NTT DATA Business Solutions
Frank Parée | June 11, 2020 | 5 min read

Improve Your Business with Better Financial Reporting Tools

Financial reporting tools help you achieve transparency, reliability, and agility for your business

(5 min read)

Today’s CFOs and financial analysts need easy, coordinated, and insight-rich access to data in order to react to changing business conditions and act as strategic advisors for the business. The days of analysts tied up generating and managing clunky Excel spreadsheets are behind us. The digital business world demands more responsive, faster solutions to meet business challenges.

What tools will you need to stay agile and informed in today’s business climate? That’s simple! In this post, we’ll explore the features modern cloud-based and hybrid reporting tools can offer you, and why you need integrated ERP and EPM on your side.

Cutting-Edge Financial Reporting

Why is cutting-edge reporting software so crucial for CFOs? The newest reporting and management tools allow you to see across the data landscape of your company, and to drill down quickly for specific insights as needed. These tools integrate company data from various applications and make it easily available across teams in real time.

Modern reporting solutions allow for multiple internal stakeholders to access data and generate and publish reports easily at their appropriate permission levels and in a variety of formats, depending on their needs. Here’s the upshot: getting the current data you and your analysts and employees need, in the form that is most useful to them, in order to act quickly and intelligently.

What Better Reporting Tools Can Do for You

It’s all about data. With better access to real-time data, without the drudgery of spreadsheets, comes speed and insight. You can use modern financial reporting software to automate data analysis and set up customized dashboards and graphics for specific teams in your company. This will leave your analysts the time to work with processed and well-presented data and insights, rather than toiling over generating them.

More time to strategize and react to updated, accurate, and shared business intelligence means better business strategy. And what’s more, your reporting can respond with flexibility to changing business situations, offering you the data you need, rather than the same standard reports over and over.

The Digital Age Demands Agility

You want to keep abreast of challenges faced by your enterprise, but you also have the added challenge of coordinating financial information, master data, and the needs of various departments. How can you make this happen? Cloud-based reporting tools allow you to easily share current master data across applications for sales, marketing, finance, and more.

You can also use hybrid planning: tools that connect cloud solutions with those based in your office to consolidate the functions of ERP and EPM solutions. This hybrid approach offers the best business intelligence, analytics, and reporting for not only tracking KPIs, but also forecasting, budgeting, and developing future business strategies.

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How to Join the Future of Reporting Tools?

Not just data—insights! Modern, cloud-based ERP and EPM systems can coordinate to offer your company the best insights into the current financial situation as well as the best tools for planning your financial future as an organization. You can see a clear overview of your financial situation, in real-time and presented the way various departments need this data to be visualized.

You can also generate dynamic reports using drag and drop, automatic calculations, and report wizard tools that respond to shifting business realities and to the changing priorities of each team. With hybrid planning, you can have a single source of financial truth for your whole enterprise that not only offers data, but real, readable, easy-to-generate insights.

What Are Some Features to Look for?

Modern financial reporting software can offer you lots of useful features, including:

  • Ready-made reports: You can either use these or create customized reports to meet the needs of your company or those of specific departments.
  • Automated report generation: This allows your team to receive relevant data periodically without the task of manually generating spreadsheets.
  • Customizable dashboards: Show the right data and KPIs in the most up-to-date, readable form to specific teams within your company. You’ll also be able to choose how the data should be visualized.

Why Does this Make Sense for me?

Hybrid planning with the newest reporting tools is more than just a utopian idea of perfectly coordinated data across departments. These tools can provide you with the most accurate view of crucial KPIs, and allow you to spot financial problems faster, saving money and time. Using predictive modeling tools, you can assess risk and manage strategy more effectively. A busy CFO can spend less time finding Excel geniuses to create useful reporting and more time directly accessing data and working with analysts who are not bogged down with report-generating tasks. You need the best business intelligence you can get to move quickly; modern EPM and ERP tools make that happen.

What Steps Should I Be Sure to Take?

Make the most of the latest tools! Here are the approaches you should be sure to implement in your financial reporting:

1. Chuck out the spreadsheets:

Spreadsheets are a thing of the past—you don’t need them for your routine reporting. Cloud-based reporting tools that draw on real-time data can break you out of the slow world of spreadsheets, old data, and conflicting data sources.

2. Create cutting-edge visuals:

Modern dashboard designs are dynamic, full of relevant data, and optimized for mobile devices.

3. Present analytics for immediate action:

Take advantage of cloud-based reporting tools that offer visualization that makes insights relevant for strategy accessible and intuitive. You can filter, compare, and correlate data easily and get the complete picture faster.

What Now?

Now you know why a modern CFO needs the power of the latest financial reporting tools on their side. Still have questions about what data you should be collecting, and the latest thinking on how to make use of analytics for more agility and, ultimately, profitability for your company? We can break it down for you. For more information about how to make the best use of analytics for your business, get the Forrester paper on “How To Become An Insights-Driven Business.” It’s worth reading. Forrester Consulting analyzed existing data and reports about how companies can evolve from data-driven to real insights-driven organizations.
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