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How To Overcome 6 Horrors of Financial Reporting

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This blog was first published in 2021 and updated on October 25, 2022.

When it comes to financial reporting, the horrors are real. Nightmarish realities, such as disparate data systems and lack of security, can wreak havoc on your ability to effectively manage your business (don't even get us started on manual data entry and re-entry). The worst part is, without the right technology to help streamline and integrate financial reporting processes, the recurring nightmare of cascading errors will continue to haunt your company and eventually lead to the horror of all horrors: performance bottlenecking. Read on to find out how the power of Vena Complete Planning can help you bury these six common issues in the graveyard where they belong.

Horror #1: Ghoulishly Outdated Financial Reporting Software

Transferring all of your data from your old system to a new one may seem like a huge undertaking, but using outdated reporting software can lead to much bigger scares, such as data inaccuracies and the looming threat of unprotected data. When you've reached the point where software limitations are forcing you to live the recurring nightmare of manually entering and re-entering data, delays and error-prone reports, it's time to wake up and make the switch to an all-in-one financial reporting solution. With a central database that connects your source systems to a secure central location, templates that are always updated with the latest data and intuitive workflows to easily distribute reports to stakeholders, not only will you avoid the hazards listed above, you'll actually see your data come to life and have more time to deliver the analysis and insights that make your business run. 

Click here to read The Ultimate Guide to Financial Reporting.

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Horror #2: Devilishly Unconsolidated Excel Spreadsheets

Getting lost in a dead sea of Excel spreadsheets and endless rounds of copying and pasting? It can be next to impossible to find the numbers you need and keep everything in check at all times when you're dealing with constantly changing actuals. Though this practice is nothing new for most financial departments, there's no need to continue putting them through the ringer. Vena  connects your source systems to one central database and automatically consolidates data into a single location. This means you can spend less time consolidating your spreadsheets and gain more trust in your numbers. What a treat.

According to a report, only 35% of businesses have an automated process for data consolidation. Read more here.

Horror #3: Bone-Chilling Lack of Financial Reporting Security

Afraid of the security risk of uncontrolled desktop spreadsheets? You should be!  Outdated operating financial reporting software creates a weak link in your system that can leave your sensitive data unprotected. Vena's smart security and data permission feature lets you control data access and manage permissions down to the individual user level to keep your data safe. Meaning, all templates are locked and secured to prevent users from breaking templates and making errors. You can even drill down into the history of a spreadsheet with an audit trail feature so you know exactly who has been in your template and where your numbers are coming from.

Want to know how to keep sensitive Microsoft Excel data secure? Find out here.

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Horror #4: Combining Financial Reporting Systems Into a Single Cauldron

If you're running more than one software application, which is the case for most companies, and those programs don't talk to each other, you've got a big problem. It's called duplicate data entry, which is tedious, error prone, time consuming, increasingly complex to manage and downright costly. Vena Complete Planning integrates with your favorite cloud and on-premise applications to import Excel and CSV files on demand. With automatic data loading into a single source of truth, you can get back lost time and have wicked confidence in your numbers.

Horror #5: Frightening Formula Errors and Template Versions

The last thing you want to do is dig your own grave with human error in your financial reporting. One mistake, no matter how small or trivial, could throw off all of your other data leading to incorrect reporting, planning and forecasting� - it's enough to send shivers down your spine. Vena's pre-configured financial reporting solution includes templates that are always updated with the latest data and locked and secured with data permission features. This means you can prevent users from creating errors and say goodbye to version control issues and broken templates once and for all.

Click here to learn about the Top 3 Financial Dashboards To Improve Financial Reporting.

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Horror #6: Ghastly Cash Flow Forecasting

We all know that cash flow is the lifeblood of any company's operational health (and very existence, frankly). An accurate understanding of historical, current and projected cash flow is vital for any successful business. Vena's ad hoc reporting tools and executive-level reporting templates  mean you can create real-time reports in minutes, connect your data to Power BI dashboards and share your reports with management so you can plan your cash flow across your business. You'll also be able to develop a 12-month rolling forecast for your income statement so you can identify your impacts for revenue, COGS and expenses.

Dream it in Excel. Build it in Vena.

With the health of your business on the line, you need to take every measure possible to ensure accurate and complete financial reporting, minus the horrors. With a little help from Vena Complete Planning, you can combine what you love about Excel with the power of the Vena Growth Engine to confidently navigate any bumpy road ahead. You'll get the accurate data you need for compliance and accountability, the insights and cash flow you need for growth and innovation and most importantly, a glowing reputation for reliability and integrity.

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