Making smart business decisions often comes down to information. Do you have the right data at the right time to be able to identify trends, opportunities and challenges?
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Of course, there are lots of ways to gather that information, from more traditional methods to innovative tools and technologies.
So what method of information gathering and reporting is right for your business?
Tradition versus innovation in financial reporting
Claire Clark, a Chartered Accountant and managing director of specialists at financial services firm Hutcheon Mearns, said: “Accuracy of information is important, but also, the timeliness is important too. If you get financial information too late it is hard to react and make meaningful changes.”
Hutcheon Mearns has developed several service lines to help its clients with financial reporting.
Claire explained: “We have a range of ways to help our clients meet their compliance and audit deadlines.
“It could be our outsourced finance team who can take care of all roles and responsibilities of an accounting department, or our unique team of specialist interims who can provide expert support for a specific finance project or time period.”
But Claire is also passionate about encouraging businesses to consider new ways of doing things, by embracing the power of automation and new technology.
After all, that could be just the competitive edge needed to see a business succeed.
Create more time for decision-making with automation
Claire explained: “Performance has always been a question for businesses and accurate and timely financial information has always been important, but what’s evolving is the solutions.
“There are a lot of manual processes in accounting that are Excel-based. If we automate those, we enable our clients to access their financial information in a more innovative and time-saving way.
“And if it’s quicker to prepare financial information, you can spend that extra time analysing the information, identifying areas that aren’t performing as expected and taking corrective action.”
That’s exactly what Hutcheon Mearns’ Insights team is all about.
They use Power BI to provide real-time data and accurate information for clients, not just on finances but also for operational KPIs.
Turning financial information into a business forecast
The right Power BI set-up essentially means quick and accurate reporting on historical business performance, all in a user-friendly format.
Claire added: “Our Insights team can extract data from various systems to create a data model (people often talk of a data lake or cube) and then deliver it to users via dashboards in a useful and user-friendly way.
But Hutcheon Mearns can also pull historical information into a forecasting model that’s ideal for considering how your business is likely to perform in the coming year and if there are any pinch points that can be addressed early.
Claire said: “Our advisory team does a lot of financial modelling, because that’s a key component of a deal process. But Insights can add an innovative approach to this by extracting the historical data directly from the accounting system, so you can start thinking ‘what does this mean for our future?’.”
How Hutcheon Mearns can help with financial reporting
So, where does your business stand when it comes to financial information? Are you on track with your accounts and audits?
Or, are you in thick of it right now with year-end reporting and struggling?
The good news is, Hutcheon Mearns has solutions and experiences to help at all levels, from traditional financial reporting to more dynamic solutions like Power BI.
Find out more about the services on offer at Hutcheon Mearns.