Despite the emergence of sophisticated financial reporting solutions, many chief financial officers (CFOs) still rely heavily on spreadsheets for financial reporting. Excel and other spreadsheet programs are omnipresent, and it’s likely that every finance team member, analyst, accountant and CFO use them in their everyday work. Many CFOs use Excel for their financial reporting because they are comfortable and familiar with the program. But spreadsheet programs weren’t designed for use as financial reporting software, and CFOs who use them for that purpose are creating significant risks for themselves and their companies.
Excel-based financial reporting opens a company to a wide range of risks from data integrity issues, security vulnerabilities and version-control problems. These all can lead to inaccurate financial statements, which can be a fireable offense for a CFO. Excel is also difficult to scale up for financial reporting. It can create multiple versions of the financial reporting “truth,” and it can create collaboration, consolidation and distribution difficulties. Additionally, independent auditors can decline to sign off on Excel-based financial reporting because the spreadsheet program typically fails to deliver adequate controls as prescribed by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and accounting standards boards. With increased scrutiny for compliance, it is critical that financial reporting not be compromised by potential errors introduced by a company’s reporting solution.
Innovative financial reporting solutions have helped boost the efficiency of CFOs and their finance teams, enabling them to easily aggregate financial data from business units around the globe. These automated reporting solutions help CFOs and their finance teams focus on value-added initiatives and strategic work to make their companies more profitable, rather than focusing on the manual processes and administrative duties associated with Excel-based financial reporting.
This e-book will cover some of the current challenges of financial reporting, as well as the benefits of leaving spreadsheets behind and migrating to modern tools.