Choices – we all have to make them. Some are more difficult than others – and then there are some that aren’t difficult at all. Like choosing to practice “smarter disclosure”.
When we talk about smart disclosure, we’re talking about disclosure that does this:
1) Improves financial reporting efficiency and data accuracy.
2) Presents company results to investors – attractively.
Not disclosure that does this:
1) Causes stress and sleepless nights due to lack of confidence in the numbers.
2) Is inaccurate or wrong and thus misleading to investors.
Here’s how to make your disclosures smarter:
Never, ever copy and paste again:
Copy and pasting seems like an exact science… Highlight, CTRL C, Click, CRTL V.
Rekeying data seems arduous, but at least you have control over it, right? At least, as an example of a flawless human being, you can ensure that no errors are made, right? Think again.
So many things can go wrong – and eliminating the possibility for wrongs is part of smart disclosure.
What’s the best way to reduce errors? A direct connection from data sources into your reports. The less you play around in financial reports, the better. Computers aren’t necessarily smarter than you, but their eyes don’t play tricks on them and their fingers never slip. In other words, they don’t make typos.
Equip yourself with the tools you need to succeed:
You’re an integral part of the reporting process, so when year-end reporting time rolls around again, you pull up your financial reporting socks and make sure you have what you need.
Equip yourself with a reserve of benchmarks and precedents and brush up thoroughly on updates to accounting standards, rules and regulations.
While this may seem like a daunting task, luckily there’s a beautiful thing called Boolean search, and there’s even more beautiful online versions of the FASB and IASB standards that are keyword searchable and link directly to sample filings. These resources exist, so make sure you get your hands on them.
Get selfish with your workflow:
It’s time to “do you” as you create financial reports. Adopting a smoother, more logical workflow allows you to make clearer decisions about the direction of the report, rather than getting dredged down in the details.
Use validation tools to reduce the amount of manual approvals that your reports require. Validation tools are like the spell check of disclosure management; they ensure that data matches and adds up even when coming from different sources, like raw data spreadsheets and notes to financials. This can eliminate the need for multiple thumbs up on your way from ERP to report and also alert you to any inconsistencies throughout the whole report. It cuts your day in half!
These are just a ways smarter disclosure makes a difference in your financial reports – read this whitepaper to see the full list.