The complexities of modern business structures can make financial reporting a headache for most. As common challenges like inconsistencies, lack of efficiency, version-control issues, and trouble with collaboration begin to rise, it may be time to reevaluate your financial reporting process and make those much-needed improvements.
So, if you are looking to get the most from your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system and close any gaps with financial reporting, stick around. In this blog, we explore 6 ways to improve your organisation’s financial reporting.
Understand your objectives
Before you can begin improving your processes, it is important to understand what they are today, and what you would like to achieve in the future. By contrasting your existing situation with what you envisage, you will be more equipped to build a scalable and sustainable process for your organisation.
As well, if you were to start making changes ‘blindly’, you could create more problems than solutions. Therefore, it is crucial to take the time needed to recognise what is and is not working.
But how exactly can this be done?
To ensure the fundamentals of improving your financial reporting are in place, follow the below steps for a comprehensive financial reporting structure.
Tip: Be sure to ask ‘why?’ at every phase. Asking why several times throughout the process will force you to dive deeper into what you are trying to do.
1. Collect and normalise data
Let the data collection process normalise your data for you. By creating common templates for all contributors to submit their data, you can ensure all data is collected in a consistent manner without having to worry about reformatting.
2. Organise information
Organise and control the collected information so that reporting teams can easily access and understand the ever-changing information. This can be done through:
- Defined datasets that can be managed through tagging, filters, and other meta data controls
- The development of report guidelines, templates, and standard formats for application across your organisation
- Permissions to limit who can view/edit specific documents
3. Establish a single source of truth
Create links between source data and all its destinations. Doing so will mean that if/when sources change, the changes can propagate through all its destinations. Not only will this eliminate errors, but provides evidence of an audit trail.
4. Collaborate across all departments
Find an environment where users in your organisations can work in parallel. This removes the need to work one at a time throughout the process, as well as any workflow bottlenecks. Real-time collaboration also enables information to be more readily available to team members that need it.
5. Review, approve, and sign off on the same document
Determine a review process for everyone to follow. Project teams can then review contributor feedback in one active document.
This enables teams that work remotely, or are geographically distributed, to work together whilst building a solid story for management, stakeholders, and the board.
6. Save final reports in a single location
Finally, provide your team a place where you can leverage your certified and trusted source information. Have the information published to narrative reports, dashboards, workbooks, and presentations to simplify the process and ensure no time is wasted.
Improve financial reporting with Nolan Business Solutions
Having followed these steps, you will likely find underlying issues that identify clear opportunities for improvements. Fortunately, many of these can be addressed with the right technology.
As experienced NetSuite and Microsoft Dynamics ERP implementation providers, we know how important it is to keep your finances in check, especially when it comes to reporting. Using business intelligence (BI) tools, ERP solutions, and custom development, we have the skills and knowledge needed to ensure your financial reporting is exactly how you need it.
Contact our expert team today to discuss your financial reporting requirements.