Production of informative financial reports for both internal leaders and external stakeholders is becoming more difficult each year. The data workload from several departments within a system is really increasing for the financial reporting personnel.
Some of the areas with increased workload include data reconciliations, and consolidation of reports among others. Apart from the workload volume, there are manual duties, such as updating spreadsheets, copy pasting and reviewing which takes more time.
The challenges which reporters are everchanging. In summary, some of the greatest challenges which financial reporters are facing include data verification, aggregation and preparation of data from several systems, the cost of technology and resources, changes from external auditors or regulators, among others.
Therefore, how would companies stabilize their financial reporting process to overcome the above-mentioned challenges while producing financial reports? Of greatest concern is a case where financial data, nonfinancial data and narrative content are combined together. Apart from investing in enterprise combination and technology, here are six important ways to improve the financial reporting process:
- Data collection and normalization
It is very important that flexible templates are created. This will bring about consistency in the submission of both structured and unstructured data. Ensure that the process of data collection is consistent for data normalization, in order to make reformatting easy and flexible.
- Ensure Proper Organisation of Information
Try your best to build datasets that can be managed through tagging and filters. You can also use other metadata controls. Ensure that the report guidelines and templates developed can be used in almost all the systems/areas within your organization. In order to limit people accessing or editing documents, allow the use of permissions/passwords. This will definitely help in the preservation of data integrity.
- Have one Source of Data while working
All the data should be stored in one place. There should be well established links connecting the data source and the other destinations related within the structure. This will ensure that any change in data is applied in all the connected destinations. To minimize errors, make sure everyone pulls data from the source repository.
- Team up working within the organisation
It is crucial that you create a shared and secured financial reporting environment where users can work concurrently. People should not work one at a time. The financial reporting environment should be shared with security as well. Do not allow time wasted by exempting checkout system procedures, workflow blockages and even shared drives. Avoid resaving and renaming files at all cost; the version control questions should be cleared up using one live document with an audit trail within the changes.
- Placement of the final Report.
The team should ensure that the final report is put in one location. Ensure that the process of data searching is simplified. Let the data information flow in a well-choreographed sequence from the oldest to the most current. Separate the dashboard information from the workbooks from reports and even from the general presentations.
If you have any questions regarding the financial reporting process, feel free to contact the professionals at Latitude 12, and make sure you get the best business solution for your company.