the more it generates data, so having a finance solution that integrates with an ERP has many benefits. Reducing the need to manage spreadsheets by putting financial data into data analytics software will help the finance team to break down, interpret, and utilize data. Excel struggles when it comes to handling complex data, thereby limiting a person's ability to identify insights.
If you work on your business's finance team, you'll likely have a hectic workload at the month's end. For many organizations, the monthly static financial reporting process continues to be arduous, especially if it's still performed manually. It's a time-consuming process and relies mostly on transferring data from the ERP into spreadsheets, with lots of switching back and forth. The process is slow because every new reconciliation affects the numbers, making the static spreadsheet-based reports instantly out-of-date, forcing the regular creation of new versions.
For many, the process of preparing the data is a huge time waster and takes a lot away from analyzing the data. A digital solution integrating with your ERP and other data sources can help the accounting department to quickly create financial statements like the Income or Profit and Loss Statement and Balance Sheet to match the nuances of your business or division.
Change the finance team's mindset
Without the right tools, your finance and accounting team may be struggling to collect data from multiple sources and perform the analysis required to answer questions about corporate financial performance.
Your business intelligence and reporting system must be able to deliver the following information to your senior management and finance teams in a timely, scalable, easy to view and customisable format:
- Planning, budgeting and forecasting: This information guides the decision-making processes of where the business will invest its resources (inventory, staff, plant and equipment) and predict business results.
- Financial consolidations and reporting: The process of aggregating an organisation's financial performance across its multiple businesses to provide a consolidated view.
- Financial analytics and dashboards: Overview of key financial metrics and KPIs
- Scorecards and strategy: methodology-based scorecards, such as the Balanced Scorecard, and strategy management applications
The greater the accuracy, the comprehensiveness and speed of accessing the above reports and information, the better the decisions will be about and for the business. To change business practices and adopt new technology, the finance team needs to rethink how it manages its data and be open to sharing more information. Offering the whole organization governed access to financial data through an intuitive user-experience reduces the onus on the finance team. Letting the right people run the numbers, that are relevant to them, will reduce the requests for other reports and enable people to answer their questions. The finance team will continue to control the general ledger but will find it much simpler to provide branches, teams and regions with customized financial reporting and be free to take on a more significant financial adviser role.
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