Part 2 in a 2-part series. Read Part 1.
In our last blog, we outlined the importance of effective and efficient capital market communication for company growth, for convincing potential investors about the soundness of the company’s current and future financial situation. We also described the shortfalls inherent in most companies’ processes, and the tools now available to guide corporate accountants and analysts in a well-structured approach to optimize their closing and reporting cycle.
Here are a few key benefits of these solutions:
- Management and structuring of the production, filing, and publication of (external and internal) financial and regulatory disclosures
- Automation of workflows to assign responsibilities across teams and units, share information, and reduce risk
- Foster collaboration by giving users more autonomy and accountability
- Publish financial statements in a variety of formats, including Microsoft Word, PDF, and XBRL
- Ensure compliance with IFRS, multiple GAAPs, and other industry-specific accounting standards
Result: Faster financial close
A specialized solution will allow users to automate all the process steps related to the “last mile of finance.” The full digital integration of data from many sources and the dynamic storage of data in a single source of truth supports a swift regulatory reporting and disclosure. A central cache stores data from multiple systems and keeps the data up-to-date. Last-minute changes need to be reflected in all the documents connected to the single source of truth. This can be achieved by creating multiple dynamic connections to various systems that will update data (and other related information) automatically in case of changes without manual interference.
Once the process of putting a report together is started, access to relevant data is given by creating chapters of reports (data, narratives, charts) in common and widely used file formats such as Microsoft Excel and Word. Users are very experienced with Microsoft Office and will find it much easier to use a new software solution when it is accompanied by certain familiar components.
When data is stored in “chapters,” the disclosure management solution will automatically store multiple versions of documents with change-tracking abilities on a dedicated server. When users want to continue working on a chapter, the solution will always provide the latest version automatically.
Collaboration, compliance, and control
Another main key in an improvement of the overall close process is efficient and effective collaboration among team members. A disclosure management solution needs to facilitate communication among team members and management, and support workflows and approvals across organizational hierarchies, geographies, and business units. This can be done by individually assigning access rights to the various “chapters” in the reports on a “need-to-know” basis to individual users with potentially individual workflow steps.
In the last steps, compliance and control is another key element. The solution will support the process to publish auditable financial and regulatory statements in multiple formats (including XBRL). It will also ensure compliance with various accounting standards such as IFRS, multiple GAAPs, and other industry-specific regulations.
Based on our experience, many companies are surprised by the gain in speed, quality, and confidence they can achieve by using a dedicated disclosure management solution instead of relying on manual validations and last-minute copy-and-paste activities. We encourage you to find out more about the latest developments and features to optimize your capital market communication with the use of SAP Disclosure Management.