Traditional financial reporting is becoming redundant

By Adrian Clerici - July 25, 2016

Over the last five years, we have witnessed the rapid adoption of cloud based applications across IT environments amongst our clients. These are systems whose data is easily accessible and talk readily to other systems.

Consequently, the ability to produce useful and meaningful whole of business reporting is far easier than it has ever been.

Mirroring the proliferation of niche applications on operating systems on mobile devices, the rise in popularity of cloud based applications in the business environment has been accompanied by bespoke applications that can enhance your IT system. The most recognised cloud based software at the centre of this change is Xero but this change is now common across most accounting applications. 

Like the Apple iOS or Android platform, for many businesses it is becoming the hub of their business systems. Packages are so progressed in their development that they connect to bank feeds automating bank reconciliations, creditor payments and debtor receipts. Systems can integrate with equally advanced applications like Vend point of sale software for the automatic posting of sales occurring at stores as well as report on inventory. 

Within days you can have a hundred invoices pushed into your accounting software by simply scanning the invoice/receipt, emailing or mailing to a third party, with a copy kept in the cloud for easy access at a later date if required. You can manage your staff rosters and timesheets allowing owners to send out messages for roster changes and staff to complete timesheets and access their payroll information online, including old payslips. The system will then seamlessly integrate with your accounting software.

Apart from the obvious financial benefit of efficiency, an automated process allows businesses to understand how their business is performing more quickly. 

We are seeing our clients not only achieving this efficiency but investing the efficiency dividend in getting more meaningful reporting on their business that is readily available. Consequently, traditional financial statements are becoming redundant in business reporting for owners and managers. They are being replaced by meaningful management reports that are easy to tailor to ensure they communicate the true drivers of business performance. Useful information like the ageing of stock on hand, performance of stock categories, working capital performance and margin analysis all reported with accuracy on a single page. Combining the data coming from your website, Google analytics or Facebook site with financial information provides a far richer and relevant report on what is happening in your business. 

At a click of a button you can have a management report ready for you to review that represents your whole business. 

Efficient, integrated systems are not the domain of expensive IT systems like SAP. Meaningful management reporting is no longer the domain of specialist software consultants. This functionality is accessible to businesses of all sizes and importantly is far more affordable. The most significant outcome of this change in the business environment is opportunity for business owners to be better informed about the performance of their business quickly and wherever they may be.

Challenged or intrigued by the evolution of reporting platforms? Talk to your Pitcher Partners advisor.

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