There are many different moving parts when it comes to financial reporting for a school board. Managing, trusting and presenting the data can be a challenging process for many successful school boards. To add to the stress, the importance of detailed and ongoing accountability increases the pressure for financial staff.
Often, school boards spend a great deal of time reconciling and compiling information to produce board, trustee and ministry reports. Having easy report tools means less reliance on IT folks to prepare reports and gives you more freedom but, have you ever asked yourslf if your accounting system is really helping your reporting effort? Or is it possible its hindering it?
Good reporting starts with a good accounting system. Here are three things to ponder when putting a reporting strategy together for your board.
Is your accounting system transparent enough for you?
Sounds simple when you think of it. But, have you asked yourself “how easy is it to find information in your accounting system?” Increasing your visibility into financial data can reduce the time it takes to find information and validate whether your information is reliable. Often we find that by increasing online data-visibility in your accounting system (though simple tools like filtering data or drill down from your Chart of Account) generating reports becomes faster. In addition, you have the potential of reducing unnecessary reports in your operations.
How much control do you really have?
By leveraging workflows and approval processes in your trusty accounting system you’ll relax more and increase confidence in your data. Increased control means less time reconciling, validating and compiling data for reporting purposes.
Are you sharing your information in the best way you can?
Having data available in your operations could mean sharing it with your staff and pushing accountability to all different levels of your business. We like to propose report views and tools that support web access as well as simple screens and views for your non-accounting folks that have some accountability requirements.
Other strategies to consider are to use tools that reduce duplication of data and manual data entry. Ensure your accounting system provides excel integration, direct integration to SQL reporting services and online dashboards and analytics embedded directly in the accounting system.
To learn more, join us for a webcast on Oct 21at 2:30 pm ET where we'll discuss the various strategies available today for powerful and accurate reporting.
Submitted by Nicola Dickinson