In this increasingly competitive environment, we have seen financial reporting efficiency continually top the CFO’s agenda and take a leading role in securing an organisation’s competitive advantage. With new challenges consistently falling into the lap of the Finance department, such as increases in regulatory requirements and responding quickly to market conditions and shareholder demands, they are under more pressure than ever before to perform well to support not only their goals, but the goals of the wider business.
With all this mind, it is no longer enough to rely on outdated manual finance processes that are time-consuming, unproductive, and involve higher risk of human error. This is where a specialised financial reporting solution come in. They are the key to unlocking the finance department’s productivity and efficiencies through focusing more on analysing data and building forecasting capabilities, rather than just spending time collecting data. This allows the Finance department to start taking advantage of the real-time data that the tool gathers to provide them with high quality insights to make more informed strategic decisions that will take the organisation into the future.
To understand this a little better let’s take a look at the core drivers of financial reporting efficiency and see how shifting to a more specialised financial reporting tool can help Finance to increase their reporting efficiency:
Access to powerful analytics
For all too long the Finance department has relied on Excel spreadsheets and manual reporting tools to build and analyse their financial figures and reports. Thankfully no longer is that the case for a lot of organisations as they are moving towards a new way of intelligent reporting. Advanced dashboards provide instant access to data that will answer all your finance questions through collating all relevant information on one singular screen. They can also provide historical views of what has previously occurred which allows you to quickly compare between now and then, which is particularly useful when it comes to budgeting, tracking revenues and expenses, and forecasting figures.
In addition, dashboards improve financial reporting efficiency through tracking financial performance with specific KPIs; making it easier to monitor business performance as Finance will have a 24/7 view of crucial figures including cash flow and current ratios, meaning every single decision is based off accurate, real-time insights.
Pulling data from multiples sources
Strong financial reports do not solely rely on one data source, there may be multiple sources required to support their analyses, especially within global organisations whereby there are a plethora of departments and sub-departments all with different budgets allocated to each. Specialised financial reporting tools have the capability to pull all this data together eliminating the need to manually search and extract the required data; allowing them to spend more time on reporting and being more productive.
Being truly efficient in financial reporting demands that users have access to the tool whenever and wherever they are in the world. Conducting their reporting through a specialised financial management solution means that it is accessible on multiple devices, allowing decision makers to view dashboards or analytics as they require and also ensures that they can make changes to month-end reports in minutes – not days due to the near real-time availability. This higher level of visibility encourages departmental collaboration and the sharing of data with relevant stakeholders to ensure that it is accurate across the organisation; making 100% sure that the data that forms the basis for decision making is correct. This creates ‘the single point of truth’ that so many organisations crave for.
Reduction of dependency on IT
One of the most common efficiency barriers that Finance faces in regards to financial reporting is IT. There is an unfortunate tendency for the power of organisational data to lie only in the hands of IT, which reduces Finance’s control over their own reporting. Where Finance’s efficiency is severely hindered is during times of changing regulations or standards as IT must be extensively involved in any changes which can take them up to 3 months to implement. This time-consuming task results in the organisation being slow to change and all the while puts them at risk of failing to comply with regulatory changes.
Conversely, moving towards a specialised financial reporting tool will put the power back in the hands of those who require it most- Finance. They will no longer have to rely on another separate department to create their reports, source their data, and strictly follow financial compliance.
It is time for organisations to click X on their Excel spreadsheets and start looking towards the future of financial reporting which revolves around robust specialised financial tools that provide Finance with the information they need to increase business performance.
At CXO we appreciate the urgency for Finance to increase their financial reporting skills so we have created the CXO Software, which understands financial reporting and processes and connects quickly and directly to multiple data sources and visualises the financial intelligence already present in the EPM. CXO Software empowers finance with a centrally governed reporting process for data and commentary that enables compliance, collaboration and faster close.
Not 100% sure if the CXO Software is the right solution for you? Why not view a free demonstration here? Otherwise, why not click below to access our whitepaper on how to transform your organisation’s financial reporting.