Only about three percent of CFOs will sleep well tonight, leaving the other 97 percent tossing and turning. Why? It has nothing to do with a lumpy mattress and everything to do with their financial reporting process.
According to a recent survey of more than 900 CFOs and senior finance professionals across the globe, worrying about their organization’s reporting processes or deadlines is causing the vast majority of CFOs to lose some quality shut-eye.
Do You Know Where Your Data Is?
Companies may have a number of systems in place in order to gather, store, export, and manipulate necessary data into its final form. So it comes as no surprise that the biggest concerns CFOs reported facing involved the amount of time involved in reporting, reporting process gap, and a high dependence on IT to create the necessary reports.
Static spreadsheets are often used to fill in reporting gaps between systems; nearly 70 percent of the surveyed CFOs admitted to this, while simultaneously admitting that too many spreadsheets touched by too many hands often results in an uncontrolled reporting environment. Half also reported needing to do hours of manual verification each time a change was made in a report, and 60 percent felt they spent an inordinate amount of time cleaning and manipulating data.
That’s a lot room for potential error.
When it comes to updating a report to include new information or make it more user-friendly, even a “quick” change on a report involves calling IT and depending on them to make the necessary changes. And when new reports are created, the obsolete reports aren’t necessarily cleared out: Forty-one percent of finance teams admitted to not removing reports that are no longer valid. So teams may be creating reports that no one is actually using, swallowing both valuable time and resources.
If you’re looking at your reports and you can’t easily tell which source gave you what numbers and whether or not every single number has been validated, and then you have to wait a long time to get the new report setups that you need…
…then it’s no wonder that you’re lying awake at night!
Banish Your Reporting Nightmares
What if you could join that three percent who are sleeping just fine? What if there were dynamic, Excel-based platforms that could streamline your reporting, maintain data integrity, and allow you to create ad-hoc reports on the fly, all without ever requiring you to leave Excel?
With some of these tools out there, you have the capability to build financial and operational reports with drill-down capability from ERPs and other data sources all within Excel. Spreadsheets can start to serve as an integral part of your business reporting environment, instead of an uncontrolled stop-gap. Here you can also leverage your Excel knowledge to create the reports you need based on your business and accounting terms, rather than technical specifications. And when the day is done, easily distribute reports to multiple people in multiple formats with just a single click.
So if you’re looking to get back to a good night’s sleep, we suggest you take two aspirin and call us in the morning.