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Accountants need to 'raise their game' on reporting

1st Apr 2014
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“Business intelligence has been given a bad name,” says PrecisionPoint CEO Michael Evans, “because people don’t trust numbers . That’s because they don’t agree with finance.”

After stints with Comshare and Analyst Financials, Evans is a chartered accountant with almost 30 years’ experience of financial reporting applications. So it must pain him to cite recent research from Ventana showing that companies are typically taking longer to close their periodic reporting cycles.

“This should be worrying to management. Even if companies buy BI tools, they don’t apply to this area of the business,” he moans.

While BI used to be the preserve of the corporate elite, smaller companies also have complex reporting requirements, but both ends of the corporate spectrum suffer from the same worrying affliction, according to Evans: “If you rely on manual spreadsheet systems to drive this, you’re probably just focused on very narrow accounting needs.

“You need to fulfil statutory obligations, but we think financial departments need to raise their game and see the close-to-report cycle as serving the entire business. Anyone who depends on a reporting system attached to a bunch of spreadsheets should not be proud of that and look to use something more sophisticated.”

And, as one might expect after such a tirade, PrecisionPoint is well positioned to provide the necessary tools...

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Replies (2)

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By carnmores
04th Apr 2014 10:50

Just another sales pitch

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By TaxTeddy
07th Apr 2014 15:48

Is it the effort required that's the problem?

Setting up new reporting systems is time consuming - I don't care what the software manufacturers say. And then you need to test it to prove the results are true. Otherwise there is lots of potential for an egg-on-face routine.

And after all that, how much better is the information than the old reports you were pulling already? Not a lot.

So why bother?

Well, the people who do bother are often working in big organisations and are creating work for themselves. Fine. No problem with that.

But as an independent accountant, will you really spend all that time for little improvement in the end result? I think not.




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