Recent studies show that 74% of financial managers are using spreadsheets as their primary vehicle to generate reports. This means creating lengthy reports or presentations manually, which can yield financial documentation that is prone to human error, contains outdated information and has little or no version control. This in turn brings key problems associated with a manual reporting process, such as information and data on spreadsheets or on desktops needing to be recreated, making it a cumbersome and time consuming activity to manage.
To secure and streamline the report generation process, IBM® Cognos® Disclosure Management (CDM) embeds Excel files into the document preparation process with collaboration and approval features that show who contributed what and when. This functionality helps document who in the organization submitted the data for various reports, and shows precisely where the data came from. This provides more transparency for organizations with smaller teams and facilitates the backfilling of positions in case of an employee’s illness or departure, as well as cross training that is critical in smaller organizations. For smaller departmental teams, the automation of processes provides team members with more time to spend on high-value analysis, rather than on collecting, assembling and validating data.
The financial close process is supported by IBM solutions in each of three key process areas:
1) data collection, validation and controls surrounding data inputs into the consolidation process; 2) consolidation and aggregation of the financial and accounting views of the organization; and 3) report preparation — internally as the final part of the close process and externally as part of the organization’s reporting. Adding CDM to the close process can help organizations make full use of all of their data sources within an integrated narrative reporting solution that can use IBM Cognos TM1® as the common data repository and IBM Cognos Business Intelligence for graphical reporting and dashboarding.
CDM offers the capability to:
- Integrate with the IBM Cognos TM1 Excel add-in to retrieve data from Microsoft Excel files inside of documents created with CDM;
- Employ a data wizard to pull data from relational data repositories such as general ledger (GL) systems, Cognos TM1, data warehouses or other data repositories;
- Insert business intelligence reports from the Cognos portal directly into a CDM document;
- Integrate with IBM Cognos Express for data collection and for budgeting and forecasting purposes, as well as other data reporting needs.
CDM enables organizations to load and use spreadsheets, and allows users to easily connect them to source data and manipulate that information, giving them confidence that their numbers are correct.
CDM also enables process owners to easily define the review and collaboration process to ensure that routine workflow is both efficient and auditable. This helps facilitate process ownership and task management, while process dashboards enable users to always know where they stand in the process.
CDM helps users integrate numbers with narrative, providing support for all the important output types, including Microsoft PowerPoint. The data in slides can be updated from the same secure, central database, and business rules and automated validations help make sure that the company never risks its reputation on numbers or narrative text that doesn’t tie out.
Existing IBM Cognos Express customers can tackle their internal management reporting and disclosure management pain points with greater control and confidence. By simply adding a CDM Express Administrator, and the amount of user licenses they require, you can be up and running with this add-on solution for under $5,000 CDN. CDM Express can also be purchased when acquiring IBM Cognos Express by just adding a few users to the initial solution size. Read more in our press release.
Do you want to find out more about how to reduce risks, costs, and data inaccuracies across your entire organization? Contact NewIntelligence today to find out how you can leverage your investment in your existing business intelligence and financial performance management solution with the financial reporting capabilities offered by CDM Express.