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Reporting Facts vs Advocating Solutions

 

" Where does management reporting end and 'recommending action' begin? Finance reports, but shouldn’t it also recommend where appropriate? How do you balance?"

This question was asked at a recent webinar, now available on-demand:

"World Class Management Reporting"

Please add your thoughts about it below. Thanks!

Answers

Randall Bolten
Title: CEO
Company: Lucidity
LinkedIn Profile
(CEO, Lucidity) |

This is a really good question – reporting and advising are both critical roles of a successful finance organization. My strongest advice here is to do both if you can, but keep the roles completely separate. The standard monthly (or quarterly, or weekly, or whatever) reporting package should be merely descriptive, giving managers the information that THEY need to make good decisions. Then you can have a separate document with finance’s subjective analysis, recommendations, and the reasons for those recommendations – which ideally should refer back to supporting information that can be found in the standard reporting package that you delivered separately.

There are a lot of ways to do this, but the important thing is draw a clear separation between the reporting and the analysis/advisory roles.

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