The reporting process as defined by the International Financial Reporting Standards regime is certainly a challenging one. Organisations must, for a start, attempt to cope with frequent changes or amendments to the IFRS, which tend to be introduced in large volumes. Moreover, this requires organisations’ reporting procedures to be continually updated in order to comply with IFRS updates. This makes the reporting process decidedly challenging for organisations which require frequent disclosures, particularly those involved in the consolidation of foreign operations and multiple versions of group accounting.
Attempting to comply with International Financial Reporting Standards through manual methods, such as the creation of spreadsheet templates, can become a trying and cumbersome undertaking that simply invites inefficiency. This is why so many companies are moving to fully automated reporting systems.
Manual accounting is both time-consuming and mundane, which opens the door for human error. Specialist systems, on the other hand, have the ability to greatly diminish human error and ultimately streamline the financial reporting process. Financial reporting automation can improve the readiness of audits, reliably consolidate financial statements on an international basis, optimise intra-organisation collaboration, and promote transparency into the monitoring and reporting phases of financial analysis.
Considerations for Reporting Software Deployment
While the benefits of financial reporting via specialist systems are great, they depend largely on the proficiency of the consultants advising the implementation of the systems and the software which they deploy.
The following are several considerations applicable to any organisation considering the deployment of specialist financial reporting software:
1. Management Reporting
First and foremost a beneficial automation solution should allow an organisation to prepare management reports in multiple formats including that which conforms to IFRS designated standards.
2. Creation of Regular Financial Statements for Regulatory Authorities
Both local regulatory bodies and IFRS require regular abridged financial statements. Any automation software deployed should be capable of facilitating this requirement.
3. Creation of Annual Financial Statements and Integrated Reports.
A beneficial solution must allow for the creation of a full set of IFRS financial statements and Integrated Report on an annual basis.
4. Analysis of Financial Statements
It is important for an automated software solution to be able to generate and analyse financial statements which are customisable and efficient.
5. Purpose for Consolidation
An organisation seeking the deployment of specialist financial close, consolidate and report system should consider its primary motivation for said deployment, whether it be the consolidation of group entities, the monitoring of multiple entities, fund accounting or joint venture accounting – or possibly all of these purposes. The ideal software will offer solutions for all of these requirements.
6. Comparative and Executive Ability
It is important that the software has the ability to accumulate data at the end of a financial year and use it to generate comparative figures for the following financial year.
A truly beneficial financial reporting solution will allow for team collaboration and task-sharing whilst engaged on the same project or report.
8. User Friendliness
It is important that data analysis is able to be carried out quickly and simply, but also in a way that is easily interpreted and monitored by system users.
9. Ease of Standardisation
A changeover in reporting staff should not constitute a restructuring of the reporting process. It is thus important for reporting software to be easily customisable in order to accommodate such changes.
Cortell deploys software solutions – coupled with extensive experience and acumen on the part of our consultants – that both covers the above criteria and adheres to International Financial Reporting Standards. Essentially our specialist financial reporting solutions diminish human error and streamline reporting processes while seamlessly complying with prescribed standards – everything an organisation needs to vastly improve efficiency.