Why Some CFOs are Unprepared for a New era of Self-Service Reporting


The march of technological progress is relentless, and organizations that fail to keep up risk losing their competitive edge. Self-service reporting is a case in point, where tasks that once required highly trained technical expertise are now intuitively programmed for the lay user. With self-service reporting, the generation of financial and management reports can be dispersed and delegated directly to end-users to help themselves.

Self-service reporting holds particular appeal to time-starved CFOs who can see the opportunity to quickly off-load some of the burden of the reporting process. Their enthusiasm is well-founded. In addition to the time-saving that comes from spreading the reporting burden, widening access to data and analytical tools increases strategic alignment across the organization and the chances of new and potentially lucrative insights from the reports being generated.


To be effective though, self-service reporting requires a stable and secure foundation, and many CFOs are not adequately prepared. 


The future of financial reporting


FSN’s Future of Financial Reporting survey identified large gaps in data integrity, with a lack of trust about the accuracy of data, concerns over the effectiveness of internal controls, and a fear of unexpected errors in spreadsheets. The survey also found that many senior finance professionals are already battling fragmented systems, drawing data from disparate sources which then needs cleaning and further manipulation before it is ready for analysis.


To guarantee success, self-service reporting needs to be built on accuracy and integrity of data. A centralized environment is the most logical step to achieving unified data that can be trusted by all users. With a finance-owned and controlled single platform, the CFO can ensure data integrity across the organization for self-service reporting. Even further, a single solution to manage all the processes from planning, to close and consolidation, to reporting and disclosure eliminates redundancy and ensures all self-service reporting is from one single source of truth.

CFOs shouldn’t expect self-service reporting to replace the expertise of analytical professionals, but it can empower finance professionals to search for new insights from the data, and enable senior finance executives to align the self-service reporting process with the strategic business goals.


Read more on self-service reporting


Modern Financial Reporting

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