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By F R (Rhys) Robinson
Eight key points to consider when optimising your company’s financial reporting in an ever-changing business world
Given today’s rapidly changing world and the unpredictable nature of many industries, companies are having to rely more and more on financial and operational data to inform strategic decisions. Finding a financial reporting solution that meets the business needs of today – and responds to the still-developing requirements of tomorrow – is therefore paramount to an organisation’s profitability and sustainability.
Many organisations find themselves overwhelmed by the reporting complexity that comes with business growth. While multiple entities, divisions, business units and cost centres across borders might be most companies’ preferred position, for the financial director and his team responsible for consolidating data, the complexity it generates can be something of a reporting nightmare. Indeed, such an expansion very often far outstrips the collating and reporting capabilities of the legacy spreadsheet and standalone accounting applications in use right now.
In addition, finance departments are having to balance time and resource constraints, while at the same time trying to streamline operations and meet more compliance requirements than ever before. And so, begins the quest for a financial consolidation solution, only to realise that consolidation solutions can be complex, expensive and time-consuming beasts in themselves.
The question soon arises as to whether it is even possible to find a consolidation solution that cuts through all these ‘headaches’ or if the organisation will have to compromise in some or other area because no solution designed for real-world reporting actually exists.
Below are eight real considerations that organisations should be looking out for in order to modernise financial consolidation:
Existing accounting software packages or enterprise planning (ERP) platforms often also lack the flexibility required to tailor report formats for specific collating, consolidating, reporting and planning needs. Data collection can be automated with the right solution, removing the operational, continuity and governance risks frequently associated with spreadsheet solutions.
The consolidation solution should also be able to deliver value on an ongoing basis. No matter how big or complex a business, the solution should be flexible enough to be scaled to meet the organisation’s requirements. And as the business expands, you will quickly realise that reporting is crucial throughout the process when moving from a starting point to a position of expanded services, reach and real success.
Remember, it is critical that you choose a solution that fits the company’s culture, maturity and business objectives. You also want to regard the service provider as a trusted partner, so find commonality in focus, values and goals.
While there is much to be considered before selecting a consolidation solution, it is ultimately the right combination of human capital, experience and technology that will ensure success not only for the CFO and his reporting team, but for the entire organisation going into the future.
AUTHOR |F R (Rhys) Robinson PhD is Executive Director: Strategic Partnerships and Marketing at Infinitus Reporting Solutions