Blog Integrated Financial Reporting

Integrated Financial Reporting Applications: A Single Source of Truth

When organizations can’t look across the whole information chain, their ability to make decisions, understand and serve their customers, make the right investments, and manage risk is compromised. As a result, companies can’t really drive the value they should from the considerable investments they’ve made in their CRM, BI, and ERP systems, and decision makers may begin to lose confidence in their data.

This is especially problematic when it comes to financial matters, as having clear data is essential to meeting reporting and regulatory demands. Fixing this issue means focusing on the accuracy and completeness of a company’s data and creating a more comprehensive view of the relationship between datasets.

Roadblocks to the Truth

The data systems that most organizations use produce a number of barriers when it comes to defining a single version of the truth. These issues often include:

  • Multiple systems within departments
  • Disparate data silos
  • Outdated spreadsheets

With relevant data spread across the finance, sales, and HR departments, it’s nearly impossible to be able to trust the quality of your data. Information is inaccurate, inconsistent, or incomplete, making it unreliable. Simply put, there are just too many versions of the truth. This inadequate data infrastructure eventually results in organizations being unable to develop the big picture when it comes to their financial data.

Moving to the Next Stage

Your organization will have to evolve beyond your current system to ensure that the data populating your financial reports are completely accurate. One of the key initiatives here is getting rid of inefficient modes of communication—such as email—that promote the spreading of various sources of truth via outdated static spreadsheets. Additionally, you will want to aim to try to move away from relying solely on Excel for your data management and analysis. You also need to eliminate the delay in data available throughout the company.

Identifying the real truth of your organization’s financial information requires complete data integration between your ERP and your financial reporting solution. In doing so, you’ll realize three pivotal benefits:

A Holistic Perspective
You need to bring all your budgeting, expensing, and other financial forecasting processes to a central place that’s accessible to everyone in the organization. These connections should remain natively linked to the ERP, providing an accurate and secure system of record for the entire enterprise. This replaces the numerous information silos throughout the organization and removes the need for spreadsheets and email communications.  

Real-Time Analysis
Once your financial data has been routed to a single location, it can be viewed, updated, and shared by every department in real time. There is only one version of the truth, and the information remains the same no matter who’s looking at it or when they access it. This is imperative to accurately analyze data for intelligent decision making.

Effective Data Visualization
You need to be able to present information in reports, charts, and annotated text in ways that the entire organization can understand. This means being able to customize how data is delivered and providing a clear visual indication of which data points are most important for each stakeholder. But inaccurate data visualizations serve no one. Comprehensive ERP integration guarantees that every chart or graph is built with reliable information.

A unified system provides a single version of the truth and helps your organization standardize how financial data is handled. This not only ensures that your data is reliable but can reduce finance costs by 55 percent, leaving more funds for growth.  You can gain real-time financial visibility, reduce errors and omissions, and deliver reliable reports that provide a more complete, accurate picture of your financial standing. Learn more about how to build a single source of truth by downloading our free whitepaper!