It makes more sense to have eyeballs on creating greater value from the reporting rather than reconciling data on spreadsheets. Source: Shutterstock

It makes more sense to have eyeballs on creating greater value from the reporting rather than reconciling data on spreadsheets. Source: Shutterstock

Why digital reporting is a strategic business practice for CFOs

AS FINANCE professionals adapt to the changes that digital transformation is thrusting upon the vertical, the focus on gaining more critical insight in real-time is growing.

With technologies such as automation, advanced analytics, and machine learning, businesses can now leverage real-time data to make smarter decisions.

Digital reporting will finally fill the ‘time and cost gaps’ that traditional reporting cannot seem to patch up.

According to a report, finance teams without digital reporting tools spend up to 48 percent of their productive hours on creating and updating reports for decision makers.

Further, the information produced by traditional teams may not be as practical anymore as there will be a time lag.

With digital solutions making the business front more competitive than ever, delayed analyses from traditional methods may cause businesses to fall behind.

On top of that, digital reporting will help businesses repurpose finance professionals for higher value tasks that cannot be automated.

Only 18 percent of their time is spent on conveying the results to the business, that which cannot be automated and holds the most weight on driving results.

So, it will make more sense to have eyeballs on creating greater value from the reporting rather than reconciling data on spreadsheets.

Reimagining reporting in Finance 4.0

In the future, CFOs will lead not only finance professionals but also data scientists and storytellers, all of whom will play strategic roles in supporting the business.

Robotic process automation can significantly reduce the manpower spent on data manipulation and blockchain-based applications will securely encrypt financial data to make sure that insights are reliable and accurate without any human supervision.

So, the human workforce can spend sufficient time to interact and communicate findings to the business, sharing insights in real-time with managers and decision makers.

Machine learning-enabled digital reporting systems can help business users shape forecasts that are tailored to the organization’s goals, transforming the information into valuable insights.

Besides that, digital reporting also offers an interactive interface that can help decision-makers navigate the information in any way that they want.

Data filtration on digital reporting dashboards will give CFOs the advanced search results that they are looking for within a short period of time. This is something that traditional reporting will never be able to offer to businesses.

On top of more accurate and specific insights, real-time digital reporting will keep businesses at the forefront of the market.

At the speed that businesses are evolving along with other digital solutions in the enterprise space, timeliness is a top priority which means traditional periodic reporting fails to provide any actionable insights.

Why digital reporting is a strategic business practice

Equipping the finance team with digital tools will be an upgrade that is only a matter of time with the obvious benefits that businesses are set to reap.

Digital reporting instantaneously elevates the finance team’s support for business strategies by unearthing more critical insight in real-time.

The investment here is so that businesses can tap into future opportunities based on data.

Digital reporting will be intuitive and visual, which means, there will be more maneuverability for financial professionals to decide on ROI.

Simply put, new technologies extend new business opportunities the same way they create new business risks. Though, the former most definitely outweighs the latter.

This is why it is important to gradually ease into digital reporting and apply digital solutions only where it will make a positive impact.

In the end, the purpose of financial reports is to optimize spend and to secure the business’ position as a market leader.

So, incorporating automation, advanced analytics, and machine learning into financial reporting is surely part of all organization’s digital transformation agenda.

There is no quick solution to digital maturity but it is certain that technology is seeping into finance functions quickly.