Financial Reporting Can Drive Business Strategies

Financial Reporting – what a boring topic for most people. However, without accurate, timely financial reporting and projecting – what relevant, proactive decision can be made? Over the last 2 years the CBE Finance team has been dedicated to improving reporting and accuracy to become business partners and aid in decision making. We have cut 25 days out of the old school, typical close process where now actual results are published within 5 business days by company, locations, individual client portfolios and much more. How was my team able to accomplish this? Focusing on CBE’s vision, purpose, culture and Seven Habits. We had to start from the ground up and understand what truly was needed by our organization in order to become a valued partner rather than just a reporter of information.

We transformed our close process to incorporate a full day of Financial Analyst review at individual client portfolio Profit and Losses to catch even the smallest expense that was pooled in the wrong bucket. We rolled out new reporting and analysis tools that allowed operational units real time financial data.

More importantly, our accounting staff embraced the opportunity to improve processes and understand how much value they give the organization, rather than mundane accounting entries. We record revenue on a daily basis for collections so that operations can see run rates both in the Customer Relationship Management and Financial Models. We incorporated daily/weekly/monthly expense schedules so operation leaders could understand payroll expense semimonthly versus a daily expense such as letters sent to consumers. The staff embraced the opportunity so fully that even our Accounts Receivable past due has shrunk below 1% as the team now is operating efficiently and effectively as a team, focused on imperatives and the CBE culture.

The Financial Reporting world continues to transform in every organization. The key to success is defining expectations, evaluating needs and more importantly minimizing time spent on transactional/tactical entry recording and convert valuable financial analysis at every level in the Finance/Accounting team.

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