Is your agency’s financial reporting based on solid foundations?

 |  By: Kate Jones In: Financial reporting

If there’s one area of any agency where solid, factual data is fundamental, it’s finance.

If financial reporting is based on inaccurate data, it’s going to make waves across the business. And worryingly, it could be some time before you know the data was wrong, if you ever know. By then, you could have made countless crucial decisions based on your report's findings.   

Finance Directors deal with a lot of information gathered from across the agency. Firstly, they need to be given information, then they need to interpret it correctly and possibly reformat it. When information is interpreted from a number of different sources, it's not easy to spot suspect findings. If there's misleading data at any point in this chain, it can spread right to the top and inform many agency-wide decisions.

What’s more, Finance Directors are increasingly heavily involved in steering the business in a successful direction. Countless crucial decisions are made based on the numbers that are driven by finance. So if those numbers are inaccurate then what are these decisions being made on?

Andy Gibbs, CFO of Graze summed up the evolving responsibility of finance in an interview for Real Business:

“I’m expected to be strategic on one hand, being number two to the CEO in terms of being at board meetings and helping develop strategy.

But I’m also expected to be right in the detail."

To add to the pressure, Finance Directors need to work in an agile way, and real-time financial reporting is increasingly important. If an issue appears then the MD or CEO will want to investigate it immediately. This isn’t easy if every aspect of the business is gleaned from a number of different sources. Plus, ad hoc investigating is not something you can plan for. So it really piles on the pressure and can soon become a time-drain. Ever noticed the finance person is often the last to leave? Burning out can be a big issue, it’s not a nice place to be in personally, but it also leaves more room for error.   

A 2017 survey of over 380 finance professionals, featured in CFO magazine discovered that only “23% of respondents had confidence in their company’s ability to manage unforeseen business obstacles.” Those that didn’t have confidence said it was due to “outdated financial planning and analysis tools and processes. As well as an over-reliance on Excel, inefficient reporting, and lengthy budget cycles.”

So what's the solution?

 "Synergist provides one version of the truth, which enables the business to make informed decisions.

It provides the link between day-to-day operational information and key metrics which underpin financial performance, which enables business managers to react or plan more efficiently to achieve desired goals."

Steve Collins, Finance Director, Amaze

Synergist pulls all your data together in one neat system, shrinking that laborious month-end and the need to chase people for their figures - only to find they’re on holiday.  

As Synergist syncs data from across the business into one place, any abnormalities are easy to spot and investigate further. So you'll know quickly if the data is correct or if a misleading anomaly is skewing your figures.


"The previously laborious month-end procedures, requiring 10 days of long hours are now completed in 5 days, even though the volume of work passing through the agency has almost doubled

Even better, this is being achieved without having to work late due to the massive improvements in efficiency Synergist has bought to the accounts department.”

Paula Murray, Financial Controller, Leith

And the new-look v12 Synergist cloud has given our much-loved reporting feature a visual make-over. As before, you can set up reports based on the numbers that matter to you. Once you have your reports set up (we help with that) you can run them as often as you like.

So if something happens and financial information is needed in a jiffy, you can run an immediate report based on real-time information driven from one trusted source. On a day-to-day basis, your reports will run automatically, alerting you when they’re ready.

And now the reports are even simpler to view. We’ve developed a new user-interface focusing on increased readability to make your reports even easier to interpret and quickly-understand.  

We’ve also added more features to our 'Data Viewer' function, this makes putting your reports together and adding new data fields even easier.

"Synergist pulls everything together.

We track income, W.I.P, cost, overruns, margins, time utilization, profitability analysis - everything comes from Synergist. It's all encompassing. 

If Synergist was somehow taken away from us. It would be worse than having a fire "

Steven Clark, Financial and Commercial Manager, Tayburn

With Synergist, you’ll gain real-time, fact-based figures from one data source. It’s easy to view what’s been inputted across the departments so if there is a surprise in the figures, you can easily identify it. What's more, you’ll have the ability to integrate the data further and identify what's happened. So you can be assured that crucial business decisions are made on trusted facts and figures.

If you’d like to know more about how Synergist can help you, why not sign up for a 15-minute, one-to-one demo? Or, if you’re not quite ready, but you’re a little curious all the same, then why not join a bitesize webinar, delivered by our implementation partners The Agency Works . Or of course, if you'd like a chat, just give us a call 01625 572 690.