Good financial reporting isn’t just a “nice to have.” It’s one of the most important functions in the entire accounting process—if not the most important.
Think about it: Unless your system can produce accurate, timely, and useful reports, you’ll have no way of assessing the financial health of your business. Even worse, you won’t be able to spot potential issues before they become major problems.
Of course, it’s not easy to define “accurate, timely, and useful.” It can mean different things to different companies. But many finance professionals have the nagging feeling that although their current ERP financial reporting system does offer useful information, it’s not doing everything it could for their business.
So, how do you know when it’s time to consider making a switch? Here are three common signs you need to replace your ERP financial reporting system.
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1.You’re doing too much manual work.
One sure sign that your reporting system isn’t giving you everything you need is that you’re still creating workarounds in good old Microsoft Excel. This approach may seem to work smoothly for you….until you have to make a small change to one report and realize that this will require making changes to a host of other reports, too.
For example, you might change an account code in one report and then spend hours dealing with the “ripple effect” in dozens of other reports. Or, one of your business managers may ask you to display negative numbers with black parenthesis instead of red text. Your staff will then have to waste hours propagating this change through hundreds of spreadsheets. It’s not a difficult task—but it certainly doesn’t add any value to your business.
Now, if it’s this much of a hassle to perform simple changes in your financial reporting system, imagine how difficult things will be when you decide to add new line items, new departments, or even new acquisitions. The ideal reporting system would allow you to make a change once and see it reflected in every report you produce from that point on.
2.You’re sending the right information to the wrong people.
Ever worked up hundreds of reports for a financial close period, attached them to an email, clicked Send….and then realized that you copied at least one person who wasn’t supposed to see all of these reports?
This isn’t just a matter of cluttering up people’s inboxes with information that doesn’t pertain to them. There’s a real risk of putting confidential corporate data at risk—and perhaps getting fired as a result.
It shouldn’t be this hard to send the right reports to the right people—and with a good ERP financial reporting system, it isn’t. You can configure even the most complex distribution lists right in the software so that there’s no chance of disclosing sensitive information to the wrong people.
3.Your biggest questions are going unanswered.
Even if you’re delivering all the right reports to all the right people, your stakeholders are going to want to know the “Why?” behind the data. Why did travel expenses only increase for one of your five business divisions in Q3? Why did inventory decrease in all but one warehouse?
Stakeholders who want the story behind the numbers shouldn’t have to pick up the phone and ask the finance team for help. They should be able to log on, open an interactive report, drill down into any line item, and see every transaction that contributed to that number—right down to the journal entry level.
Look for a financial reporting system that lets users conduct their own research rather than relying on Finance to do it for them. You’ll reduce data bottlenecks and empower everyone to make better-informed decisions.
So, what’s next?
Transitioning to the right ERP financial reporting system doesn’t have to be painful. Many of today’s best reporting systems are designed to integrate seamlessly with cloud ERP systems to give you the reporting functionality you need without disrupting your business operations.
Need help evaluating your options? We’d love to lend a hand. Contact Acumatica to learn more about ERP financial reporting systems.