If you had to rate your financial reporting team’s efficiency on a scale from one to five, with five being the most efficient and one being the least, how would it stack up? If you said two, you’re not alone.

Despite the fact that financial analysis and reporting are among the most important functions within a business, many financial teams are operating below their desired efficiency level.

Why?

Because the finance department is too often seen as a cost center instead of a revenue generator, and therefore is one of the last areas to invest in new tools and technologies. The reality, however, is that investing in these tools will boost efficiency and have tangible benefits across your business.

Investing in job satisfaction

For starters, an investment in better tools is an investment in your employees. Accountants and financial analysts are consistently overworked, spending hundreds of hours each month manually compiling SEC filings and other reports. This means late nights, weekends, and a low rate of job satisfaction as a result.

Many financial reporting teams are operating below their desired efficiency level.

More hours spent on financial reports and filings also mean your financial team isn’t getting to other important tasks that could actually increase revenue and make your company more competitive. Besides boosting employee job satisfaction, investment in new tools and technologies can also allow your team to devote time and resources to those items on the agenda that often get passed over for the “must-do” tasks, which aren’t generating revenue for your company.

Let’s take a look at four ways advanced financial data analysis software platforms can help you boost your team’s efficiency:

Access to higher quality data in less time - Data collection for financial reporting and business analysis doesn’t have to be a tedious, hours-long task. By implementing a tool that allows your team to quickly look at quality public financial and non-financial data, they’ll get higher-quality information, faster.

1. Reducing errors: Compiling analysis from 10K filings, 10Q filings, and other regulatory filings can be extremely draining on your team’s efficiency without the proper tools. The amount of errors made in the process is directly relative to the amount of hours spent on a task. Errors are more likely to increase after hours of poring over data and reports. By reducing the amount of time it takes for your team to get the data they need, you’ll also help them reduce errors and work more confidently and efficiently.

2. Accessing deeper data: Your team will benefit from tools that go beyond typical KPIs, to look deeper into financial data. New technologies enable finance teams to identify outliers and dig all the way down to footnotes and SEC comment letters for like businesses. Imagine the benefit of knowing a company in your industry has received a comment letter in time to avoid a similar mistake yourself. How beneficial would it be for your company to avoid similar SEC correspondence? In addition to boosting efficiency, advanced tools can actually make your team better at what it does each day.

3. Increasing collaboration: How many hours are wasted with various team members in and out of an Excel document, working on various areas of a report separately? This process requires too many checks and balances before a final report can be reconciled and generated. Advanced financial platforms allow your entire team to collaborate in real-time, and provide the proper checks and balances for accepting adjustments and changes. This means your entire team can contribute more quickly and do their jobs more efficiently.

4. Enabling data visualization: Let’s face it. Not everyone “speaks Excel.” And chances are, your colleagues don’t want to sit through yet another presentation filled with numbers on a spreadsheet. Financial reporting can make a bigger impact across your business when it’s presented in a visual format that everyone can engage with and understand.

It’s time to stop thinking of advanced financial reporting software as a “nice to have” tool and realize that it’s a must-have for keeping your business efficient and competitive. By keeping pace with the advances in financial reporting technology, you can harness the full power of financial and non-financial data that will improve the way your financial team reports, collaborates, and makes decisions. The idaciti platform can help your company realize all of these efficiencies.

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