Now What? How “Finding Nemo” Can Inspire Us to Manage Info in a Better Way

If you’ve ever seen Finding Nemo, you’ll remember that at the end of the movie, after a difficult journey to escape the fish tank, the fish finally reach the ocean. Once they successfully escape, Bloat - the blowfish - says, “NOW WHAT?”, with his voice full of doubt.


Imagine that Bloat and his friends represent all of the data and information we are managing in the reporting process. After a complex journey, this information is flowing in a report regardless of whether it's the financial statement or an ordinary management report. At this stage you would be thinking, “NOW WHAT?”


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It's up to us to answer this question. 'Numbers must talk', allowing the reader of the report to make the most effective decision based on the info available. If the info of the report does not initiate this action, then we’ve hit a roadblock.


In setting up the reporting process, we should always bear in mind Bloat's question, “NOW WHAT?” In other words, what type of action can be triggered by the report?


Unfortunately, in our day-to-day activities we produce too many reports which do not lead anywhere. Sometimes it's just a compliance check-in-the-box exercise; in other cases, even worse, it's because 'I have always done it this way so I carry on this way'.


In finance, inertia is a huge problem. If we are not able to evolve in the way we manage information, the tsunami of regulatory and business requirements will overload us.


Asking “NOW WHAT?” will help us deal with our current and future reports in a smarter and simpler way. If the report does not trigger an action, think about dropping. You will save your company's money and your own time. Eventually, you may even have the chance to watch Finding Nemo and enjoy it.


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