Last time we wrote about the advantages that cloud accounting has when it comes to visibility into financial and operational reporting and metrics. On-premises accounting systems make it hard to get  real-time, relevant insight to run your business. However, there’s more to it than simply getting the information out of your system. Your business is unique. The metrics you use to measure success are unique. And the information that each of your stakeholders requires is unique. Therefore, a modern financial system needs to adapt to your unique business and reporting needs, and deliver relevant information to those who are making key decisions about your business.

A modern cloud financial system like Intacct lets you use reporting and insight in a variety of ways to empower your stakeholders.

First, there’s a variety of different stakeholders for which you need to provide visibility, from reports that are geared towards regulatory or statutory requirements, to management reports that help run the business or inform investors and donors, to ad-hoc reports that answer the one-off question and drive quick decision making.

For example, what happens when you go to your bank for a new line of credit or to show you are in compliance with your debt covenants? Do you hand over a bunch of spreadsheets and pray? Or can you produce legitimate, GAAP-compliant financial statements that you can configure to best illustrate the unique aspects of your business?

Second, you need visibility at different levels of granularity from summary results that span your entire business, to reports that look at one specific department or rollup of entities in your organization, down to information on individual transactions.

Third, in order to effectively manage your business, you need visibility into the unique attributes that drive your business such as product and service offerings, projects, customers, or vendors. And you need these measures over time in order to assess how these drivers are truly shaping your performance.

And finally, you may need visibility into how you’re performing on both a cash basis and accrual basis at the same time. After all, GAAP accounting doesn't necessarily illustrate the complete picture of your business (expertly illustrated by Paul Druckman, CEO of IIRC, in a recent blog post).

While other solutions may meet some of these requirements, our customers tell us that Intacct is the ONLY one that can meet all of these requirements, in real-time, so you can seamlessly switch across different ways of looking at your business as transactions happen. We provide this visibility all within Intacct, meaning that you can free yourself from creating and updating reports in external reporting tools and spreadsheets.

Reasons why Intacct provides unprecedented insight and business reporting:

  • Intacct uses a single set of transaction data stored in multiple sub-ledgers to give all you a consistent, real-time view of financial data, from high level summaries to detailed transactions.
  • Meet a broad range of reporting needs with no effort by taking advantage of over 150 “out-of-the-box” reports, while on-premises systems require all reports be created from scratch, usually by a VAR.
  • Intacct offers 8 standard reporting dimensions out of the box and makes it easy to add new fields for greater insight and visibility, while on-premises systems use custom fields that are complex to set up and cumbersome to maintain.
  • Flex Reporting uses the same auditable and real-time transaction data that is used for core financial and statutory reports, so you know your business performance metrics are as reliable and as up-to-date as your financials.
  • With Intacct Flex Reporting, you don’t have to settle for “one-size-fits-all” reports or resort to alternatives that can’t keep pace with your business.

Next time we’ll discuss integrations and best-in-class systems. Having best-in-class financials can only take you so far if your financial system does not integrate with your other business systems. Advantage: cloud.

Be sure to follow Intacct on all our social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Also... have you joined the Intacct Cloud Accounting group and the CFOInsights group on LinkedIn... they are a great place to network with other people interested in cloud financial applications.

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