Good Reporting Leads to Better Results
By taking these steps, FP&A can make a big impact and solidify its role as a strategic business partner. But outdated technology can bog down your finance team in low-value tasks, preventing it from adding true value to the business. In contrast, modern cloud finance solutions, such as those from Workday Adaptive Planning, support active planning and reporting, empowering finance teams to better manage their business. Use Workday Adaptive Planning to:
Improve accuracy. Provide a single source of truth, combining financial reports, planning, and operational metrics in a modern cloud finance software solution. This makes it easy for everyone in the organization to access and update reports—from granular to consolidated—and to drill down into the information they need, when they need it. Instead of targeting individual errors, think holistically and adopt straightforward solutions that can prevent reporting errors before they even start.
Eliminate manual data gathering. Make all financial data available in the cloud, eliminating tedious, manual aggregation. This not only frees the finance team from hunting for data so it can focus on strategic analysis and direction, but ensures that reports are always up to date. In centralizing data and automating non-value-added tasks, the office of finance can elevate the reporting function, providing top management with the analysis needed to enable better decision-making.
Increase collaboration. Combine metrics and reporting with relevant commentary. This makes it easy to compare actual and expected performance, adding comments to explain variances. Self-service reporting also helps further engage business managers and deliver visibility into the data they want and need. Managers don’t have to make a request to build a new report; they can simply create their own. When finance is an engaged partner, everyone wins.
Interpret the data. Create and easily share customized reports and dashboards across your organization to provide an up-to-date, visually compelling story. There’s a clear need for increased commentary and narrative in reporting. Stakeholders don’t just want accurate statements—they want to understand the story those numbers tell about the business. And they’re more empowered to spot trends and stories when data is presented visually.
The Risk of Doing Nothing
Most businesses today know that their financial management reporting is not as good as it should be. Yet many are slow to take action to correct the problem. The reasons are profuse, chief among them the perception that it’s too difficult and there’s too little time to implement improvements.
But when you put better reporting on the back burner, you put your business at risk. Instead of looking into the rear-view mirror—a static approach to planning that reports on what happened in the past—it’s far more effective for finance teams to look out the windshield and anticipate what’s ahead. This is doubly true if your competitor can spot a new market opportunity while you’re still running around trying to get accurate historical info.
Why Is Financial Management Reporting Important?
Modern planning not only changes how you do your job; it has the potential to recast how finance is viewed throughout the organization, strengthening relationships with business partners and shifting FP&A teams into a leadership and guidance role. In short, finance becomes a value-adding intelligence provider that the board and business units can depend on to support more informed decisions.