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Example of a Helpdesk Call Analysis Report for a Technology Company

What is a Helpdesk Call Analysis Report?

Call analytics reports are considered operational analysis tools and are often used by helpdesk managers and COOs to determine phone support quantity and efficiency. Some of the key functionality in this type of report is that it compares incoming calls with abandoned calls, real calls and spam calls. In the rows, the report groups company/helpdesk by region which provides useful benchmarking analysis. The pie charts on the top of the report helps with the quantitative and qualititative call comparisons. You find an example of this type of report below.

Purpose of Helpdesk Call Analysis Reports

Companies use Helpdesk Call Analysis Reports to make it easy for managers to quickly compare call statistics across helpdesk locations and by call type. When used as part of good business practices in a support department, a company can improve its helpdesk staff planning and use of technology to optimize the support operations as well as reduce the chances that helpdesk managers lose sight of the big picture related to call statistics and therefore make slower- or sub-optimal decisions.

Helpdesk Call Analysis Report Example

Here is an example of a detailed Call Statistics report for a technology company with multiple helpdesk teams.

Example of a Helpdesk Call Analysis Report for a Technology Company

Example of a Helpdesk Call Analysis Report for a Technology Company

You can find hundreds of additional examples here

Who Uses This Type of Report?

The typical users of this type of report are: Helpdesk managers, COOs, support team leads.

Other Reports Often Used in Conjunction with Helpdesk Call Analysis Reports

Progressive support department Departments sometimes use several different Helpdesk Call Analysis Reports, along with helpdesk dashboards, support ticket reports and other management and control tools.

Where Does the Data for Analysis Originate From?

The Actual (historical transactions) data typically comes from enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems like: Microsoft Dynamics 365 (D365) Finance, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (D365 BC), Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics SL, Sage Intacct, Sage 100, Sage 300, Sage 500, Sage X3, SAP Business One, SAP ByDesign, Acumatica, Netsuite and others.

In analyses where budgets or forecasts are used, the planning data most often originates from in-house Excel spreadsheet models or from professional corporate performance management (CPM/EPM) solutions.

What Tools are Typically used for Reporting, Planning and Dashboards?

Examples of business software used with the data and ERPs mentioned above are:

  • Native ERP report writers and query tools
  • Spreadsheets (for example Microsoft Excel)
  • Corporate Performance Management (CPM) tools (for example Solver)
  • Dashboards (for example Microsoft Power BI and Tableau)

Corporate Performance Management (CPM) Cloud Solutions and More Examples

Example of Waterfall Recurring Revenue Report for a Technology Company

What is a Waterfall Recurring Revenue Report?

Waterfall reports for recurring revenues are considered subscription analysis tools and are often used by sales executives and budgeting managers to track current and future recurring revenues. Some of the key functionality in this type of report is that it displays actual recurring revenues by month and shows how a sales amount has been spread into future months in the current calendar year. In the columns on the right, the running year-to-date amount is automatically calculated and compared to the budget, with a variance column on the far right (not visible in the screenshot below). You find an example of this type of report below.

Purpose of Recurring Revenue Waterfall Reports

Tech companies use Recurring Revenue Waterfall Reports to easily track recognized and upcoming subscription revenue amounts from existing contracts. When used as part of good business practices in a sales or FP&A department, a company can improve its revenue visibility and cash flow planning as well as reduce the chances that sales execs and planners forecast revenues without full understanding of revenues booked into future months.

Recurring Revenue Waterfall Report Example

Here is an example of Recurring Revenue Waterfall Report.

Example of Waterfall Recurring Revenue Report for a Technology Company

Example of Waterfall Recurring Revenue Report for a Technology Company

You can find hundreds of additional examples here

Who Uses This Type of Report?

The typical users of this type of report are: Sales executives, budget managers.

Other Reports Often Used in Conjunction with Recurring Revenue Waterfall Reports

Progressive sales or FP&A Departments sometimes use several different Recurring Revenue Waterfall Reports, along with sales reports, sales dashboards, recurring revenue dashboards, sales and revenue forecasts and other management and control tools.

Where Does the Data for Analysis Originate From?

The Actual (historical transactions) data typically comes from enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems like: Microsoft Dynamics 365 (D365) Finance, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (D365 BC), Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics SL, Sage Intacct, Sage 100, Sage 300, Sage 500, Sage X3, SAP Business One, SAP ByDesign, Acumatica, Netsuite and others.

In analyses where budgets or forecasts are used, the planning data most often originates from in-house Excel spreadsheet models or from professional corporate performance management (CPM/EPM) solutions.

What Tools are Typically used for Reporting, Planning and Dashboards?

Examples of business software used with the data and ERPs mentioned above are:

  • Native ERP report writers and query tools
  • Spreadsheets (for example Microsoft Excel)
  • Corporate Performance Management (CPM) tools (for example Solver)
  • Dashboards (for example Microsoft Power BI and Tableau)

Corporate Performance Management (CPM) Cloud Solutions and More Examples

Example of an Actual and Estimated Project Hours Report for a Technology Company

What is an Actual and Estimated Project Hours Report?

Project reports showing actual and estimated hours are considered operational analysis tools and are often used by project managers to track consultant and project performance. Some of the key functionality in this type of report is that it is parameter driven and can be run for any month, entity and project(s). It compares the actual hours delivered versus the estimated hours and displays the variance amount and percent with exception highlighting. The rows can be expanded and collapsed and they group projects by consultant and region/entity. The chart on the top gives a clear picture of the grand total performance. You find an example of this type of report below.

Purpose of Hourly-focused Project Reports

Technology companies and their consulting services teams use Hourly-focused Project Reports to keep a keen eye on the the time they planned for their projects versus what they actually ended up providing to their clients. When used as part of good business practices in a Project Management department, a company can improve its estimate accuracy and therefore client satisfaction and profitability as well as reduce the chances that large number of non-billable hours occurs without proper analysis.

Hourly-focused Project Report Example

Here is an example of a Project Report with actual versus estimated hours and variances.

Example of an Actual and Estimated Project Hours Report for a Technology Company

Example of an Actual and Estimated Project Hours Report for a Technology Company

You can find hundreds of additional examples here

Who Uses This Type of Report?

The typical users of this type of report are: Project Managers, Project Management Offices (PMO), Directors of Services, Consulting Managers.

Other Reports Often Used in Conjunction with Hourly-focused Project Reports

Progressive Project Management Departments sometimes use several different Hourly-focused Project Reports, along with detailed project reports, project dashboards, billing reports, project budgets and forecasts and other management and control tools.

Where Does the Data for Analysis Originate From?

The Actual (historical transactions) data typically comes from enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems like: Microsoft Dynamics 365 (D365) Finance, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (D365 BC), Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics SL, Sage Intacct, Sage 100, Sage 300, Sage 500, Sage X3, SAP Business One, SAP ByDesign, Acumatica, Netsuite and others.

In analyses where budgets or forecasts are used, the planning data most often originates from in-house Excel spreadsheet models or from professional corporate performance management (CPM/EPM) solutions.

What Tools are Typically used for Reporting, Planning and Dashboards?

Examples of business software used with the data and ERPs mentioned above are:

  • Native ERP report writers and query tools
  • Spreadsheets (for example Microsoft Excel)
  • Corporate Performance Management (CPM) tools (for example Solver)
  • Dashboards (for example Microsoft Power BI and Tableau)

Corporate Performance Management (CPM) Cloud Solutions and More Examples

Example of a Project Performance Report for a Technology Company

What is a Project Performance Report?

Project performance reports are considered operational analysis tools and are often used by managers to score, compare and analyze projects as it relates to current and potential delays. Some of the key functionality in this type of report is that it tracks projects with a score for Delays or Possible Delays. Within these two areas, the report scores both the related cost and the scheduling. Figures and color codes show if a project cost is over, under, or on budget, and if a schedule is behind, ahead or on target. The report can be filtered for any number of customers, locations and project categories. You find an example of this type of report below.

Purpose of Project Performance Reports

Companies use Project Performance Reports to optimize their ability to manage projects. When used as part of good business practices in a Project Management department, a company can improve its profitability and margins as well as reduce the chances that poor project delays are not consistently traced back to the main causes.

Project Performance Report Example

Here is an example of a Project Performance Report with scoring of actual and potential delays.

Example of a Project Performance Report for a Technology Company

Example of a Project Performance Report for a Technology Company

You can find hundreds of additional examples here

Who Uses This Type of Report?

The typical users of this type of report are: Project Management Offices (PMO), Directors of Services, Consulting Managers.

Other Reports Often Used in Conjunction with Project Performance Reports

Progressive Project Management Departments sometimes use several different Project Performance Reports, along with detailed project reports, project dashboards, billing reports, project budgets and forecasts and other management and control tools.

Where Does the Data for Analysis Originate From?

The Actual (historical transactions) data typically comes from enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems like: Microsoft Dynamics 365 (D365) Finance, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (D365 BC), Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics SL, Sage Intacct, Sage 100, Sage 300, Sage 500, Sage X3, SAP Business One, SAP ByDesign, Acumatica, Netsuite and others.

In analyses where budgets or forecasts are used, the planning data most often originates from in-house Excel spreadsheet models or from professional corporate performance management (CPM/EPM) solutions.

What Tools are Typically used for Reporting, Planning and Dashboards?

Examples of business software used with the data and ERPs mentioned above are:

  • Native ERP report writers and query tools
  • Spreadsheets (for example Microsoft Excel)
  • Corporate Performance Management (CPM) tools (for example Solver)
  • Dashboards (for example Microsoft Power BI and Tableau)

Corporate Performance Management (CPM) Cloud Solutions and More Examples

Example of a Sales Report by Store and Region for a Retail Company

What is a Sales Report by Store and Region?

Retail sales reports by location are considered revenue analysis tools and are often used by corporate, regional and store managers to track sales performance for each store and the regions they roll up to. Some of the key functionality in this type of report is that it compares actual to last year and actual to budget for store- and regional sales. The year-to-date columns can be expanded to see each individual month. The traffic lights highlight important variances. You find an example of this type of report below.

Purpose of Sales Reports by Store and Region

Retail companies use Sales Reports by Store and Region to make it easy for managers to quickly get a complete picture of sales performance across all locations and geographies. When used as part of good business practices in a Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) department, a company can improve its corporate revenue analysis and decision-making as well as reduce the chances that poor performance goes undeteced for a longer time than necessary.

Sales Reports by Store and Regio Example

Here is an example of a self-service, web-based Retail Sales Report by store and region.

Example of a Sales Report by Store and Region for a Retail Company

Example of a Sales Report by Store and Region for a Retail Company

You can find hundreds of additional examples here

Who Uses This Type of Report?

The typical users of this type of report are: Corporate executives, store managers, regional managers.

Other Reports Often Used in Conjunction with Sales Reports by Store and Region

Progressive Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) Departments sometimes use several different Sales Reports by Store and Region, along with sales forecasts and budgets, sales dashboards, profit & loss reports and other management and control tools.

Where Does the Data for Analysis Originate From?

The Actual (historical transactions) data typically comes from enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems like: Microsoft Dynamics 365 (D365) Finance, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (D365 BC), Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics SL, Sage Intacct, Sage 100, Sage 300, Sage 500, Sage X3, SAP Business One, SAP ByDesign, Acumatica, Netsuite and others.

In analyses where budgets or forecasts are used, the planning data most often originates from in-house Excel spreadsheet models or from professional corporate performance management (CPM/EPM) solutions.

What Tools are Typically used for Reporting, Planning and Dashboards?

Examples of business software used with the data and ERPs mentioned above are:

  • Native ERP report writers and query tools
  • Spreadsheets (for example Microsoft Excel)
  • Corporate Performance Management (CPM) tools (for example Solver)
  • Dashboards (for example Microsoft Power BI and Tableau)

Corporate Performance Management (CPM) Cloud Solutions and More Examples

Example of a Consolidating Profit & Loss Report for a Retail Company

What is a Consolidating Profit & Loss Report for a Retail Company?

Consolidation reports are considered essential financial statements and are often used by accountants and controllers to show financial performance for individual stores and consolidated for the company. Some of the key functionality in this type of report is that it dynamically lists selected stores or regions across the columns with a consolidated total. The charts on the top of the reports provides easy comparisons. The report can be produced both for actual data as well as budgets and forecasts. The rows show a typical revenue and expense layout for a retail P&L report. The user can drill down on any figure to see the underlying detail. You find an example of this type of report below.

Purpose of Consolidating Profit & Loss Reports

Retail companies use Consolidating Profit & Loss Reports to give corporate managers a quick and easy monthly snapshot of profitability across all retail locations as well as in total. When used as part of good business practices in a Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) department, a company can improve its performance analysis and speed up decision-making as well as reduce the chances that weak profitability goes undetected for a longer time than necessary.

Consolidating Retail Profit & Loss Report Example

Here is an example of a Consolidating Profit & Loss Report with store locations across the columns.

Example of a Consolidating Profit & Loss Report for a Retail Company

Example of a Consolidating Profit & Loss Report for a Retail Company

You can find hundreds of additional examples here

Who Uses This Type of Report?

The typical users of this type of report are: Corporate executives, controllers, store managers, regional managers.

Other Reports Often Used in Conjunction with Consolidating Profit & Loss Reports

Progressive Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) Departments sometimes use several different Consolidating Profit & Loss Reports, along with sales forecasts and budgets, balance sheets, cash flow statements and other management and control tools.

Where Does the Data for Analysis Originate From?

The Actual (historical transactions) data typically comes from enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems like: Microsoft Dynamics 365 (D365) Finance, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (D365 BC), Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics SL, Sage Intacct, Sage 100, Sage 300, Sage 500, Sage X3, SAP Business One, SAP ByDesign, Acumatica, Netsuite and others.

In analyses where budgets or forecasts are used, the planning data most often originates from in-house Excel spreadsheet models or from professional corporate performance management (CPM/EPM) solutions.

What Tools are Typically used for Reporting, Planning and Dashboards?

Examples of business software used with the data and ERPs mentioned above are:

  • Native ERP report writers and query tools
  • Spreadsheets (for example Microsoft Excel)
  • Corporate Performance Management (CPM) tools (for example Solver)
  • Dashboards (for example Microsoft Power BI and Tableau)

Corporate Performance Management (CPM) Cloud Solutions and More Examples

Example of Grants Overview Report for Nonprofits

What is a Grants Overview Report?

Grant reports are considered valuable management tools and are often used by financial- , planning- and grant managers to better manage grants and the programs they support. Some of the key functionality in this type of report is that it shows granted, encumbered and balance amounts per program, grant and grantee. The report can be run for any month and with various filters. The chart on the top of the report displays the totals graphically. Users can drill down on any amount to see the underlying transaction detail. You find an example of this type of report below.

Purpose of Grants Overview Reports with Encumbrance and Balance Information

Nonprofits use Grants Overview Reports with Encumbrance and Balance Information to easily monitor grant balances and the programs they fund. When used as part of good business practices in a Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) department, a company can improve its analysis and planning as it related to grants and programs as well as reduce the chances of any surprises with over- or underspending.

Grants Overview Reports with Encumbrance and Balance Information Example

Here is an example of a Grants Summary Report with Encumbrance and Balance information.

Example of Grants Overview Report for Nonprofits - with Encumbrance and Balance

Example of Grants Overview Report for Nonprofits

You can find hundreds of additional examples here

Who Uses This Type of Report?

The typical users of this type of report are: Finance teams, grant- and program managers.

Other Reports Often Used in Conjunction with Grants Overview Reports with Encumbrance and Balance Information

Progressive Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) Departments sometimes use several different Grants Overview Reports with Encumbrance and Balance Information, along with financial statements, budget models, grants dashboards and other management and control tools.

Where Does the Data for Analysis Originate From?

The Actual (historical transactions) data typically comes from enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems like: Microsoft Dynamics 365 (D365) Finance, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (D365 BC), Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics SL, Sage Intacct, Sage 100, Sage 300, Sage 500, Sage X3, SAP Business One, SAP ByDesign, Acumatica, Netsuite and others.

In analyses where budgets or forecasts are used, the planning data most often originates from in-house Excel spreadsheet models or from professional corporate performance management (CPM/EPM) solutions.

What Tools are Typically used for Reporting, Planning and Dashboards?

Examples of business software used with the data and ERPs mentioned above are:

  • Native ERP report writers and query tools
  • Spreadsheets (for example Microsoft Excel)
  • Corporate Performance Management (CPM) tools (for example Solver)
  • Dashboards (for example Microsoft Power BI and Tableau)

Corporate Performance Management (CPM) Cloud Solutions and More Examples

Example of Grants Paid Report for Nonprofits

What is a Grants Paid Report?

Grant reports are considered important grant management tools and are often used by financial- , program- and grant managers to plan initiatives and manage grants and program funding. Some of the key functionality in this type of report is that it displays actual grant amounts paid out versus budget, both for the current month and year to date. The variance columns uses exception highlighting to help users find significant deviations from planned payments. The grant payments are grouped by initiative and program as can be seen in the rows. The charts at the bottom helps users focus on the relative size of the various metrics. You find an example of this type of report below.

Purpose of Grants Paid Reports

Nonprofit organizations use Grants Paid Reports to manage and analyze actual grant payments versus budgeted amounts. When used as part of good business practices in a Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) department, an organization can improve its grants management and initiative analysis capabilities as well as reduce the chances that over- or underspending occurs.

Grants Paid Report Example

Here is an example of a Grants Paid report with actual spend versus budget.

Example of Grants Paid Report for Nonprofits

Example of Grants Paid Report for Nonprofits

You can find hundreds of additional examples here

Who Uses This Type of Report?

The typical users of this type of report are: Finance teams, grants- and program managers.

Other Reports Often Used in Conjunction with Grants Paid Reports

Progressive Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) Departments sometimes use several different Grants Paid Reports, along with financial statements, budget models, grants dashboards and other management and control tools.

Where Does the Data for Analysis Originate From?

The Actual (historical transactions) data typically comes from enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems like: Microsoft Dynamics 365 (D365) Finance, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (D365 BC), Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics SL, Sage Intacct, Sage 100, Sage 300, Sage 500, Sage X3, SAP Business One, SAP ByDesign, Acumatica, Netsuite and others.

In analyses where budgets or forecasts are used, the planning data most often originates from in-house Excel spreadsheet models or from professional corporate performance management (CPM/EPM) solutions.

What Tools are Typically used for Reporting, Planning and Dashboards?

Examples of business software used with the data and ERPs mentioned above are:

  • Native ERP report writers and query tools
  • Spreadsheets (for example Microsoft Excel)
  • Corporate Performance Management (CPM) tools (for example Solver)
  • Dashboards (for example Microsoft Power BI and Tableau)

Corporate Performance Management (CPM) Cloud Solutions and More Examples

Blog header image showing a dashboard with financial report drill down for the Monthly Reporting Process Best Practices blog for Solver CPM

Monthly reporting is the natural culmination of the planning process, but it is not the end goal of the planning process. In fact, the planning, reporting, and decision-making cycle is the foundation for sustaining a healthy, growing business because it helps you better plan your next steps… and the following steps… and the steps after that (see image).

Whether your business is large or small, there is a high probability it can benefit from better, more streamlined reporting processes, so you can plan your next steps with confidence. This document is meant to help you achieve that goal.

When you finish this document, you will understand the leading best practices for the modern monthly reporting process, and you will gain a glimpse into where reporting practices may go in the future. You will also understand how you can transform your company’s performance by shifting the focus of your monthly financial review meetings.

Lastly, this document will give you resources you can turn to, so you know who to ask about further refining your monthly reporting practices.

What This Document Is… and Isn’t

This document from the financial reporting experts at Solver is geared to help you improve your monthly financial reporting processes, so your company can make better, more agile decisions in response to surprising situations (such as a pandemic or recession). This document will not cover the basics of the month-end close process.

Instead, this document focuses on sharing the latest monthly reporting process best practices that can make your reporting faster and easier for everyone involved in its preparation, approval, and analysis.

As the team behind one of the most flexible and complete Corporate Performance Management solutions integrated across a wide range of ERPs, we at Solver deeply understand the importance of the month-end close process – and we know you do too.

To help you do more with your month-end close, this document helps you speed up the reporting process, improve efficiency, and better support corporate decision making and performance at every level and in every department.

Let’s dive in.

The 6 Latest Best Practices Behind the Monthly Reporting Process

Leading global companies understand the importance of a timely and accurate reporting process. They also understand that to achieve true usability for financial reporting, transactional and forecast data must always be up to date and reliable – every minute of every day.

This is hard to accomplish in our time-strapped world, which is why the globe’s top companies use the following monthly reporting process best practices to save time, increase agility, and improve business resilience:

1. Deliver useful, accurate data weekly

It seems that nearly everything in the business world runs faster every day – which means your financial reporting needs to be faster as well.

In the past, simply running monthly reports was sufficient for the expected speed of enterprise, but the modern, tech-driven, global business landscape requires a much faster timeline. These days, companies should plan on weekly reporting for certain key items if they want to maintain the competitive edge.

Of course, saying you need weekly reporting is quite different from achieving that goal. Most global Finance department leaders are already burning the midnight oil to complete the month-end close process on time, and they would be hard-pressed to quadruple their reporting frequency.

The time-saving solution to this issue lies in ERP-integrated budgeting and reporting tools, such as a Corporate Performance Management (CPM) solution. A CPM helps optimize your reporting process by eliminating the clunky, partially-Excel-driven tasks that slow your company down.

Through integration and targeted tools, CPMs reduce or eliminate slow and error-prone manual data entry, freeing up potentially hundreds of hours of your accountants’ time every year and speeding up the reporting process, so it can be completed weekly. To support trends of more analysis and less manual work, leading CPMs like Solver also deliver hundreds of ready-to-use templates that make reporting a breeze on any timeline.

2. Make up-to-date data available to key decision makers and stakeholders at all times and in all places

To drive a company forward in uncertain times, it takes an “all hands on deck” approach that requires every one of your team members to understand where the corporation is going and why.

 

Power BI mobile dashboard revenue kpi

Mobile, self-service reporting helps all stakeholders stay up to date everywhere

Studies have proven that tracking measurable progress against goals can be a great motivator on both an individual and team level, which is why many companies are choosing to make financial data available to all team members. At the very least, leading companies are sharing financial reports with Line of Business and departmental leaders in addition to key decision makers.

This approach offers strong benefits:

  • It empowers the CFO and Finance department to easily collaborate with operations leaders to determine appropriate Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that will drive positive results across the company.
  • It gives Line of Business leaders and other employees a stake in your company’s success. In the past, Line of Business and departmental leaders often complained that they were held to a standard generated entirely by the “intuition” of the Finance department, as opposed to what they felt was more realistic from their “boots on the ground” perspective.

The process of drafting, printing, and distributing reports has typically been a cumbersome, costly endeavor. However, enterprises that rely on a Corporate Performance Management solution like Solver can easily generate anywhere/anytime, paperless self-service reports and scheduled, auto-distributed reports that include full drill down and built-in security measures. These reports deliver the right information to the right stakeholders at the right time – especially if you choose a CPM that delivers reports on mobile!  

3. Leveraging automated ERP integration to eliminate time-consuming export/import processes

In today’s world, no one has time for manual data entry or report export and re-formatting – especially not your busy company.

By choosing to closely integrate your ERP with your financial reporting solution, you can do away with cumbersome, spreadsheet-based, export-import procedures and simply enjoy attractive, understandable reports with the click of a button.

ERP integration also empowers you to meet monthly reporting process best practices because it helps you switch away from the old method of spending 80% of your time preparing reports (with only 20% of time to spend analyzing them) to a new model of reducing your report preparation process to just 20% of your time. Imagine what you could do if you had 80% of your time left to spend gleaning key insights from analyzing your financial reports.

ERP is not the only data source you can connect to your financial reporting solution to save time. Recent trends in monthly reporting process best practices suggest that additionally integrating relevant external data sources into your financial tools can help decision makers at your company act on key information faster than ever before.

Another key practice for your monthly reporting is to integrate your planning and analysis processes seamlessly into your reporting process. This takes ERP integration to achieve and replaces the old, outdated method of having separate systems for your ERP Report Writer, your spreadsheets, your dashboard tools, your budgeting tools, and other third-party tools.

In other words, one of the best practices you can implement is to use a Corporate Performance Management system like Solver that integrates all these activities together under a single system that is tightly integrated with the company’s source data (ERP system) for easy, continuous updates of data.

4. Deliver timely reports in a self-service format, as well as on a schedule

On-demand data is the new differentiator between successful, market-leading companies and everyone else.

In our nanosecond-driven world, it is simply a fact of business that the faster your decision-makers can access key data, the faster their analysis and action phases can be. Lightning-fast action helps your company achieve desired results more quickly than your competitors – and that is what gives you the leading edge.

One of the best ways to ensure that your enterprise can access on-demand data is to choose financial planning and reporting software that makes it easy for various stakeholders to run their own self-service reports quickly and easily. Of course, on-demand reports should be available in addition to receiving monthly scheduled reports and participating in financial presentations.

One of the past challenges to self-service financial data lay in the fact that it was hard to track down the most recent version of a report without asking for help from the Finance department. Luckily, with new, cloud-based Corporate Performance Management financial reporting solutions, any authorized user in your company can instantly access key financial reports from anywhere, all of which will draw from a single source of financial reporting truth.

The modern business world rests on highly volatile foundations: the speed of change, the pace of globalization, and the resulting complications from each of those factors. These make it all but a necessity to use a Corporate Performance Management solution that delivers the financial data you need at your fingertips at any time.

5. Remove complexity from financial reports to make them readily understandable to all stakeholders

A great business is composed of the many brilliant minds that drive its success. However, not all people are trained in understanding accounting terminology.

As you know, great ideas come from every area of your company – and that means you need to empower every key stakeholder and potential problem solver with understandable financial information.

To deliver the best in understandable financial reporting, look for these key features in your CPM solution:

  • The most commonly run reports (Profit & Loss, Balance Sheets, Cash Flow) are presented with user-friendly graphical options, like dashboards and charts that highlight key variances and trends.
  • Your CPM integrates with a popular dashboard solution, such as Power BI or Tableau, so users can generate or access their own most important on-demand KPIs.
  • The solution offers drill down capabilities that simplify the appearance of the often overwhelming complexity of financial reporting, while providing accessible access to additional information.
  • Your CPM can automatically generate a narrative account of critical financial information, using descriptive adjectives and other language that changes in response to the most current financial data.

When choosing your Corporate Performance Management solution, ask to see these features during your demo, so you can get a clear view of how easily stakeholders and decision makers can create fully understandable financial reports.

6. Implement a strong, well-organized reporting process

The full, end-to-end monthly reporting process involves a lot of steps which must all be completed in a precise order to ensure that reporting is accurate, timely, and supports rapid decision making.

Monthly-Reporting-Process-Best-Practices-Planning-Tool

Choose a solution that integrates your monthly reporting process checklist with your CPM for best results

Some Finance departments rely on paper or digital checklists to keep them on track, but checklists only clarify what needs to be done, ignoring the equally key information of who needs to do it and when. Without specifying who is responsible for a task, accountability is lost – and your monthly reporting process will be in danger of falling behind.

Enterprises with an eye on efficiency can choose to stay organized and follow monthly reporting process best practices by using a planning checklist tool that is integrated directly into their financial planning and reporting software. This not only saves time with the monthly reporting process, it also eases the strain during planning, budgeting, and forecasting activities because an integrated checklist tool can make it fast and easy for your team to stay on top of your company’s finances.

In particular, with finance teams working from home or being located at different offices, having an online, integrated, month-end checklist tool can be of invaluable help to support a faster close and to let all constituents easily follow each stage in the closing and reporting process.

An integrated checklist planning tool such as the Solver Process Manager (image above) can help your team develop repeatable processes for monthly reporting, annual budgeting, and other frequently completed, complex tasks that rely on accountability and firm deadlines. Using a tool like the Solver Process Manager helps companies keep everything on track every month, so you can count on a smooth monthly reporting process all the time.

How Businesses Succeed with the Latest Predicted Monthly Reporting Process Best Practices

Over time, accounting practices evolve and change. Many emerging trends later become best practices. Here at Solver, our financial reporting experts have noticed a few recent trends that we suspect will become best practices for all Finance departments in the very near future.

These include:

  • Increased reporting transparency

Smart solutions can come from any department or area of a company, which is why large and small organizations are now encouraging a greater number of employees to read and analyze monthly financial reports.

The financial reporting and planning experts at Solver predict that this trend will grow in popularity due to the ease of scheduled report delivery, understandable reporting flexibility, and self-service reporting capabilities that make it fast and easy to securely share financial data across the company.

  • Cloud-based systems for reporting, even if you have on-premises ERP

The COVID crisis and the rise of the home-based workforce accelerated the leap to the cloud for many enterprises, but not always with a cloud ERP migration. Instead, savvy business leaders from a range of industries chose to leverage cloud gateways and connectors that enabled on-premises ERP to seamlessly integrate with a cloud-based CPM solution for real-time reporting and planning capabilities.

To help, our experts developed the Solver Hybrid Cloud Connector, which makes it easy and elegant for companies to securely access anytime/anywhere financial planning, budgeting, forecasting, and reporting capabilities without having to rely on slow and clunky integration processes.

Solver Hybrid Cloud Connecter integrates a wide range of on-premises ERP solutions with the cloud-based Solver Corporate Performance Management solution.

  • Linking month-end reports to financial dashboards

By offering structured financial reports that include drill downs to transactions and visual interactive graphical dashboards and charts, your company can better ensure that authorized users can perform appropriate trend analyses.

PowerBI_Dashboard_01

Each of these dashboards link to the corresponding financial report

Our experts predict that this practice will be especially important for remote working environments in which the Finance team will not be available to provide explanations and context for financial data at all times.

  • Managing the business with KPIs and letting financial statements be the backup in monthly financial review meetings

While core financial statements including Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet, and Cash Flow are essential and required for monthly decision making, they are not necessarily the best tools to drive a performance-focused culture for a company.

The key to implementing and maintaining a performance-focused culture at your organization is to shift the focus from financial reporting to KPI reporting.

Here at Solver, we predict that the trend of managing the business with KPIs will have a significant impact for companies that implement it properly.

To best drive performance, you will want to use carefully selected KPIs in the monthly executive financial review meetings. Appropriate KPIs should link to the goals supporting your corporate strategy.

To help you get started with this transformative practice, we have outlined steps below that can assist you in effectively using KPIs to drive your monthly executive financial review meetings.

4 Steps to Driving Performance Using KPIs in Monthly Executive Financial Review Meetings

A leading company with a performance-focused culture will have department managers or Line of Business managers review the KPIs they are responsible for prior to each monthly executive financial review meeting. (This means that the first step for the meeting actually occurs a few days before the meeting.)

Step 1: Annotate KPIs before the meeting

Using a good CPM tool like Solver that allows for input of comments tied to KPIs and variances, department managers or Line of Business managers should enter comments while reviewing KPIs.

Comments should:

  • Explain KPI issues (issues are indicated by a red “traffic light” on the report)

Before commenting, the department manager should “read the traffic lights,” meaning that they should drill down into KPIs that display red traffic lights, which indicate an issue. A good Corporate Performance Management solution will provide relevant information in the drill down, including financial statements, operational reports such as sales reports, and other key data so that managers can appropriately analyze the issue and explain their findings.

As an example, a Profit & Loss report could help explain why the profit margin KPI is below the set target (and thus shows a red traffic light). The department manager would use the related drill down information to explain the reasons for any issues.

  • Make suggestions for resolution and indicate the expected resolution timeline

After performing their analysis, the Line of Business or department manager should additionally supply supporting commentary that suggests HOW the issue should be resolved, as well as WHEN they expect that resolution will show an effect.

This documentation helps place the issues in context and creates accountability for issues to be taken care of without requiring time-consuming executive involvement.

Step 2: Use Annotated KPIs in Monthly Executive Financial Review Meetings

Once the analysis and recommendations have been entered, the company can begin monthly financial review meetings that leverage the company’s annotated KPIs.

Typically, the meeting should start with a KPI report/dashboard that shows the status of all the corporate level KPIs:

Solver-KPIs-Monthly-Reporting-1

Traffic lights indicate issues with KPIs

Step 3: Review Significant KPI Variances Instantly

When a KPI shows an interesting variance from target (very good or very bad variances), the meeting leader can drill down from the KPI and into the underlying financial statements.

Making KPI drill downs immediately available during the monthly finance meeting can drive agility because specific KPIs that require review will have the supporting data they need to prompt discussion and decision making.

Solver-KPIs-Monthly-Reporting-2

Drill downs provide relevant information that instantly answers questions about KPI variances

Step 4: Clarify Actions and Reinforce Accountability

At the end of the meeting, the leader should run a report that summarizes all action items from the KPIs that required action, thus ensuring that each team member clearly understands the issues and proposed resolutions. The report should also improve accountability across the company by clearly naming who is responsible for each action.

Solver-KPIs-Monthly-Reporting-3

KPI status reports help you keep an eye on your progress toward better performance

As you can see, using annotated KPIs can make monthly executive financial review meetings faster and more efficient because all comments and suggestions from Line of Business or department managers will already be available before the monthly finance review meeting begins.

With this annotation in place, the monthly meeting can move forward swiftly and maintain focus on the big issues that truly require executive feedback. The documentation will also help with a review of issues from the prior month and make it easier to assess the status of planned resolutions.

When done in a manner that supports monthly reporting process best practices, shifting the focus to KPIs for the monthly finance review meetings should significantly drive performance for mid-sized businesses that do not have a team of analysts. Monthly executive finance meetings using annotated KPIs will help these companies leverage the cutting edge in monthly reporting process best practices, acting more decisively in response to their monthly reporting results.

Summing It All Up – How to Improve Your Monthly Reporting Process Best Practices

In our “new normal” of working from home, cloud technology creates the foundation for seamless, effective, and rapid financial reporting. Cloud technology also makes it easier to implement the 6 key monthly reporting process best practices mentioned in this article.

To improve your company’s reporting processes, make sure that you:

  1. Increase reporting frequency
  2. Improve data accessibility for all stakeholders
  3. Save hundreds of hours with automated ERP integration
  4. Ensure accurate reports are always available
  5. Remove complexity from financial reports
  6. Encourage accountability with a reporting process

The CPM you choose to help you perform these tasks should also integrate cleanly with user productivity tools like Excel or dashboards like Power BI or Tableau for professional, interactive visualizations that make your month-end reports easy to understand and easy to act on.

In addition, companies can boost their agility by shifting their focus to KPI reporting during their monthly finance reviews. This transformative practice encourages a performance-driven culture across the organization.

Need Help Getting Started? Just Ask the Financial Reporting Experts at Solver

Now that you have read this document, it is time for you to make a change and transform your monthly reporting processes. But updating your traditional processes to align with monthly reporting process best practices can be a challenge.

Fortunately, you have help.

With Solver, you will have access to hundreds of financial planning templates and reports, plus our extensive template glossary and experienced staff who are always happy to share their expertise and help you along every step of your financial transformation.

If you have questions about how you can streamline and improve your monthly reporting process, our support experts are ready to help you get the most out of Solver’s flexible and robust financial planning and reporting tools. Solver is committed to helping you set up your business practices for success, so you can proceed confidently into your business’s financial future.

 

Learn More about Monthly Reporting Process Best Practices – Ask the Experts!

 

 

 

Example of an Executive Dashboard for a Manufacturing Business

What is an Executive Dashboard for a Manufacturing Business?

Executive Dashboards are considered management monitoring tools and are often used by manufacturing leaders to keep an eye on key performance metrics. Some of the special functionality in this type of dashboard report is that it is parameter driven and can be viewed for any month and plant facility. The charts show revenue and cost of goods sold (COS) trends and comparison to budgets. The dashboard also shows sales by customer and product, as well as top suppliers based on purchases. Finally, it tracks inventory by distribution center. You find an example of this type of dashboard report below.

Purpose of Executive Manufacturing Dashboards

Manufacturing companies use Executive Dashboards to provide top managers with an easy way to monitor KPIs and trends in a self-service, web interface that they can access from anywhere. When used as part of good business practices in an executive department, a company can improve its reaction time and speed of decision-making as well as reduce the chances that important metrics go undetected for weeks or months.

Executive Manufacturing Dashboard Example

Here is an example of an Executive Dashboard for a manufacturing business.

Example of an Executive Dashboard for a Manufacturing Business

Example of an Executive Dashboard for a Manufacturing Business

You can find hundreds of additional examples here

Who Uses This Type of Dashboard report?

The typical users of this type of dashboard report are: CEOs, COOs, CFOs and Board Members.

Other Dashboard reports Often Used in Conjunction with Executive Manufacturing Dashboards

Progressive Executive Departments sometimes use several different Executive Manufacturing Dashboards, along with profit & loss reports, balance sheets, cash flow statements and other management and control tools.

Where Does the Data for Analysis Originate From?

The Actual (historical transactions) data typically comes from enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems like: Microsoft Dynamics 365 (D365) Finance, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (D365 BC), Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics SL, Sage Intacct, Sage 100, Sage 300, Sage 500, Sage X3, SAP Business One, SAP ByDesign, Acumatica, Netsuite and others.

In analyses where budgets or forecasts are used, the planning data most often originates from in-house Excel spreadsheet models or from professional corporate performance management (CPM/EPM) solutions.

What Tools are Typically used for Reporting, Planning and Dashboards?

Examples of business software used with the data and ERPs mentioned above are:

  • Native ERP report writers and query tools
  • Spreadsheets (for example Microsoft Excel)
  • Corporate Performance Management (CPM) tools (for example Solver)
  • Dashboards (for example Microsoft Power BI and Tableau)

Corporate Performance Management (CPM) Cloud Solutions and More Examples