The Importance of Collaborative Reporting for Modern Finance

Over the last years, analysts and regulatory authorities have been heavily focusing on the disclosure of more detailed business information to the financial market. Additionally, finance executives are also recognizing the value of consistent, easily accessible, and timely information to stakeholders across the enterprise.


However, increased emphasis on reporting has resulted in a number of challenges for most finance organizations – including the need for additional staff resources, increased time spent on reporting at the expense of other finance functions, and higher risks due to inaccuracy and inconsistency of data.

’’collaborative


The use of a comprehensive, integrated and collaborative solution to centralize and effectively manage regulatory disclosure and internal reporting requirements is imperative in today’s dynamic business environment both for listed and unlisted companies.


When considering a reporting solution, we recommend focusing on the following considerations:

  • End user interface. Some companies have hundreds of contributors to reports, many of whom do not have financial backgrounds. Most finance organizations don’t have the time or resources to do extensive end user training on new solutions. Therefore, products that employ Microsoft® Word® and Excel® documents for collecting data and narrative contributions have an advantage when it comes to ease of use and adoption. Additionally, the solution should make it easy for business users to access their own reports, tailored to their specific information needs, without requiring finance or IT resources.
  • Real-time updates. When edits are made and accepted, does the report have to be re-published or exported? The lack of real-time updating can increase overall reporting time and result in many time-consuming revisions. Also, be sure updates are automatically made to all associated reports and documents.
  • Scalability. Some solutions charge by the report or by the contributor, while others limit the number of contributors. Such constraints are counter to the whole point of collaborative reporting, which is to encourage and facilitate input from stakeholders throughout a company and increase the transparency of their contributions, all while lessening the burden on finance. Ideally, a collaborative reporting solution should be so simple that it can be used for virtually any report produced, including ad hoc or customized reports and presentations that eat up staff time.
  • Workflow management. Look for a solution that automates much of the reporting process: sets and manages deadlines for contributions, assigns responsibilities, manages reviews and sign-offs, sends alerts when needed, tracks edits and sources and shows up-to-the minute report status whenever needed. Today’s executives and stakeholders demand information traceability and transparency.
  • Automated consistency for number handling. Consistent number formatting, rounding and currency conversion are among the “minor” details that can drive a finance professional nuts. Solutions with built-in rules for handling such details can save many hours and eliminate staff frustration.
  • Flexible formatting for effective information sharing. Today’s business executives don’t have the time to wade through pages of numbers to find salient trends. A modern reporting solution should allow for the easy combination of numbers and narrative and have the ability to export reports to familiar tools such as PowerPoint, Word, or Excel. Ideally, your report solution can be used to create board books, annual reports, management reports, and even news releases.
  • A single source of truth. One of the biggest reporting challenges finance teams grapple with is collecting, verifying, and reconciling information from a wide variety of data sources. When all reports are produced from a single source of truth, you no longer have to worry about information discrepancies. In addition to reducing confusion, reporting from a single source of truth yields better business decisions and increased trust. 


The selection of a reporting solution has great implications for any financial organization since it will impact your team’s ability to meet ever-increasing compliance requirements as well as increasingly sophisticated internal reporting demands.

As part of your decision process, we encourage you to evaluate CCH Tagetik’s Collaborative Office.


MORE RESOURCES


 

’’collaborative

Share this post!