Management reporting (1) has been a topic of interest for corporates to efficiently operate and stay in the game. However, in my years of dealing with management reporting issues, these are the findings I often encounter
• Reporting times are extended well over value period
• Reporting limited to summary level only after disconnected from detail
• No transparency or linked integration available on detail
From careful observation, it was found that data aggregation process requires multiple feeds and iterative massaging with time critical manual processes in final stages, not to mention that data mitigation on errors not visible or accountable plus data credibility present on organizational & segment change. Also, the reports are unconnected with no direct ability to prove, qualify or drill to externally, leaving no option or ability intelligent for business unit level modeling logic. These observations are not limited to the size of the company, in fact, it is even more complex in large organizations.
At this level, it seems almost impossible to achieve what management reports supposed to offer e.g. correct, unambiguous and informative KPIs and reports, increased analytical capabilities and performance management support. Since, what are the most important month-end reports for the CFO and CEO and why is even monthly reporting now too slow? Some suggests putting datawarehouse in place to solve the problem, some suggest using BI. But does that really get rid of all the observations listed prior, maybe not as there are also external influences that much be dealt with. Also, to what level must the detail of the information be? What is considered best practices for management reporting performance, dashboard and KPI. What are they real key figures that drives the business, are among the questions that one also faces when revamping this whole management reporting exercise. IMO, finding the right tool is part of the solution, getting the ones who knows what they’re doing is the ultimate solution.