Automated reporting: What’s holding you back?

Power BI Excel Financial Reporting

We have witnessed, time and time again, how the automation of manual processes completely revolutionises the way businesses do their monthly reporting. Our solutions have helped Financial Managers get up to three days back, simply by way of automation. However, we still get a considerable amount of push-back when we send out our feelers to prospective businesses that are ideal candidates for automation.

Automation and heightened accuracy go hand in hand, which makes it a no-brainer for it’s use in the finance industry, however, historically there have been many attempts in this sector to introduce automation. These attempts by other solutions providers always came with large promises but left having never really delivered or satisfied the needs of the actual user. This lead to a widespread distrust of automation and only fuelled resistance to further attempts for years to come. The finance industry continued to plod along manually as they had done for decades before, using software they loved and trusted, Microsoft Excel. However, this was a problem for other parties.

The fear of ‘Shadow IT’

Finance teams choose to use Excel for reporting because it gives them the control and flexibility to change and manipulate their data and reports, however in the eyes of the internal IT team this tool is largely categorised as ‘Shadow IT’. Where business sees the advantage of increased control, IT sees a window where the risk of human error and other inaccuracies can creep in. This further compounds the reluctance to automation.

Fear of redundancy

This is still a large, but completely unfounded, concern of many prime candidates for automation. The misnomer that by automating the mundane, repeatable tasks involved in monthly reporting we could somehow replace someone’s job is still a huge contributing factor to resisting automation. It is easily remedied, as we simply have to share with them the long term view, where freeing up this time allows them to focus on the more important aspects of the business. Read more about this issue >>

Fear of losing control

We often work with businesses that swear by their current processes, no matter how flawed, or how many inaccuracies they might have. They have been doing things this way for decades and they don’t trust that automation is going to help, let alone uncomplicate things. We understand that they know their processes back to front, and that they feel confident about finding imbalances when things aren’t in check, because they feel in control. The feeling of losing control because there is automation is completely unwarranted, as they do not realise that with Power BI they still have this capability. Only, with our solutions they can do it a lot sooner! Read about our 15 second reports >>

It becomes quite clear that what is really holding business leaders back is fear, in it’s many forms. While business leaders believe they are doing what is best for their businesses, they might in fact be holding it back from operating optimally.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Give us your comment on what is holding your business back, or what you think holds others back from automation. We’d love to hear from you.