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For most financial professionals, the year-end reporting process has become the most challenging and exhausting aspect of corporate reporting.
Most organisations collate information on a monthly basis for their management accounts, however the volume of information required at year end increases enormously due to requirements set by tax and regulatory authorities and investors. There are two main types of reports produced for year-end reporting.
Annual financial statements
Organisations are required to submit their audited AFS to tax authorities, various regulatory bodies, financial institutions and investors. While the statements of comprehensive income and financial position can easily be assembled, the process of collating and consolidating information for the disclosure notes can be very cumbersome. On-going amendments to the adopted international accounting standards require companies to continuously modify the notes and disclose detail differently for different types of businesses. Once all the information has been collated and consolidated, the AFS need to be published with a specific layout.
Many public companies now include the economic, environmental and social performance of the company in their reports. Companies are adopting the concept of integrated reporting, which gives investors a more holistic view of the company. Integrated reporting looks at how an organisation interacts with the external environment as well as its resources and relationships to create value.
Here is an overview of how Finnivo works for year-end reporting:
First, the reporting formats and report templates are finalised. This means including all line items, calculations and input sections (content or commentary) for cost centre owners to complete. These templates will need to cater for the requirements of all the cost centres and all the users that need to complete budgets.
The report packs are then distributed or made available to the owners of your various cost centres.
The underlying cost centres, business units or departments can then populate the report packs by importing operational, environmental or other data to the relevant areas in the report template. Where data cannot be imported directly from source systems (or from spreadsheet extracts), users can manually capture the information.
Various calculations may also need to be completed (at cost centre or aggregated level) based on information collated from your different sources.
Once report packs have been completed, users can lock down their information or submit their sections for approval or sign-off. Users at head office will also need to approve the submitted information and can analyse and drill down into it.
The final output reports need to be designed or modified to meet stipulated accounting standards.
The final output reports can extract data, graphics or text from various report templates, notes or document sections. The output reports can then combine the selected information into a centrally-themed document.
In Finnivo, changes made during the reporting cycle can be easily managed. For example, if a change needs to be made to any of the underlying data sections, the final output report is effortlessly updated with that change.
Starting 1 July 2018, various qualifying / selected Companies will be required to submit their financial and mandatory information to the Companies and Intellectual Properties Commission (“CIPC”) in a new electronic format. This will ultimately become a mandatory requirement for all Companies.
The new reporting format will require Companies to upload an iXBRL digital file to the CIPC portal (which will ultimately replace the process of uploading PDF report formats). Various other regulatory bodies are also currently investing in infrastructure to allow for the upload of the iXBRL files for submission of required Company information.