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Modern Financial Reporting: One of Today’s Biggest Executive Challenges

May. 8 2020 by Leslie Cant, Product Marketing Director - CCH Tagetik

Performance Management Reporting & Compliance

One of the biggest challenges financial executives are grappling with are those related to financial reporting. Expanded reporting requirements, new compliance requirements – such as IFRS 16/ASC 842IFRS 17 and local sustainability standards – are requiring massive changes to financial reporting, as well as to some financial processes as well.

Additionally, finance teams are facing new internal reporting demands. Business owners throughout the enterprise are looking for more relevant and timely information on which they can base day-to-day decisions. And C-level executives and board members are seeking comprehensive, up-to-the-minute financial snapshots, as well as forecasting, modeling, and KPI-based analytics on which to base strategic decisions.

Expectations for data accuracy, timeliness of reporting, accessibility (anytime, from any device), meaningful presentation, and process efficiency further raise the bar.

Industry analysts, consultants, and finance executives themselves concur that spreadsheets, the common tool for meeting most reporting demands of the past, simply aren’t up to addressing today’s reporting needs.

Technology holds the key to meeting modern financial reporting challenges. In addition to compressing the time and resources required for reporting, comprehensive reporting solutions can greatly expand the reporting capabilities of finance teams, many of which are resource-constrained to begin with.

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What is the purpose of financial reporting

Consider the following advantages offered by a comprehensive reporting solution:

  • Information management. An effective solution provides tracking and auditing of all data and automates the management of updates and changes. Ideally, the solution also has workflow management, giving all involved insight into work progress and deadlines.
  • Data importing and exporting. To meet detailed reporting requirements, finance teams must incorporate data from multiple system sources. A reporting solution should have the capability to easily import (and export) data from ERPs, financial systems, or other important legacy systems in a company’s technology ecosystem.
  • Collaboration. Advanced financial reporting requires collaboration from across the enterprise. A solution should make it easy and intuitive for business users to collaborate, provide data and comments for any reporting need. 
  • Easy-to-read output. The ability to use familiar tools, such as Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint decks, or Word documents, to display report results increases understanding of results. Additionally, the ability to combine numbers with text explanations and/or graphic support can help the finance team more effectively communicate important points. The solution should also make it easy for any business owner to access reports specific to his or her business needs at any time, without requiring additional finance resources.
  • A single source of truth. This is the most important advantage of a comprehensive reporting solution because it minimizes compliance risk and gives C-suite executives and other business stakeholders consistent and reliable information they can trust. Built-in financial rules and the ability to handle currency conversions further increase reporting consistency.

In short, a modern business demands modern financial reporting – not only to meet regulatory requirements but also to provide operational, financial, and strategic guidance. As finance executives assume more strategic responsibility, they must be able to provide meaningful and timely information and insights that all stakeholders can absolutely rely on and trust.

Discover more about the CCH Tagetik solution for Advanced Analytics & Dashboarding!

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