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CFO Program Online Course

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  1. Module 1: Embed finance across the company
    5 Lessons
  2. Module 2: Identify profit and cash initiatives
    7 Lessons
  3. Module 3: Oversee and drive business change
    13 Lessons
  4. Module 4: Deliver data-driven strategic insights
    6 Lessons
  5. Module 5: Challenge your Board and influence strategy
    9 Lessons
  6. Module 6: Drive key decision-making
    11 Lessons
  7. Module 7: Represent your business externally
    6 Lessons
  8. Module 8: Become a critical and influential voice
    5 Lessons
  9. Module 9: Deliver the business plan
    7 Lessons
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Finance teams need to determine the best approach towards reporting data to your stakeholders and the wider business.  The chances are that most people will demand information in varying formats and level of detail, which may not all be possible to achieve within one structure.

During this video extract from a finance workshop, experienced CFO and CEO Stuart Trood provides insights into how finance teams can approach reporting data:

Your target audience are likely to be less financially literate than your finance team.  It is therefore essential to present your data in a simple manner using a structured format that is easy to understand.

Align your data to the commercial activities of the business to make it easier to digest.  Create a format that allows each team to pull out the information that is relevant to their part of the business so that they can assess their team’s performance and identify opportunities for improvement.

You will need to determine the best approach towards reporting data to your wider business.  There are many options, such as:

  1. Sending through standalone files in fixed formats;
  2. Allowing people read-only access to the underlying systems; and
  3. Creating flexible dashboards or data cubes for people to access across the business.

Different teams will require varying formats and levels of detail. 

Many finance leaders providing the wider business with access to systems or dashboards to support better decision-making.  For example, allowing people to:

  • Switch between monthly, daily or hourly reports;
  • Analyse the correlation between different variables; and
  • Drill down into more level of detail for specific activities.

This information is likely to include your key performance indicator trends, along with other metrics identified through your discussions with each individual team.

Timely information is essential to maximise the impact of decisions.  Consider implementing the necessary systems so that you can deliver real-time reporting to your target audience.

Assess your skills

How confident are you that you are reporting data in the most helpful manner?

Have you asked your target audience which formats would best support their decision-making?

Which technologies would help you to report data in a different way?

Do you utilise real-time dashboards to provide live information?

How much flexibility do your reports provide to the users of your information?