Streamline Financial Reporting with Automation
August 5, 2023

In today's data-laden business world, efficiency and innovation are paramount, especially in the finance industry.  According to a McKinsey report, the adoption of automated financial reporting is revolutionizing the industry with around 70% of companies already on board. This transformation is bringing about enhanced accuracy, significant time savings, and invaluable insights, revolutionizing how businesses operate and make strategic decisions.

Automated Data Integration

A McKinsey report states that companies that leverage data effectively tend to outperform in strategic decision-making. However, challenges in ensuring real-time, reliable data persist. Around 55% of data remains inaccessible during critical business decisions, contributing to a $15 million annual loss due to poor data quality. Data scientists spend 60% of their time on data cleaning, further hindering optimal utilization.

The synergy of data integration and automation is a vital solution. Automation tools seamlessly integrate vast financial data from various sources while automating tasks like data extraction and transformation. This conserves time, ensures consistency in reports, and reduces errors. By consolidating data, errors and manual work decrease, resulting in significant cost reductions. Forrester Research highlights an 80% drop in manual data entry time, saving about $12,000 annually for small businesses.

Data Visualization and Smart Forecasting

Financial reporting has transcended traditional spreadsheets. More and more finance professionals now manage diverse roles, encompassing financial oversight and the integration of technologies like AI, RPA, and data analytics. Yet, without a centralized platform, organizations can spend up to 20% of their time on data collection and 30% on validation. Spreadsheets, though familiar, fall short of effectively modeling and hinder seamless collaboration.

The solution lies in financial planning tools with rolling forecasts and dynamic data visualization, offering agility, insights, and streamlined processes. A study shows a $9 return for every $1 invested in analytics, while user-friendly visualization simplifies complex data and smart forecasting automates tasks, freeing time for analysis. Integrated into finance dashboards, these tools promote real-time collaboration, empowering CFOs to make informed decisions and unveil growth opportunities, effectively merging analytics and visualization.

Collaboration and Reporting Workflow

Efficient collaboration and reporting workflows are essential. While approvals are vital, they invariably lead to bottlenecks. Incorporating approval workflows into reporting software, including automatic approvals for certain steps, speeds up the process. Financial reporting tools offer shared workstations, real-time editing, and version control, enhancing communication with up-to-date data. Workflow management automates tasks, streamlining procedures, and reducing errors. Team members can assign tasks, monitor progress, and set deadlines, expediting decision-making.

Clear Audit Trails

Automated audit trails directly address executives' expectations, offering a multitude of benefits. These advantages span from heightened data accuracy and deeper business insights to real-time anomaly detection. Executives are particularly keen on gaining insights into risk areas (90% prioritization) and effectively benchmarking KPIs (86%).

This becomes crucial when considering the insights from the 2020 Audit Analytics report, which highlighted a persistent issue: revenue recognition errors. These errors underscore a conspicuous lack of transparency when it comes to tracing the origins of reported revenues. In response, automated solutions utilize ERP data to create insightful reports, improving audit trails and transparency. They efficiently categorize transactions from diverse sources, ensuring a centralized repository despite payment variations. Besides aiding audits, this method offers regulatory compliance evidence and demonstrates adherence to standards.

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