What is the real value of a Viewer License for ReportFYI? To explore this question, we need to break down and discuss the value components into three categories.
- Value of Self Service
A typical flow of financial reporting is: Close books>Consolidate results>Produce Financials>distribute to stakeholders>disseminate and act on information.
The value of self service comes in after the distribution to stakeholders. Imagine a departmental manager receiving their P&L and immediately seeing a large overspend for Consulting Services. In traditional reporting (typically Excel), there is very little context around details and cause. All the director knows is surprise and anxiety, and the inability to understand why. Emails and phone calls to Accounting may go unanswered for weeks, and when the accountant finally gets to the question – they simply locate and scan the underlying invoice (hopefully the right one). Most of the time, there are back and forth exchanges to understand the total of the overspend – and by this time, the organization is well into the next month.
Imagine that the cause was an incorrect allocation of an invoice (was to be distributed among several cost centers). By the time the manager and accounting fully understand the errors, and the journal entry is prepared (several months later) to correct multiple months of non-allocation, the other cost center managers have acted on their information and moved forward with additional reactive spending to ‘fill the void’. This is a bad and expensive outcome for the whole organization. We act upon information presented to us as fact. Had the same parties had information available quickly and with a high degree of transparency, they may have acted properly given the ability to understand all details of transactions, including seeing the digital invoice.
- Value of Speed of Information
The above example of self service is powerful. We are all used to self-provisioning information more and more. Think of our personal lives – we do online banking, we book our own travel, we even ring up or “scan” our own groceries now and think nothing of it. We consume and act upon information as it happens. The idea that the sum of all business spending decisions (P&L) isn’t available to the ‘consumers’ (cost center owners) until weeks after (sans detail) is akin to driving a car by looking out of the back window.
Quick distribution = speed to value. Fast information can help avoid poorly thought-out spending decisions or highlight massive revenue issues before significant damage is inflicted.
- Value of Knowledge
An informed consumer is supplied with relevant, timely, and accurate information enabling them to make sensible decisions via evidence-based conclusions. Business leaders should be the linchpin of informed consumers. The cumulative effect to highly informed leadership making thoughtful and timely decisions can be considered a competitive advantage. Powering these decisions with the right Financial Reporting platform is the first step to gaining getting ahead, especially strategically.
In Part II we will explore the ROI of a ReportFYI Viewer license using a practical example.