Most companies in Singapore spent a lot of time on bookkeeping and preparing accounts. Even consultants can attest that they spend much of their time helping companies with from accounting services for analyzing results and forecasting.
The financial reporting weakness is simple but has far-reaching impacts: businesses don’t use the right technology. We spent much time to determine the financial reporting framework imposed by the government, set an up a reporting system and training staff, but whenever a financial report is needed, the employees go back to Microsoft Excel. Sometimes they are forced to enter the accounting data manually, do calculations, edit and print the report – a one-off spreadsheet that features no future value.
Well, this approach can get financial reports created. However, it can lead to mistakes in data entry and inaccurate calculations (Also see Common Accounting Mistakes and How to fix them) that have far reaching effects including wrong financial reports; wrong decisions made based on these reports, and more. It could also result in delays and unplanned overtime expenses. Additionally, with such approach to financial reporting, the staff member has to start from scratch on another spreadsheet whenever a financial report is required. This can be overwhelming especially if your business carries out numerous transactions daily.
As a business owner, you can complain that you don’t have time to fiddle with a new accounting system. And this is true. Most people fear using new systems because they feel that they don’t have a chance to review the training notes, or they don’t just feel comfortable with new accounting systems and so, they opt to continue using their old accounting systems.
Business owners should understand that the today’s business environment is too competitive, and they need an accurate financial reporting and forecasting systems (Also see Accounting: Cash Flow Forecasting Mistakes to Avoid). They need to adopt a bookkeeping and accounting system that offers accurate results, analyzes them, and can help the management to plan and forecast the business’s future performance for better decision making.
While planning for a new system, set aside time to talk with your employees about the current reporting system. You may find that a simple solution like designing general report templates with various parameters can help. With such a template, your employees will no longer have to start with a proverbial blank slate every time a financial report is required.
Also, depending on the volume of your financial data, consider investing in the appropriate technology. This will not only give you accurate financial reports and analysis but also save your employees time and effort while preparing the financial reports.