Why Your Business Should Consider Ad Hoc Financial Analysis

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Whilst many organisations have access to reporting templates, businesses often benefit from taking an ad hoc response to financial analysis.

Pre-built template libraries are perfect for generating static financial reports from an ERP. However, decision-makers must ask for help for more information or to drilldown into specific data. This typically falls to the finance or IT department, as these individuals can manage the financial software used by the business.

As technology develops, this situation becomes avoidable and the process of generating reports and information streamlines. New FMS software solutions, such as Sysynkt, eliminate the middle person in the report generation process. This allows teams to conduct ad hoc financial analysis whenever they need the information to resolve issues.

Ad hoc financial analysis, and FMS solutions that support this, make financial data available on-demand by users at every level of technical expertise. Keep reading to learn more about what ad hoc financial analysis is, and how your organisation can benefit from it.

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What is ad hoc financial analysis?

An ad hoc financial analysis is a review that wasn’t originally planned or scheduled but becomes necessary to meet a particular business need.

These analyses include data previously not included. As a result, these reports answer previously unaddressed business questions.

Through applying FMS solutions for ad hoc financial analysis, users can extract reports themselves without any technical or coding skill. Since the elements, columns, and rows of these reports are fully customisable, users can build dashboards and other visualisations which display and communicate in-depth analysis.

Ad hoc financial analysis is therefore one advantage of implementing data analytics and FMS software solutions to an organisation. Now, all decisions regarding pricing to how much to reinvest in business activities are available at your fingertips.

Why static reporting is slowing you down

The question then arises of why not use regular static reporting, and just plan the potential need for data in more detail?

Standardised financial reports can’t handle sudden and first-time data requests quickly. They require configuration by the finance or IT department, and typically follow standardised procedures. As a result, a bottleneck forms within the organisation with decisions waiting on the reports to be created, and teams pulled away from their regular daily tasks in order to work on urgent and unforeseen reports.

This therefore results in organisations potentially losing opportunities where they would have gained a competitive edge.

Another issue is that data-driven decision-makers may need deeper detail to drill down into. Again, the reliance on other teams to follow standardised procedures and generate reports can result in the loss of valuable time and potentially valuable opportunities.

The difference between ad hoc and structured reports

To summarise, the difference in ad hoc and structured reports comes down to the frequency of updates.

Standardised reporting is often described as ‘canned’ reports. Users open the file when needed and their data is available in a formalised and structured format. This particular style of reporting is ideal for evergreen business questions where information rarely changes.

Ad hoc reporting, on the other hand, are more visual and generated on a more frequent basis. Ad hoc reporting tools within FMS solutions open up the reporting field to more teams and individuals, as they require minimal formal training. Reports can include as many criteria and data points as needed, allowing teams to draw the most accurate and informed conclusions. These reports offer real-time glimpses into the data that matters most at that moment.

Benefits of ad hoc financial analysis

Ad hoc financial analysis therefore offers a range of benefits to an organisation. These include:

  • Saving time and costs

    FMS solutions that support ad hoc financial analysis save hours of work through intuitive interfaces. Users drive and control reports, saving countless working hours and removing the need for waiting.

  • Reducing IT workloads

    End-users can work with customised reports on niche areas of business operations without relying on the technical assistance of developers. This saves time and costs whilst also minimising the risk for interdepartmental bottlenecks and roadblocks.

  • Easy for end-users

    Ad hoc data analysis tools are intuitive and visual by nature, involving graphs and charts to illustrate trends. Users ultimately make decisions that improve their business without needing to wade through endless amounts of data.

  • Complete customisation

    Some ad hoc reporting tools and FMS solutions offer built-in dashboards which feature pre-existing templates. These templates are customisable to suit users' needs, allowing them to use their data intelligently.

  • Flexibility amongst constant updates

    Another benefit of ad hoc financial analysis is that it offers an interactive reporting experience that empowers end-users. Users can ask questions and make customisations that suit their needs and goals by picking individual elements.

Example of ad hoc financial analysis in use

The financial industry and financial departments are filled with facts, figures, financial KPIs, metrics, and data. Ad hoc analysis offers businesses the ability to drill down into concentrated data segments. Users therefore gain the ability to spot trends that provide the best ROI.

In the simplest terms, ad hoc financial reports are used whenever you need to gain a deeper understanding of your financial data.

For example, imagine it is the end of the month. You need to find out how much revenue you have left from your direct costs, as you want to know your gross margin. Through ad hoc financial analysis, you receive an immediate answer, without the need to wait for the IT department to generate a report.

Summary

In summary, ad hoc financial analysis is a great addition to your organisation’s financial reporting processes. Through using visual data reporting options, users gain clear insight into the most up-to-date information impacting your business.

Ad hoc financial analysis is supported through strong FMS and data reporting software. Sysynkt, for example, is a cloud-based financial management solution boasting responsive web design and ERP agnosticism. With an intuitive UI available on any internet-connected device, now your users can easily see spending habits and manage budgets. Sysynkt applies API technology to hook into your ERP and BI software, as well as other applications such as HubSpot and SalesForce so as to provide a comprehensive overview of spending.

Best of all, Sysynkt’s unlimited user licences and transaction-based pricing system means that any organisation can optimise their financial analysis regardless of their size.

Want to learn more about Sysynkt? Why not join BDI for one of our free webinar demos of the software? Experience real-time demonstrations of Sysynkt’s Purchase ManagementExpenses Management, and Open Banking capabilities this summer – tickets available via Eventbrite.

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