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It’s time for a revolution that usurps this complicated paradigm that has gripped a half-century of enterprise reporting.
Finance is at the forefront of change, predicting—not resisting—digital transformation.
Oracle's shift to software as-a-service (SaaS) and opportunities to harness real-time integration and advanced analytics are driving EPM market growth.
Finance reporting presents a paradox. Business leaders need complete reports for insight and decision-making, yet getting comprehensive and timely reports is sometimes next to impossible. Reporting solutions are multiplying like rabbits, with a myriad of software providers offering complex integrations and loose data alignment.
Global consulting firm EY surveyed 1,000 companies, including their CFOs and heads of reporting. Some of the findings:
With new IFRS regulations on how to recognize revenue, the picture continues to get more complicated and demanding. Country by country reporting requirements are also causing many finance leaders to lose sleep at night.
It is time for a revolution that usurps this complicated paradigm that has gripped a half-century of enterprise reporting. Here are five steps you can take to revolutionize your reporting.
Start with a complete assessment and inventory. Which reporting requirements are taking the most effort? Which are the most problematic or error prone? Talk to your colleagues to better understand what they could do if they had better reports built with real time data. Ask your IT staff how much effort they’re putting into report design, support, and integration. All the data you collect can be used to build a business case for change across the business.
The volume of reports you uncover will seem overwhelming. Yet there are principles you can use to simplify the complexity. Nearly all corporate reports fall into one of three categories:
Your Reporting Revolution starts by putting your reports into these buckets. Then examine the processes and systems that underpin each, and begin standardizing your reporting approach across all three categories.
Think of reporting as an integral part of your business, not as a secondary and disconnected afterthought. With Oracle Modern Best Practice, companies get reporting that is relevant, complete, and built into the underlying technology along every step of the process.
For example, consider period close to financial reporting; following the published Modern Best Practice is an ideal way to verify and improve your own processes. Don’t re-invent the wheel or pave the path from before; take advantage of the thousands of hours of global work represented and available in Oracle Modern Best Practice..
Identify a solution provider that understands and appreciates the importance of reporting and analytics. To fully take advantage of the revolution, an end-to-end system from a single provider with global experience is critical. You can no longer rely on a multitude of vendors (all with different contracts) delivering single or limited purpose solutions to meet your needs. The provider must meet all of your reporting needs and deliver an integrated, comprehensive solution, ready to go on Day 1.
The cloud is already powering thousands of companies of all sizes—down the street from you and across the globe. Leverage a solution built on the cloud and deployed with 21st-century tools that embrace mobility, the Internet of Things, social collaboration, and embedded analytics—the foundation for the reporting revolution.
With a broad cloud infrastructure from a global provider, you can deploy and connect configurable reports for all business units. You’ll have a modern environment built on a common data schema that responds in real-time, instead of a project riddled with data mapping mistakes and painful data extractions. And you’ll avoid the catastrophic spreadsheet errors that have plagued some businesses.
On the surface, the revolution might seem more appealing to your tech team (fewer integrations and systems mean a lot less work for them), but it offers much more for finance professionals.
It frees you from the pitfalls and errors of manual spreadsheets, the multitudes of reporting systems, and disparate disconnected data. It also helps you stay current with new standards and requirements across the globe, which continue to evolve at a dizzying pace regardless of geography. And if your company is growing, the reporting revolution works in tandem with your growth and becomes a positive enabler rather than a negative problem.
But perhaps best of all, the reporting revolution gives finance professionals peace of mind. When you are confident your reports and analysis are accurate, complete, and timely, you trust your reports.
There may be resistance to change, but with the right team and a modern approach, you can transform your reporting from just a requirement to a critical business asset.
Portions of this article originally appeared in FEI Daily.