At many companies, the financial reporting process is conducted by a group of skilled employees who waste their time on tedious, repetitive manual tasks. But did you know that there is technology out there that could save you time and money while helping to motivate your employees in the process?
We trust technology, right?
Where would we be without technology? Remember how much cash we had to carry before the invention of the credit card? Or how much more stressful travelling overland without GPS used to be? Or how much more worried we were when our children came home later than they were meant to and we couldn’t message or call them?
Well, technology has definitely helped us out in all those – and many other – scenarios. But then we meet our clients, who are often investment managers at small-to-medium enterprises, and they always tell us the same thing: financial reporting takes too much time.
The Issue With How Most Companies Perform Their Financial Reporting Processes
We’re not surprised by this, as many financial services companies rely on their employees to manually conduct financial reporting.
In fact, as research by Cognizant confirmed, some 22% of an employee’s time at work is spent on repetitive tasks – a pretty significant amount of time considering how much else there is to do and how much that time is worth in terms of salaries.
So what does this process look like?
Well, at companies that still conduct financial reporting the old-fashioned way, this process often means that employees have to check things like websites, emails, and exchanges for information about the price of securities, market liquidity, bank and broker statements and so on.
But that’s just the beginning because then they need to copy and paste the relevant data onto an Excel sheet (usually on another screen) before they can apply some computation that took quite a while to create to crunch that data and make something out of it…
So, as you can imagine, this process is:
- Boringly repetitive;
- Prone to human error; and
- Non-scalable, which sucks when your company grows!
But, even more worryingly, because this way of dealing with data takes time, it also means that your team may be missing crucial information or getting to it too late – no wonder this is causing so much anguish…
But there is a solution – and it’s easier and cheaper than you think!
It doesn’t have to be this way, though. There is software that lets you create a customised system that:
- Retrieves data automatically from any digital source;
- Normalises it into your system;
- Applies any needed calculations to a group and to transform raw data; and
- Creates multiple customised reports depending on your needs.
Called robotic process automation, or RPA, this process simply sees a computer algorithm:
- freeing much of that 22% of the time your employees are using on repetitive tasks;
- improving your performance in data analysis and data processing, which helps with electronic trading;
- reducing your chances of making errors;
- giving employees more time to spend on strategy and other important jobs; and
- enabling a scalable business to grow faster and be more profitable.
Sound interesting? Hit us up to find out how we can help you!
P.S. Join us next week as we explain how working from a central database will enable you to use database query to speed up financial reporting.