Working from home has its advantages and disadvantages. Large meetings and strategy sessions may be less effective remotely. On the other hand, working from home gives you a different environment, which can help you to view your strategies and processes from a distance. We'll get you going with these 5 questions that help you map easy optimizations and future projects that benefit your reporting processes.
Our advice is to go walk around a block – alone - and answer these questions for yourself on foot. Walking is good for your brain (source: The Guardian), it helps organizing your thoughts and the physical movement keeps you fit. On top of that, there's a lower probability that you are disturbed by incoming emails, other computer notifications, or instant messages from colleagues.
Question 1: What information does management still lack in order to be able to steer properly?
Do you get the same questions every month about your delivered figures from management? You may be able to resolve this by reporting another figure, using a ratio, or do you need an entirely new report? Once your reporting is automated, this doesn’t have to have a huge impact on your team and management are able to make better decisions with the information you have delivered.
Question 2: Do you know what your business drivers are?
Business drivers are factors in or outside your organization that have an impact on the business performance. A change in one of these factors can have a big impact on the result and therefore is important to have those in view. On top of that, when they are in view, you can also plan with this. Many of our customers can foresee such changes and react timely with effective measures.
Question 3: Are there tasks in your team that can be automated?
Modern EPM solutions make it unnecessary to spend time collecting data within the organization. By standardizing and automating these processes, you can report the correct numbers on any moment. It is important to integrate as many pain points and other software solutions or workarounds as much as possible. Are you already using a modern EPM for consolidation and planning? Think about integrating Lease Accounting, Tax Provisioning, Equity Pickup and CAPEX planning into your standard reporting process.
Question 4: Is there any new legislation to be expected that affects your reporting process?
It is important not to suddenly be faced with a surprise when new legislation also requires new reports. By following financial news, you can often see coming new legislation early on. Take the time to find out what should be reported, and who and what you need from your organization to realize this. Starting in time is important, so that it does not end up at the bottom of your priority list when you are buried under the issues of the day again.
Question 5: What would be relevant to report on concerning sustainability for your organization?
This is one of the topics that companies are currently being asked to report on. In some cases, it is already mandatory. There are no strict reporting requirements yet, but the question is whether this will remain the same in the future. Perhaps companies will soon have to validate their sustainability reports by an external party. Moreover, it influences the public opinion, for companies that report on sustainability in a reliable manner. As a result, enough companies have already started working on this. Think about what data is relevant in terms of sustainability for your company. And what does it take to report on that?
If you, after answering these five questions, can't think of anything that's still missing, give yourself a big compliment. You are in control of your company's reporting, bravo! If an action and/or wish list has arisen after this review exercise, you are probably on the right track to optimize the reporting processes and prepare your reporting for the future.
Modernize your Enterprise Performance Management
Enterprise performance management is a set of software capabilities that supports end-to-end processes around reporting, planning, and analytics. You can use EPM software to create processes that report and analyze business performance for companies of great size and complexity.