Ever wondered why your business reports are not telling you what you need to know when you need to know it?
Business Reports are a staple in any company, and therefore reports automation will save you thousands of dollars.
They can come in many forms and flavours but will always include financial results. It will also have some detail on operational and sales performance.
That makes sense, right?
You want to see how the business is running financially. Usually, the Profit and Loss but also the Balance Sheet tells you the financials you need.
On top of that, you need to see how the operation is performing.
You’ve no doubt got a series of KPIs or metrics that you measure on a monthly basis to tell you if things are improving or targets are being achieved.
Sales are probably the most well reported department though, with full details of recent successes. Like, what’s in the pipelines and maybe potential future workload. There usually are a few forward looking metrics with the sales reporting.
Not so much with the financial.
Timing of your business reports is critical to success
All these reports can take a hell of a lot of time to prepare each month. Two to three weeks is the time it takes the average firm to do month-end reporting. And for every day you have to wait, the less time you have to react to challenges.
But the issue isn’t easily narrowed down to one particular problem. It’s simply a case of these things taking time.
These are usually straight forward and could be as simple as printing to PDF.
But you can’t produce them until the end of month accounts have been closed off, and that takes time.
Typically these reports take a little longer to prepare and may need to be created with a few exports from different systems.
Perhaps a dash of Microsoft Excel to make them look exactly how management needs them to look.
It’s generally pretty quick to get these.
I wonder why?
Yet, while Sales can tell you any number you want, pretty much instantly, you can’t complete month-end reporting until all the reporting is done. You need the complete picture.
Those non-standard ‘standard’ reports
Some of you may also have to go that extra mile to create that one report that the CEO or the CFO needs in addition to all the ‘standard’ reports.
You know, the one that tells him the numbers in a certain way, but is formatted in landscape and 12 point because the other reports just aren’t up to scratch.
Speed up reporting times, and you speed up reaction time
Automating month-end reporting is a real barrier for most companies.
Everyone is so busy doing month-end reporting plus their ‘real’ jobs that there’s no spare time to focus on fixing the systemic problem of having to spend so much time on month-end reporting.
However, if reporting was available 1 week earlier, or even available 24/7 on interactive dashboards, then it would provide the visibility from every angle of your business performance with such a degree of clarity that you will be able to respond to problems as and when they arise.
Reports automation is far more valuable than discovering a problem 4 weeks after it’s happened, fixing it, and then waiting another month to find out if it’s solved.