How to get the most out of half-year financial reports

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An end-of-year financial report is like a football manager’s post match analysis. They can look back, review events and identify faults but they can’t change the result.

The real value of a football manager is what they’re able to do at half-time, how they’re able to use tactical information from the first 45 minutes to influence the remainder of the game.

This is what makes the half-year report so valuable for accountancy professionals. It’s a chance to identify areas of inefficiency and to tighten them for the second half of the financial year.

Here are some tips on the best ways to handle half-year:

Make sure you’re using the right tools

If compiling a half-year report is an onerous task that eats up considerable amounts of time and resources, it’s likely you’re using paper-based and manual ways to collate information.

Switching to a digital management system with in-built reporting tools makes it a fast and pain-free process. Reports that could take hours or even days to piece together can be done in a matter of minutes.

A system such as webexpenses automatically generates detailed data on all aspects of employee expenses. It provides everything a finance team needs to quickly and easily pull up the info they need for the half-year report.

Tidy your employee expense categories

For accurate reporting and tax efficiency, it’s important to make sure that each cost is accurately categorised. A failure to do this is one of the common problems faced when managing expenses.

In the past, the difficulty of modifying and adding to categories with manual systems meant that the ‘miscellaneous’ category would often become a dumping ground to cover any cost not fitting neatly into an existing group.

With a digital system, it’s a simple task to add however many categories are needed to provide accurate reports. Half-year is an ideal time to do some housekeeping and make sure each and every cost has an appropriate home.

Identify your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

While the reporting challenge facing finance professionals used to be accessing and collating information, with digital systems automating that process, it’s now more about managing data.

A digital system will provide a wealth of data on every aspect of company costs but without proper management, the amount of information can be overwhelming.

So a half-year review is a great time to filter down the information you have available to find those essential KPIs which will allow you to keep better track of financial processes and company costs.

With the right approach, a half-year review provides a valuable financial snapshot and all the information needed to tighten up any weaknesses or efficiencies over the next six months.

Just like the football manager, tweaking and changing tactics during the halftime break, it’s an important opportunity for account controllers to influence and improve the final outcomes for the financial year.

Webexpenses provides a smarter way to manage employee expenses. Find out for yourself by requesting a free demo.