What Is Connected Reporting?

For many organizations, reporting has become a challenge. Globalization, regulatory change, and rapidly increasing requests for information by decision-makers result in a high-demand environment.

According to a study conducted by EY, “¾ of respondents say that the reporting environment has become more complex in recent years.”

As such, reporting processes need to adjust accordingly. There’s plenty of room for improvement, especially when it comes to speed and connectivity. Connected reporting brings together all pieces of organizational information, resulting in greater consistency, accuracy, and timeliness.

EY put together an excellent report on connected reporting and its function within finance. We’ve summarized key points and selected highlights that reflect the value of connected reporting and how it can support organizational strategy as opposed to simply being a compliance function.

Why invest in connected reporting?

We live in an increasingly complex world, with business becoming increasingly complex too. As such, reporting deserves an upgrade.

Globalization has changed the way business is done, meaning companies often have more than one body to report to and multiple standards to meet. The more a company grows and expands, the greater the number of standards they will have to meet.

In a survey conducted by EY, ¾ of respondents claimed to have more than 5 reporting systems and claim to comply with more than 5 reporting standards.

“As they become larger and more global, companies experience a dramatic rate of change in regulations and investor expectations, and face greater scrutiny from auditors, boards and institutional investors,” he says. “Investors and others demand more information, and expect it to be robust, controlled and timely.”
-Neri Bukspan, Financial Reporting and Disclosure Leader, FAAS Americas, EY

Executives are increasingly demanding, and reporting needs to keep up.

Different stakeholders with different needs demand different data at different times.

  • Both internal (CEO) and external (investors) stakeholders want more.
  • Nearly 70% of respondents in EY’s survey agreed that it is very challenging to satisfy the different needs of external stakeholders with corporate reporting.

“As both regulators and financial reporting standards require a significant volume of data to be presented in financial statements, it can often be difficult for shareholders or investors to identify the information they require,” argues Andrew Davies, UK&I FAAS Leader at EY.

Companies deal with internal challenges, including reporting.

  • Producing timely and updated reports is an internal challenge.
  • The sheer volume of information to be consolidated prior to reporting is vast. Accurate and timely delivery of information is vital if executives are to make decisions in a timely manner.

With limited human capital, companies should make the most of their workers by making sure they engage in value-added work. They can do this by optimizing processes with a tool that allows for connected reporting such as DataRails.

Connected reporting can improve processes

Financial reporting is still often seen as a compliance issue, rather than a marketing or reputational issue, when it has the opportunity to be all three.”
-Andrew Davies, UK&I FAAS Leader, EY

Connected reporting can improve internal decision-making and relations with regulators, investors, and the public. The more companies grow and expand, the greater the pressure to deliver quickly and move fast.

Since this is the case, selecting the right tools is vital. DataRails is an excellent connected reporting solution that automates consolidation processes and significantly reduces unnecessary errors, inaccuracy, and data loss. With DataRails employees no longer waste time on tedious manual work, instead dedicating their time to analysis and other value-added tasks.

From management’s perspective, they gain access to real-time numbers, can identify who made changes and know when they were made. This instantaneous connection allows for the free flow of information, and more importantly encourages it, simply by making it so easy and effortless.

 “78% agree that they could introduce greater efficiencies to the reporting process. Just 27% say that they are highly effective at efficiency of production in corporate reporting, and only 25% are very effective at speed of closing.” (EY).

Conclusion

Investing in connected reporting is worth the effort. Connecting information allows the organization to boost the decision-making process and the quality of decisions made, since consistent and up-to-date data enables informed decision-making.

It offers a solution to the challenges of improving reporting and allows organizations to benefit from better decision-making, better relationships with investors and regulators, and a better reputation for the organization. With connected reporting, reporting can move past compliance to serve the strategic intent of an organization.

If you’re interested in reading the entire report, check it out here:
https://www.ey.com/en_gl/assurance/why-companies-can-benefit-from-connected-reporting

About DataRails

DataRails’ CPM solution revolutionizes the way FP&A work is done.  Our technology automates spreadsheet work that is all too often done manually, allowing you to save time and prevent errors. With DataRails, gain newfound insights and finally have confidence in what your numbers are telling you. This is done without changing the way you work on Excel so you can keep doing what you’re doing, just better.

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