Single source of truth (SSOT) is a phrase that manages to perfectly encapsulate something it also does a terrible job of describing. In this piece, we will be breaking down the concept of SSOT Financial Reporting and illustrating the deep impact it has on planning and budgeting.
When people refer to an SSOT, they’re talking about a centralized database. Currently, companies have a ton of information at their disposal, but it’s scattered throughout the enterprise in various departments, applications, and computers. Segregated data reside in what are known as “data silos,” and they are a huge problem because they make it harder for decision makers to develop a true understanding of issues. People can access data, but they can’t easily access all data.
An SSOT is intended to be the antidote to data silos, difficult data management, and uncertain decision making. Though the details of each SSOT are little different in action, all of them are intended to be the go-to information resource for the entire enterprise. Everything (relevant or not) is collected under one umbrella and made accessible through a user-friendly toolkit. In that way, all users can access the same data.
It’s easy to understand how an SSOT would make decision making more efficient and effective. In practice, having a comprehensive information resource can positively transform how companies utilize data and plan their future.
Better Reporting Through Better Information
Enterprise performance reporting is how most companies evaluate their efforts. It’s important work, but it’s hard to stay on top of because so much of the necessary data are trapped in silos. Building reports means tracking the information down, integrating it manually, cleaning up any errors, and coordinating all the data so everything makes sense.
With an SSOT in place, all this work becomes unnecessary. That’s because when all the data that go into reporting have been automatically collected in one place, building the reports themselves becomes far simpler. Instead of spending hours carefully managing and manipulating data by hand while leaning on IT for help, decision makers can build their own reports with just a few clicks.
Reporting also improves because everyone is working off the same set of figures at all times. The miscommunications that arise when users work with contradictory versions of “the truth” become irrelevant when there is only one source of truth.
Optimizing Budgeting and Planning with SSOT
Like reporting, optimizing the planning and budgeting process is as easy as implementing an SSOT solution. Here are some examples of how you gain foresight through having the right information resource:
- Confidence: Last year’s numbers are the basis for this year’s plans and budgets. An SSOT ensures those numbers are complete and accurate so that everyone involved with creating strategies trusts that they’re basing decisions off of objective truths.
- Coordination: Budgeting and planning are collaborative efforts that extend to all corners of the enterprise. Working off of a single set of trusted numbers helps keep the entire process coordinated by eliminating a lot of redundancy and confusion along the way.
- Comprehension: Anything less than a comprehensive understanding of enterprise performance could compromise next year’s budgets and plans. Gathering all the relevant information into an SSOT ensures that nothing important goes overlooked.
Thanks to insightsoftware, the benefits of SSOT reporting are available to any company regardless of the amount of data involved, where they reside, or how much IT staff is on hand.
Want to learn more? Download our free whitepaper on SSOT to learn more.