July 3, 2019 4:17 pm | by Fiona
The financial reporting process to keep internal decision makers and external stakeholders informed is becoming more and more complex every year. Businesses have data coming in from multiple departments and systems, often leaving the financial reporting teams with only half the picture.
Investing in processes through systems and tools can significantly improve their accuracy, process time and results. Automation and software integration benefits the entire business by collating the company data in a single data file, allowing visibility from administration, operations, payroll/HR to finance. Visibility is critical for making informed decisions and allocating finances for resources and project management. Inefficiencies in key financial processes can disrupt operations and cause significant setbacks to your business.
How to simplify your business processes for financial visibility
- Create process maps. This helps to understand how they work and identifies timing and schedules, roles of individuals and teams, functions and organisations, systems and tools, business units, locations etc.
- Once you’ve settled on process maps and highlighted systems to improve, build a management team. This should comprise of a cross-section of dedicated stakeholders who are influential for buy-ins across other departments.
- Examine how to automate your workflows from start to finish to increase efficiency. Once the processes are automated, visibility is increased by having access to real-time data. This helps monitor and analyse performance by identifying inefficiencies and fixing them as they occur. Secure your data by role-based access and look at standardising the recurring and identical processes to simplify replication.
- Identify risks that may result from a breakdown in a process. Investigate how these can be eliminated from multiple data sources, manual steps and any additional steps in a process. Identify opportunities to reduce complexity and increase efficiency through automation, visibility and collaboration.
- Lastly define business rules for decision making. These should be simple and direct so they bypass workflows without delays.
Organise data for a seamless financial reporting process
- Collect and normalise your data by creating flexible templates that enable contributors to submit structured and unstructured data in a consistent fashion. Outline a collection process that facilitates the standardisation of data from all departments. Once the data has been collected, organise the information by developing reporting guidelines, permissions on who can view and edit specific documents, pages, or spreadsheet cells to help preserve data integrity.
- Organise a single source of truth, store your data in one place. This establishes links and an audit trail between source data and all related destinations so any changes are visible and can go through all departments. This ensures, if an error is detected, one person can correct it swiftly and in one place only. Everyone will have the same view and are checking the same data for quality and inconsistencies.
- Store all final reports in a single location. This will simplify the process of searching for the most current data to compile for customised or standard reports, dashboards, workbooks and presentations.
For more information on the benefits for financial management of an ERP System in simplifying the reporting process – SapphireOne ERP, CRM, DMS and Business Accounting Software Application Alternatively, contact our office on (02) 8362 4500 or request a demo.