Top 10 Tips for Improving your Reporting Process

For business organizations it is imperative to understand how they are performing. They do so by continuously assessing and reporting their set target, goals and objectives and making adjustments where necessary. Unfortunately the traditional reporting process is often riddled with time-consuming inefficiencies. And retrieving essential information can consume as much as 60% of a standard reporting schedule.

What if you could minimize the repetitive, non-value-added work extracting the data, that would save time? What if you could get rid of error prone approaches to one of the most important aspects of your Close, that would minimize risk?

We have gathered a top 10 of tips on how to improve your reporting process. Read on or download the infographic! 

1: Single Point of Truth

Unlike many BI reports, the most important requirement for Finance is to have “One Version of the Truth” when viewing financial report packs. This avoids endless discussions on versions and definitions.

2: Make Reports Accessible

One identified struggle when using BI tools is searching for a report pack stored incorrectly in the wrong folder. Store report packs centrally to make them accessible for users with controlled security clearance.

3: Automate the Process

Like any repeatable process, the cost saving opportunity is through automation of the report pack process, including commentary collection, the distribution of the report packs and the removal of printed report packs.

4: Differentiate the Reports

Different audiences require different information. In addition, reports should be shared on on a need to know basis to protect confidentiality. Use a security control protocol for who can see a central report pack.

5: Less is More

Research identifies that World Class Companies use 50% fewer report dashboards and packs compared to the average enterprise, when switching from a paper based report pack process to a niche Financial reporting solution.

6: Avoid Data Leakage

Sending excel spread sheets and sharing slide- decks on paper across the organization have a high risk of data leakage.

7: Digital Controlled Process

Perceive the reporting process as a workflow process, in which clarity, standardization and governance are the essential ingredients.

8: Accountability

Reporting is about accountability. Each user has a role and responsibility to contribute. Make sure all roles and responsibilities in your reporting process are clear.

9: Actionable

Reporting on a variance is of limited value without context. Only humans can add this context via comments and come up with an agreed action to improve on performance for the next period.

10: Be Transparent

Modern organizations are transparent about their performance to their stakeholders. This transparency will lead to more ownership and engagement.

More than ever, organizations need to enable their financial and performance reporting teams to offer timely assessments, accurate forecasts and strategic, actionable insights. But to achieve this, they need to put the right foundations in place – by optimizing processes, people and technology.

You might also be interested in reading our whitepaper on the 3 ways to Improve the Future Finance Function.

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