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Is your organisation digging itself into an early financial reporting grave?

Inaccuracies, inconsistencies, delays, as well as security and distribution issues in the financial reporting process come at a price. Here taking time to weigh-up the inherent risks associated with a manual, outdated or decentralised financial reporting process can do much to save your organisation time and money from both a material and reputational perspective.

This was the case for one of our clients, a leading roads construction and materials specialist, requiring the monthly financial reporting consolidation of 52 entities within the Group.  Prior to implementing a financial consolidation solution their consolidation team of two people were tasked to consolidate all of the financial information captured on spreadsheets across the Group into one standard financial pack.  Here various weaknesses and their related risks soon became evident.

1) Risk:  Financial reporting continuity
With only two people originally appointed to work on the monthly financial consolidation process, the risk of financial reporting coming to a dramatic halt should they be indisposed was great.

Solution: Simplicity
The simplicity of RollupSheets means that there has been a dramatic uptake of further users involved in the financial consolidation process, leaving management confident that financial reporting will go full steam ahead regardless of whether the financial consolidation ‘experts’ are around or not.

2) Risk: Inaccuracies, inconsistencies and delays impact strategic decision making
Prior to implementing Rollupsheets, the consolidation process time consuming but also riddled with inaccuracies. Due to their very nature spreadsheets are susceptible to human error resulting in an undesirable situation where multiple versions of the truth exist.

Solution: Accurate real-time financial reporting information
Management can now rest assured that their financial reporting information is accurate, consistent and secure. Decision making can be done timeously and with conviction ensuring this listed entity is well on track to achieving its strategic goals going forward.
3) Risk: Distribution
The Group’s decentralised structure meant that nearly all of its subsidiaries were running different ERP or source systems. Once again in this scenario ensuring the right people receive the right information, in time, in the right format, to ensure the right decisions, becomes a daily challenge. Here the value of a financial consolidation solution that can supplement the existing ERP or source system can prove invaluable.

Solution: A supplementary system that saves time and money
As a supplementary software solution it is both cost effective and time saving requiring very little change management and thereby training. Being self-maintainable there are no hidden maintenance costs. Also important for this listed entity is the reassurance that they have successfully ensured financial reporting continuity.

4) Risk: Security
With teams of people having access to and inputting various data into multiple spreadsheets, there was little to no control over what management and staff have access to along the audit trail. Not only was this a risk from a strategic point of view as leaked company information does not do much to instil investor confidence, but it yet again increased the likelihood of inaccuracies and inconsistencies creeping in.

Different staff inputting different information at different times increases the likelihood of a ‘multiple versions of the truth’ scenario where under pressure decision makers will be unnecessarily challenged to determine which version is the latest.

Solution: A simple ‘lock-down’ function
Through supplementing the source systems throughout the Group, it was able to standardise the necessary financial reporting information in a way that was both controlled, through a ‘lock down’ function, and easily accessible to the necessary staff and management regardless of their location. In addition management are now well aware of what is complete or outstanding and can address this accordingly.

It is safe to say that RollupSheets continues to play a significant role in this client’s overall business success, ultimately contributing to building organisational success and reputation.