7 Great Qualities in a Reporting System
At the end of each reporting period, the finance team is tasked with preparing several reports. For many finance departments, this process can be time-consuming and tedious. Without the tools to automate report creation and distribution, the Office of Finance is consistently limited in their analytic capabilities.
Freeing up finance to conduct valuable analysis
For many, the goal is to implement a reporting solution that will deliver analysis tools to the hands of the report consumer, freeing up finance to conduct valuable analysis. When preparing your end of period analysis (and selecting a reporting system), there are seven helpful things to consider:
- Prepare your financial and management reporting for review
The first step in the reporting process and ultimately, in selecting a reporting system, is being able to prepare your financial and management reports for review. A user-friendly reporting solution will allow you to create reports that multiple departments can utilize by consolidating data from multiple systems.
- Manage distribution of your reports to key stakeholders
An additional challenge to report creation is report distribution. A comprehensive reporting system should handle this automatically by creating a security hierarchy that determines the required information on reports for specific users.
- Tools and tips to analyze your reports in a timely fashion
When selecting a reporting system, you should also ensure it has multi-dimensional reporting capabilities allowing users to view multiple pages in the same report format and drill-through functions so users can drill up or down to change the level of detail, or drill through to the transactions making up the balance on the report. This will allow department heads to analyze reports on their own, without having to involve finance.
- Analyze the impact of your performance against custom metrics
Next, conduct variance and trend analysis, which allows users to investigate beyond initial reported numbers and analyze performance. A reporting system should have variance analysis functionality to compare against plan, forecast and other scenarios.
- Prepare multiple forecast scenarios
When creating forward-looking projections, your solution should also support a versioning and re-planning capability at all phases in the reporting and analysis cycle.
- Distribute forecast and finalize for approval
Once you have completed your forecast, you will need to distribute and finalize it for approval using your system’s automated report distribution capabilities with security applied.
- Track ongoing results using scorecards and dashboards
And finally, your financial performance management solution should allow your finance department to visually track ongoing results using visual scorecards and dashboards.
Learn more about Prophix’s reporting and analytics capabilities.
This post was originally published in October 2017 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.