What once was a simple spreadsheet or document in a three-ring binder has completely shifted in the 21st century. Advancements in data analytics, visualization tools, and software programs now create a new demand for family office reporting. Sticking with old and outdated reporting habits may have a serious impact on your business.
Revolutionizing your family office reporting not only lays the foundation for generations to come, but it can also provide your business with more consumable and interactive information to base your decisions on. Consider applying this 5-step process to your own family office to begin the revolutionization process and the benefits that follow.
Step #1: Understand Your Current Reporting
The first step in any successful implementation is to understand what’s currently going on. What areas in your reporting process take the most time or are difficult to complete? As a business owner, you might not be the one completing the reporting, making it important to have an open discussion with everyone involved in the process.
Transparency into how much time is actually spent reporting gives you a baseline to improve. You may find these answers surprising. Additionally, look at the reports you are currently generating. These will generally include operational, financial, and management reports. Revolutionizing your reporting starts with analyzing these categories and the work performed under each.
Step #2: Standardize Your Reporting
After you analyze your current reporting procedures, you can make strides towards standardizing your reporting. Reporting is an integral part of your business procedures because of the value it can provide. A great way to standardize your reporting is to look at what other companies are doing. Following published best practices serves as an insider’s guide to the policies and procedures you can benefit from implementing.
Many businesses fall short because they try to invent their own way instead of using proven methods. Take advantage of hours of work that others have put in before you. Not only will this save you time, but also money.
Step #3: Put Together a Team
Piecing together a team that has the specific goal of promoting the digital revolution in your family office business is a great next step. Your team should be comprised of individuals with a strong understanding of the revolution that is taking place. Additionally, they should be interested in assisting throughout the process. Once you assign your team that will help facilitate the revolution, choose a team lead that serves as the main point for all communication.
Although most vendors are making the switch to digital reporting, not all have. Working with vendors that allow you to streamline your reporting is key. Vendors should deliver beneficial solutions to your business while allowing you to harvest and manage important data.
Step #4: Utilize Technology
Technology has come a long way. What used to take business owners hours to complete can be done with a few clicks of a button. Utilizing this technology is the next step when it comes to revolutionizing your family office reporting. At a minimum, your system should be cloud-based to allow access from anywhere. Additionally, many customers use the cloud for processing transactions, making it vital for your business to adapt to consumer demand.
Technology can also aid in the reporting process. From strong accounting software that produces monthly reports to a system that tracks key performance indicators, technology moves a significant portion of the workload off your employees. Instead of simply preparing the reports, you or your employees can move to reviewing the reports for accuracy, skipping a time-intensive step.
Step #5: Review Progress
Your reporting revolution won’t make progress if you don’t consistently review the goals you’ve set. To make the most progress, you want to be reviewing both your short-term and long-term goals. Short-term goals may include finding a new accounting software while long-term goals might entail reducing the reporting from 10 hours to 5 hours each month. Take some time to think about where you want your reporting to be in the next 6 months and a year. This will help you decide on measurable goals.
What does the reporting revolution really mean for your business? At the surface level, the reporting revolution might not seem like it’s a great fit for your business, but the benefits speak for themselves. Increases in efficiency and productivity, expanding report options, and greater insight into operations are a few of the advantages that revolutionizing your reporting leads to. Although there may be a temptation to remain in old habits, the reporting revolution is here, calling on the need for your business to adapt and overcome.