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Winning CFOs: Implementing and Applying Better Practices, with Website by David Parmenter

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CHAPTER 7

Quick Annual Reporting: Within 15 Working Days Post Year-End

The annual reporting activity is part of the trifecta of lost opportunities. While annual reporting is an important legal requirement, it does not create any value within your organization, and thus seldom is it a task where your team has received any form of gratitude. Accounting functions therefore need to find ways to extract value from the process while at the same time bringing it down into a tight time frame.

Before you can have a quick year-end, you need to speed up month-end reporting monthly so staff are disciplined to a tight month-end. Your goal should be reporting monthly numbers and comments by day 3 (see Chapter 2 on quick month-end reporting).

This chapter is an extract from a white paper1 I deliver around the world that has revolutionized many finance team’s year-end processes.

Costs of a Slow Year-End

The costs of a slow year-end include:

  • Months where the accounting team is simply doing annual and monthly reporting—thus little added value is created by the finance team in that time.
  • Too much time going into the annual report as we lose sight of Pareto’s 80/20 principle.
  • Little or no client management during this time, and thus bad habits are picked up by budget holders.

Accounting teams are often hijacked “by the annual reporting process.”

CFO with blue chip international experience

Given the amount of time this activity takes, the 80/20 rule still applies. Most organizations look at the annual report ...

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