The mail has started pouring in more aggressively than usual. Co-workers who are otherwise cheerful (including yourself) have a mask of tension on their faces. The usual spring in your step is missing. It’s that time of the year, and we don’t mean Christmas. Welcome to your filing period.
Filing periods are undeniably stressful. Whether you’re an accountant or a C-suite executive, the responsibility that you carry as part of your company’s financial team is crucial and nerve-wracking. After all, it’s your prerogative to record and analyze (depending on your role) the data and numbers that reflect the financial health of your company. This information will decide what trajectory your company should take in the future.
So you have absolutely no room for error. Besides internal accountability, you have to ensure that the report also meets the compliance standards of your regulatory authority. This means that the Annual Financial Report you prepare goes through two levels of approval: The company’s internal management review and the regulator’s validation. Only then will you successfully make it across the filing period finish line.
We’re sure you’ve crossed many finish lines successfully. But you must ask yourself how many more filing periods your body and mind can take before you are completely burnt out. Keep in mind that at the end of the day, the company’s financial health depends on your mental and physical health. This is why you should consider effective solutions to manage your next filing period.
Plan like your life depends on it
This suggestion may seem passé, but planning is absolutely essential. With the changing nature of data submission and analysis, it is not feasible for your team to follow the same strategy every year. The brief for your team may also change every year, with possible demand for more data and tighter deadlines. As technology evolves, you will find yourself cornered with limited resources and time, unless you plan for it well in advance.
Automate as many processes as possible
Data is fascinating and your team will be excited to analyze it the moment they can get their hands on it. After all, that’s the whole point of the struggle. But they won’t be able to do this if their efforts are directed to make the data presentable for both internal management and the regulator. As the driver of the process, make decisions about which tools might help your team streamline the report preparation process, prioritize tasks that really matter, and save precious time.
Automate your disclosure management and XBRL conversion process by upgrading to reliable cloud-based collaborative software solutions like IRIS CARBON®. Such decisions will not just give your team the opportunity to focus on the company data and hence deliver effective analysis, but also keep you compliant with both internal management and your company’s regulator.
Do your due diligence for a crisis.
As the saying goes, the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. A core member of your team may fall sick. Your deadlines may get pushed. Approvals may not arrive on time. When you anticipate the worst-case scenario, you can have a backup plan. Set aside a buffer to accommodate approval delays. Have another team member trained to step in and take over when necessary and put mechanisms in place depending on the nature of the crisis.
Develop a clear vision of the big picture
Every spreadsheet goes through different iterations and levels before it’s approved. This is a recipe for a crisis borne from human error. To avoid this situation you have to be intrinsically involved in the entire report preparation process. However, this will affect your accountability to your C-suite executives and senior management. If they don’t have a clear vision of what you’re hoping to achieve and deliver to your company, you will be in deep water. As we suggested earlier, automate this process. Use a platform that will allow senior management and relevant parties to observe and recommend changes when necessary while allowing your own team to collaborate and perform their tasks, thus maintaining the quality and legitimacy of the report without stressing yourself in the process.
Outsource when necessary
Fortunately, you don’t have to be like Sisyphus. There are options in this day and age, whether it’s resources that you can borrow outside accounting (for tasks like data entry) within your organization itself or helpful experts who can help you understand and meet the iXBRL mandate of your regulatory authority. Outsourcing will address your team’s needs and tackle what is beyond its scope of work. More importantly, when you plan well in advance, you will find yourself delivering results that will add value to your company in ways that cannot be quantified in numbers.
We hope you found this article helpful. As Software Solution Providers, we have worked with thousands of clients to help them streamline the last mile of their reporting process and transition smoothly to XBRL/iXBRL. Our solution IRIS CARBON® has been specifically designed to enable companies to produce top-notch XBRL/iXBRL reports on time without compromising on quality. More importantly, IRIS CARBON® has been updated with features to ensure that its user will prepare his/her report in comfort, with the reassurance of knowing that the user will have an error-free filing. When you choose IRIS CARBON® you choose a better and smarter way. We wish you the very best for your next fling.