Today’s CFO role has morphed from that of head bookkeeper to a significantly more strategic role, telling the story of where the company has been and driving the narrative for the company’s future. This narrative is powered by data that helps drive efficiencies, save costs, and generate growth. With more data available than ever before, it’s important that finance teams can find the most valuable insights as quickly as possible.
CFOs face a plethora of challenges when harnessing financial data. Fortunately, the rise of accounting software programs that empower automation means that CFOs can build a better data culture within their teams to drive growth, minimize risk, and identify new opportunities.
Five Obstacles to Financial Reporting
The impact of inefficient and complex financial data processes on IT staff is real. When looking at the IT department’s pain points in financial reporting, most teams face five key obstacles.
One: Raw data
It all starts with the data stored in ERP systems, accounting and finance software, and—for almost every organization—a lot of Excel spreadsheets. Connecting that many systems and accessing the necessary data stored in all of them is a major challenge.
Two: Complexity and mismatches
There are so many layers of complexity in financial reporting, including currencies, countries, and differing terminology/semantics. When it comes to cross-referencing all that data, integrating, consolidating, and understanding the relationships between data and databases is practically a full-time job all on its own.
Three: Timings and adjustments
Despite continued investment in ERP, accounting, and finance systems, the Companies House in the UK still says there’s been a 10 percent increase in late account submissions in recent years. Reporting on deadline is a struggle, but adjustments, reviews, and redrafts are also lengthy, manual, and labor-intensive tasks.
Four: Fixing the errors
Detecting and correcting errors in financial reports is another major hurdle that can also be quantified. Another example from the Companies House in the UK involves 176,000 companies that were fined for errors in their financial reporting. Their total fines amounted to £89 million, or roughly $117 million.
Above all of these, there’s the overarching work in security and data governance that’s a vital part of every organization. Compliance to GDPR along with numerous other financial and auditing standards all need to be considered, another time-consuming and very manual task.
Accounting Software Automation to the Rescue
While there’s never going to be a magic solution, accounting software automation of business-critical, time-consuming aspects of financial reporting continues to emerge, and is well worth a discussion for both IT and CXO offices. There are four key ways that automating data management with the right accounting software program can relieve the data headaches that surround financial reporting.
- Automating data integration is a major step forward. Accounting software can consolidate all your data automatically so that nothing is missed. As a result, tasks that might have taken your finance team weeks or months can be turned into just a few quick clicks.
- For reporting itself, it’s possible to find accounting software that can deliver a central, consolidated “data hub” from which efficient and accurate analysis can be pulled real-time at any given moment.
- Automation software makes data modeling a fast, intuitive process. Certain variants of accounting software programs come with a user interface that makes it easy to prepare complex financial data for reporting at the user- and IT-level without the need for technical experts.
- Automation increases security and governance. If all data management is automated, organizations have an overarching system in place to control, audit, and log all activity from password and access control to reconfiguring mismatched data.
Worry-Free (and Fast!) Financial Reporting With PositiveVision
With accounting software automation, CFOs and IT teams both get faster reporting without the data headaches. By removing the hindrances of accessing legacy systems while still able to access legacy data, they also become better able to manage their data overall. Navigating through periods of growth and downturns is easier with data freed from the traditional silos. Instead, organizations have increased confidence in the readily available financial intelligence, regardless of whether it’s in the cloud, on-premises, or a combination of both.
Utilizing accounting software automation solutions to improve the accessibility and manageability of data across the financial arm of a business enables CFOs to identify trends and issues before they make an impact, rather than after. It also improves processes and drives efficiencies.
For nearly two decades, PositiveVision has been helping companies find the most innovative, easy to use, and efficient accounting software solutions. With faster reporting, you can get ahead of the curve and anticipate the next question before it’s even asked. Let us help you around that curve. Contact PositiveVision today to get started on your new accounting software program adventure.