The list of reporting tasks facing finance & budget departments are daunting:
At first glance, spreadsheets & word processors may seem like a perfect solution for these tasks. These generic tools are manipulated into service in a myriad of ways because they are simple to use, cheap, and flexible.
Since you are reading this, we likely don't need to explain why this initial assumption is dead wrong. For recurring, complex, lengthy documents, these tools inevitably lead to two major problems:
If you think you could be doing something better with your time, consider better solutions...
Upgrade to purpose-built reporting solutions that:
Industry-leading solutions, designed with a clear understanding of specific business processes provide significant benefits. Demand solutions that:
Automate many of the most time-consuming steps to become much more efficient. Time savings of 25% to 45% are common.
With increased automation, built-in structure, and automated verification/review the most common causes of errors are prevented.
Fully documented, controlled business processes become easily repeatable. This is incredibly valuable in the event of staff turnover. Further, repeatability facilitates on-going incremental improvements and better support for managing deadlines.
Consistent, professionally designed statements eliminate the need for graphic designers and the associated time delays and expense (not to mention the risk of error).
Handing an electronic file to your auditor that is linked from statements all the way down to scans of supporting documents means they have the easiest to review, most complete year-end file possible. Saving the auditor time translates into reduced audit fees.
Automating vast portions of complex reporting tasks often reduces overtime related costs. For example, using spreadsheets the time required to tackle year-end and the associated deadlines means evening and weekend work is inevitable.
For those where overtime is not paid, the weeks of time savings can be invested in other projects/tasks. It translates to "free" weeks of time available for other tasks for the organization or restoring the work/life balance for your dedicated staff.
Modern, dedicated reporting automation tools are designed to manage entire business processes without paper. Paperless processes mean no printed audit binders and no more printing 20 draft versions of the statements as you correct values you forgot to update.
Implementing CaseWare software for the support and publication of our annual report is a little challenging at the start, but we’re using F.H. Black & Company Incorporated for the implementation. They’re very knowledgeable and helpful. I am looking forward to the automation enhancement in the timely completion of our annual financial statements. (read more...)
The bonus for us was their (FHB's) knowledge and understanding of the internal processes municipalities experience during year-end preparations and the audit. This meant that we didn’t need to spend time explaining how we operate. (read more...)
I am certainly happy we implemented CaseWare. I easily saved 40 hours of time. Plus, we saved $8,000 on our audit fees because of the time it saved the auditors. We expect it will get faster and better yet! (read more...)
F.H. Black understands municipal accounting. There’s a tremendous knowledge base within the company and they use that knowledge to come up with strategic recommendations that really help us leverage the software to our best advantage. (read more...)
Automate the validation of balances in your most complex reports and review the results in a comprehensive dashboard overview.