Financial reporting is a key task for all businesses. With increased pressure on finance professionals to produce accurate reports and handle data correctly, it is essential to make the process efficient and reduce the risk of errors wherever possible.
There are a few easy steps that can be taken in order to get your reporting on track.
1. Have a single source of data
Whilst many business are still heavily reliant on spreadsheets, various studies have proven them to be highly error prone with 88% containing errors. By keeping all data in one place, you avoid the risks associated with trying to juggle multiple spreadsheets where the probability of an error having occurred somewhere increases dramatically. Spreadsheets are generally considered easy to use low cost solutions, yet the reality of gathering data from multiple sources results in a great deal of wasted time as consolidation across workbooks is challenging, especially for larger businesses. Another issue here is version control with multiple users changing documents at different times and overriding previously saved work. Having one source of the truth, where data is automatically consolidated and updates, allows you to rely on the accuracy of your reporting.
2. Collaborate effectively
Chasing people by phone and email to track the progress of tasks can be arduous and stressful. Systems with workflow tools give you a visual check up on where things stand and who is responsible for them at each stage, allowing users to collaborate effectively on projects. Reminders can be set and controls put in place meaning that you are in touch with each part of the process and each team member.
3. Self-service is key
As businesses grow, generally so does the number of users of financial software. Self-service systems reduce time spent on data entry and manipulation at head office, allowing your team to get on with making important decisions about the direction of the business. For security, users can be grouped and awarded access to only certain functions or visuals, meaning you can keep critical financial information secure even with multiple users.
Now think, are you doing all three of these things effectively in your business today?