Nearly half of managers and directors view reports produced by someone else no more than once per week
An alarming 46 per cent of finance professionals believe that they produce reports that are never used and 63 per cent believe that senior managers should make more use of financial information. This is according to research by Source for Consulting (Source) in partnership with the Commercial Division of Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced). Source surveyed 104 decision makers and finance professionals in UK mid-sized companies and carried out qualitative research with UK managers and management consultants.
According to the research report ‘Making the numbers add up – how better financial accounting can support and promote growth’, the belief of finance professionals that reports are under-utilised is not misplaced with 48 per cent of the managers and directors surveyed confessing to reviewing a report produced by someone else no more than once a week. 22 per cent of these managers and directors admit to using reports only ‘occasionally’ with 7 per cent stating that reports are never used.
Simon Fowler, Managing Director of Advanced Business Solutions (Commercial Division), says, “It is clear that not all the reports produced by finance departments in mid-sized organisations are being used like they should be. This is bound to create frustration amongst the finance teams with the production of reports being viewed as wasted time and effort.”
The managers and directors surveyed provided a number of reasons for failing to use reports produced by someone else on a regular basis. 31 per cent feel that the data in the reports they receive is out of date with 27 per cent stating that the data is inaccurate. 26 per cent feel that it takes too long for the finance department to produce a report when asked and 23 per cent admit to receiving too many reports and so they are unclear as to what to focus on.
Fowler comments, “With nearly a third of the managers and directors surveyed confessing to lacking confidence in the timeliness of the data in the reports and a similar figure feeling that the data is inaccurate, systems and processes need to be put in place to ensure that real-time and accurate financial reports are produced. This will provide managers and directors with greater confidence in the figures.”
Rachel Ainsworth, Senior Research Manager from Source for Consulting, adds, “Reports are vital for critical decision making, however they are useless if their value isn’t recognised and the figures are not trusted. Financial education and cultural changes in addition to reliable and robust software systems and processes are therefore required to ensure that business decisions are based on solid, timely and trustworthy information and analysis.”
Notes to Editor
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About Advanced Business Solutions www.advancedcomputersoftware.com/abs
Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced) provides leading integrated business applications and services that enable public, private and third sector organisations to retain control, improve visibility and gain efficiencies whilst continually improving corporate performance. Advanced prides itself on getting close to its customers by understanding their businesses and responding to their evolving needs.
Advanced’s software systems comprise core accounting/financial management, procurement, human resource and payroll systems, integrated with a range of collaborative, document management and business intelligence solutions to extend the value and effectiveness of the finance, human resource and payroll departments. These can be delivered as a managed or bureau service.
Customers are from both the public and private sectors and include Companies House, Newcastle City Council, WH Smith, Royal Bank of Scotland, Aer Lingus, National Express Group, DFS, RSPB and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust.
Advanced Business Solutions is a division of Advanced Computer Software Group plc, a leading supplier of software and IT services to the health, care and business services sectors.
Liz Ebbrell and Angela Mycock, Advanced Computer Software Group
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