Monthly MIS, weekly sales, daily flash and regulatory filings. What do all of these reports have in common?
They provide critical information to the business – for tracking performance, facilitating decision-making or enabling regulatory compliance. However, notwithstanding the sophistication of modern systems, employees are still spending vast amounts of time on manual reporting processes. A 2011 study by Ernst & Young found that companies spend on average 41 days each year on their financial reporting:
This is what we describe as the “gap” between the data that is produced by core systems and databases and what people actually want to do with that data (i.e. reporting).
Each day, week or month, staff are often left scrambling (usually working in spreadsheets) to produce management reports, publish a new business report for the sales team or any of a host of other reports. They run extracts from multiple systems and databases including general ledgers, product systems and data warehouses and then race to combine and manipulate the data to produce the necessary reports within prescribed deadlines.
These reports are extremely time consuming, often requiring the repetition of the same “steps” each time the report is produced. This means that the risk of human error and dependency on key staff continues to burden those who are responsible for the reporting.
How we help?
From the beginning, SolveXia’s purpose has been clear. We help organisations to get their reporting done faster and provide greater certainty that reports being sent to management or regulators are accurate, consistent and auditable. Furthermore, automated processes are documented by the platform so that knowledge may be shared across the organisation to reduce dependency on key staff.
We focus on the people who are responsible for creating the reports manually (who better than the “subject matter expert”) and allow them to use their intimate knowledge of their own processes to craft their own automated solutions. This means a focus not on programmers, but the business users themselves including accountants and operations staff in banks, insurance companies, pharmaceuticals, travel and so on.
Users are able to replicate and automate each of the individual steps they would otherwise perform manually by selecting from our library of 150+ pre-built “robots” for manipulating data:
Each robot can be configured to replicate a task, such as copying selective accounts from a general ledger extract, mapping sales records to a specific channel or validating results to be sent to a regulator. The real magic is in the robust nature of the robots, providing users with the flexibility to replicate their steps while at the same time enforcing a degree of control and forward planning, such as configuring “advanced ranges” to ensure that the process adapts to changes in the volume of records being supplied.
Some examples include:
- Global pharmaceuticals company – Combining SAP and product system data for daily reporting of sales, discounts, outstanding orders and inventory against monthly targets and forecasts.
- Accounting practice – Preparation of quarterly submissions to the prudential regulator on behalf of their reinsurance clients by combining trial balance data from multiple source systems and automatically populating pre-defined forms.
- Private equity firm – Analysis of vendor-related expenses by extracting and combining data from SAP and a specialist expense tracking system and the use of smart “pattern recognition” steps to identify specific deal codes embedded in free-form text.