Revolutionising reporting in the digital age
When you hear the word “reporting,” binders full of spreadsheets, charts, and footnotes might come to mind. Or maybe conference rooms with executives grinding through slide presentations. And behind it all, there’s an army of finance people who’ve been working for weeks to pull it together—a ritual that repeats month after month after month
In the best of all worlds, this ritual would deliver reports aligned with the changing needs of the business. But that rarely seems to happen.
Instead, when Deloitte surveyed 600 global finance leaders on management reporting, we uncovered this fact: Companies surveyed sent 48% of their time creating and updating reports versus 18% spent on communicating the results to the business. The survey also showed that companies knew they had room for improvement. Three-quarters of those interviewed said they were using standardisation as a way to gain efficiency and get insights more quickly. In one company, the commitment to standardise led to replacing 1,000 unique reports with just 50 dashboards.
If standardisation alone can enhance performance so dramatically, what would happen if you added digital tools, such as automation, advanced analytics, and machine learning, to the mix?
In the July issue of CFO Insights, we will take a look at how companies are using digital tools to upgrade their reporting processes to get better information distributed faster—and what that means for the future of reporting itself.
How are companies using digital tools to upgrade their reporting processes?
- End-to-end process:
The challenge companies are facing is combining different technologies across the entire end-to-end reporting process. Improved reporting can enable value creation, deliver cost savings, and account for the ever-changing demands from customers.
- The new characteristics of reporting:
- Reporting will be intelligent
- Reporting will be interactive
- Reporting will be real-time
- CFOs can jumpstart the revolution:
CFOs looking to apply digital technologies to financial reporting should consider several leading practices that can help make the most of the technologies available:
- Organise your data
- Focus on customers, especially the user experience
- Take small steps
- Reassure your people
- Gain buy-in from the C-Suite