How to Improve Your Financial Reporting Process The Digital Way
The digital transformation in accounting has streamlined the financial reporting process. Recent reports are showing that more and more accounting firms are going digital. Rather than holding onto entire file rooms full of dusty physical reports, accounting firms are moving their files onto servers — sometimes in the cloud with secure encryption. Additionally, artificial intelligence (AI) is likely to become more prominent in the industry in the next five years, and it’s already growing in popularity.
Advanced financial reporting software like Caseware Financial Reporting helps make this process easier. Here’s how.
Customizable to your firm’s needs
There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to financial reporting because every accounting firm is different. You’re likely to have significantly different client financial statements than those of your competitors. So trying to fit your financial reporting into a generic input system that wasn’t designed with your firm in mind will only lead to error.
Caseware offers highly customizable financial reporting technology, so you can fit it to your firm’s needs and identity, rather than the other way around. You can create your own templates to standardize your clients’ financial statements, ensuring consistency and quality time and time again. You can implement your organization’s standards, and the program will remember them for future statements.
With the growth of digitalization, finance teams stand to realize countless benefits, including time savings. A report by Deloitte shows that finance teams typically spend 48 percent of their time creating and updating financial reports. However, the same report shows that 69 percent of them would much rather spend that time interacting with clients or the business for which they work. This is the reason many accountants got into the business, after all.
So how do you bridge the gap? With the right financial reporting software.
When you use templates, you can program them to be used for all of your financial statements going forward. This can save you hours of time over the months to come, and accountants know better than anyone that time is money. You can also create standard notes to go along with your financial statements and tweak them only when needed.
There are a number of built-in features that will help you save time, such as a library of ancillary materials or integrated automation that automatically generates financial statements for you. All of these tools are designed to help you create accurate financial statements in less time so you can get back to focusing on your clients.
Reduces time spent on reviews and quality assurance
For many firms, the financial reporting process can easily get bogged down in time-consuming tasks. Caseware helps reduce the amount of time it takes to review financial statements. For instance, the flow-through changes feature takes a change that you make to a financial statement and applies that change to every linked document. This quickly and easily roots out inconsistencies while streamlining your review process. It optimizes your quality assurance as well. Of course, QA measures are always necessary, but when there are fewer inconsistencies and errors, quality assurance tends to take much less time.
Automates tedious tasks
One of the major benefits of financial reporting software like that from Caseware is automation. The use of machine learning and AI in financial reporting software is fairly new, but there’s been a major push in the digital transformation of accounting. Your automated financial reporting software does much of the work for you with its modern functions. All you have to do is review it and make tweaks as necessary.
Bored with the tedious tasks associated with financial reporting? Now you won’t have to deal with them. Instead, you can focus on more pressing and fulfilling aspects of your work.
Ensures consistency with flow-through changes across documents
Inconsistencies are a serious problem when it comes to financial reporting. Financial reports often build off one another. If there’s an error in the most recent financial statement, that may be used as a reference for the next financial statement. This issue can compound until it leads to unavoidable discrepancies.
That’s where automatic flow-through changes are so helpful. Traditionally, when you spot an error, you have to go through all the relevant financial statements until you’re sure that everything is in order again. This is time-consuming and, frankly, a pain. More importantly, however, is the fact that it leaves too much room for human error. You might miss a statement or two in your rush to make everything consistent.
With flow-through changes, when you fix the error on one financial statement, it automatically syncs that change with all related documents. No need to worry that you missed something.
Handles regulatory compliance
Regulatory compliance is of the utmost importance when it comes to financial reporting. In the U.S., accountants have to abide by the generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), as well as the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). In Canada, there are also the Accounting Standards for Private Enterprises (ASPE). With so many regulatory standards that are updated so frequently, many accountants worry about accidentally falling out of compliance simply because they missed or forgot about a new set of regulations.
That won’t happen when you use financial reporting software that factors in regulatory compliance, like Caseware does. Caseware is designed for GAAP, IFRS and ASPE compliance. When those regulations are updated, so are Caseware’s compliance measures. Anytime your financial statements are potentially non-compliant, Caseware lets you know so that you can fix the financial reports before making them official.
The accounting world is going digital, and for good reason. Financial reporting software can save you time and stress when it comes to your financial reports. Want to see for yourself? Contact Caseware today to learn more about our financial reporting software.