Financial reporting software is basic to the long-term success of an organization, uniquely small-to-medium sized businesses. It is the indispensable method of documentation that, in a nutshell, monitors the money coming in and the expenses going out.
Mary Ellen Biery, a research specialist at the financial information company Sageworks, lists down the core financial reports that must be updated and reviewed at all times. This advice applies to any company, regardless of its scale or industry.
Financial Reports to Run
- profit and loss statements
- balance sheets
- cash flow statements
- net profit margin over time
- account receivables and their days
- account payables and their days
Chances are, you, your colleagues and fellow entrepreneurs recognize and understand the purpose of financial reporting software. You might even use financial reporting software to support your accounting staff. The software’s capabilities will help the output of your workforce, especially if your business is expanding.
Financial Reporting Software in Crisis Mode
Before the coronavirus crisis, the U.S. small-business sector had been experiencing steady growth. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, 30.2 American small businesses employ 58.9 million people. The benefits of financial reporting, especially when done through software, are perhaps heightened, not just during times of growth, but during economic trials as well. At this point, given recent developments, you might now have a lean-and-mean team. Your focus is on urgent priorities, maintaining your existing clients, finding a new market, and closing a sale. You have little time to pore over every fine detail of a balance sheet. The data analysis reporting software eases your efforts to stay afloat can provide, accurately, and in real-time. Financial reporting software condenses many of the functions that exist in various platforms, like that list of accounts payable software you had been considering for some time.
Aside from fighting this new battle to remain economically viable, however, you or your team might have a knee-jerk reaction when it comes to maximizing your software. You may not consider yourselves IT-savvy. Some of you might regard learning a new tool as a waste of time, especially when most of you are adjusting to a new work-from-home arrangement.
Simplify Reporting Software
Fortunately, there are ways to simplify your use of financial reporting software. Using the following tips will reduce time spent on accounting work, and make financial data more relevant, understandable, and useful. Regularly applying the following tips can also reinforce the importance of financial reporting.
1. Build user-friendly templates that you can access at any time –
Pulling out endless spreadsheets that show your incoming sales, as well as due vendor invoices documents, can be a time-wasting chore. It can take you hours to retrieve the files—and then do a quick sharing of them with your colleagues. What prolongs the process is that you and your team have separate document formats for the same category of numbers like departmental revenues. The financial reporting enables you to organize this tedious, chaotic process by customizing all your financial statements, documents, and reports in user-friendly templates.
You can highlight the areas that are important to you and which your team must always check first by standardizing the document formats. When formats are standard, chaos and confusion disappear. The financial reporting system also makes access to these templates very fast. You can pull them out from the cloud whenever you need them, and in just a matter of minutes.
2. Update your reports in minutes –
Because of the accessibility of the files, you can update your reports within minutes. Inputting the new information into the dashboard immediately after the meeting guarantees no data falls into the cracks.
3. Create your metrics or key performance indicators –
You need to be able to glean insights from the swath of information that is now spreading across your dashboards. All those numbers must mean something to you: the reasons why they happened, the trends that they indicate, and how these figures ultimately impact your business. Enhanced financial reporting software has the tools you need to create your metrics or key performance indicators. Every time you update your reports, you will know what trends to watch.
4. Use live text to complement your data tables –
Data tables and charts are essential and will always be present in any financial reporting software. What makes some tools stand out from others is a live-text option. Instead of taking time to discern what those diagrams are showing you, you can immediately type in readable form what your KPIs are telling you. The live text will make discussion among team members more fluid and productive once they start checking the dashboard.
5. Publish on safe but visually stunning dashboards –
Financial reporting software makes the practice of file-sharing or emailing documents to your team obsolete. Now, send them a URL that is clickable to a published report. They can view on different platforms: a smart device, a smartphone, a laptop, a projector, or a big-screen TV set.
Financial reporting simplified
The right software can help you achieve your objectives of financial reporting without giving you a hard time. It might even prove to be a pleasant, productive experience while you are determining your current financial position.