Stressed-out to smooth-sailing: Effective solutions to manage a filing period

The mails have 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 come with a massive amount of stress. Regardless of whether you’re an accountant or a C-suite executive, you carry great responsibility as part of your company’s financial team which can be crucial and nerve-wracking. At the end of the day, 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. There is absolutely no room for error.

Besides internal accountability, you have to ensure that the report also meets the compliance standards of the SEC or whichever regulatory authority you report to. 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 how many more filing periods your body and mind can take before you are completely burnt out? Keep in mind that your mental and physical health is just as important as the company’s financial health. This is why you need to consider implementing effective solutions to manage your next filing period.

Effective solutions to manage a filing period

Planning is essential

This suggestion may seem rather done and dusted, but smart planning is absolutely essential. With the changing nature of data submission and analysis, your team’s strategy will also change every year. The brief may not be the same every year, with possible demand for more data and analysis, all of which have to be delivered on a tight deadline. You will find yourself cornered with limited resources and time unless you plan for it well in advance and take advantage of evolving technology.

Effective solutions to manage a filing periodProcess automation is key to planning

High-quality data is the crux of the entire activity of preparing your reports. Your team will be excited to analyse 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 to 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.

Effective solutions to manage a filing periodDue 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. Approval may not arrive on time. When you anticipate the worst-case scenario, you can have a back-up 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.

Have a clear vision of the big picture

Every spreadsheet goes through different iterations and levels before it’s approved. This is a recipe for 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 you need to

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 organisation 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 across the globe 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 filing.

To know more

Contact Our Experts

Stressed-out to smooth-sailing: Effective solutions to manage a filing period