Financial reporting can be perceived by many business managers as dull and too detailed. However, it’s important that your reports are read by those in your organisation who need to be privy to the data contained within them.
Here are three top tips to ensure that your financial reports actually get read.
1. Survey Users
Managers at different levels may appreciate some of the same information, but they may also require different data from their peers too. You can ensure that your users get what they need from your reports by carrying out a simple survey.
Ask if your managers are using your financial reports and find out how they would prefer the data to be presented. Ongoing investment in technology may be required in order to deliver what your management team want, but this will save you time, as well as produce more relevant and valuable reports that will get read.
2. Customise Dashboards
Dashboards have revolutionised financial reporting, effectively removing page after page of complicated spreadsheets. Make sure that you are using the technology you have available to you and work with your users to customise dashboards so that they can quickly and easily reach the reports they need in the format that is most user-friendly to them.
3. Use Analytics
One easy way to ensure that your reports get read is by including relevant analytics and metrics, which show whether the reports have indirectly or directly led to improved efficiency, an uptick in sales or production etc.
Discuss targeted outcomes with your business users, and then use this information to tweak the reporting so that it provides real-time data and performance insight. Remember to highlight successes achieved by departments that have leveraged insights from your reports and promote this throughout the business. Other areas will be keen to replicate these results and will be keen to use your financial reporting in order to do so.
Ultimately, the best financial reporting brings better results and by identifying and delivering the right reports to the right managers across your organisation, you can make a major impact on the success of the business as a whole.
(This blog post was first published on the CFMS blog).