Operate in more than one location and in multiple divisions, throw in a few business changes during the month and you have finance teams that spend large portions of their time collating and reporting on data. In that scenario, teams are left with very little space in their schedules to analyse what is actually going on, and to provide key decision makers with the meaningful information they need to take their ventures forward.
Over the years, Synergy has identified – among others – the following business realities that cause delays and add complexity and risk to reporting. None of these realities are, however, set in stone and by placing the right tools in the hands of finance teams, we believe we can turn spreadsheet gurus into business value-add team members.
Do any of these ring true for your business?
Adding multi-currency to your reporting can make spreadsheets spin out of control, but we’ve been able to help many of our clients streamline and automate their processes, right down to the Foreign Currency Translation Reserve (FCTR) values. This includes making allowance for different rates for actual, budget and forecast, including scenarios on different rates.
You may be frustrated that your accounting/ERP system is boxing your reporting capabilities into a single legal entity, in which case you will benefit from the IBM Cognos solution that makes it just as easy to report across entities, as it is to report across cost centres. Again, this is done without the complexity of bulky – and risky – spreadsheets, while still utilising the best of the familiar Excel front-end as part of the report pack process.
Most of Synergy’s clients operate within this reality and have found ways to minimise the frustration of reporting within a single entity across divisions. While, like many of our clients, you certainly aren’t immune to the real world divisional changes that businesses undergo from time to time, we can help you to stabilise and, in fact, we can enable you to analyse the impact of the proposed change easily across actual, budget and forecast versions.
A growing business will inevitably find that there are certain expenses that are not directly related exclusively to any specific business area. More often, these expenses span across business areas and are often (although not exclusively) part of a business strategy to get the benefit of economies of scale. Whether such a business needs to reallocate the costs on headcount, revenue, percentage split or an industry specific allocation methodology, it usually results in complex spreadsheets carrying key business rules. If this is you then Synergy can, in partnering with you, bring such rules into a secure environment, allowing you to test different allocation methodologies as part of your finalisation processes.
Income statement/statement of financial performance
Often the starting point for most businesses, this report can have many business rules behind it. Synergy can help you see the impact of those rules, without the difficulty of reconciling back to your source systems, and all without risky cut and paste exercises. And should your business need a different statement on the fly, generating it will take seconds to minutes – rather than minutes to hours. This could include a custom grouping of different cost centres across legal entities for a month, a quarter, a certain YTD period, or another scenario in local and/or group currencies.
Balance sheet/statement of financial position
These are all too often neglected due to reporting timelines, but the ability to monthly consolidated balance sheets greatly increases your ability to get a clear view of the financial position of your business.
Cash flow statements
Not just neglected, this is a statement often totally ignored. However, on a month-to month-basis, your business can benefit from reviewing the flow of cash over the reporting period.
Cash flow forecasting
With the pace of business change today, businesses may have an operational cash flow forecast, but are often not projecting cash flow balances into the future based on actual to date and future expected business realities (using either budget or forecast versions). With the automation of management reporting and consolidations, Synergy has empowered finance teams to regularly make cash flow forecasts.
Industry specific reporting
In addition to standard reporting, your business may require some industry specific reporting and/or ratios. Synergy has helped businesses achieve this, as part of the management reporting process.