Actuate for: Financial Management Reporting Applications

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1 Any User. Any Data. Any Deployment. Enterprise Solutions Actuate for: Financial Management Reporting Applications Actuate Financial Management Reporting Applications integrate data from multiple financial systems in real time to provide accurate and useful reports that are personalized for each user or group, and available on demand. These applications scale to support every employee who touches financial processes. Actuate distributes financial accountability throughout the organization by providing current data to a broader number of departmental managers and staff more frequently for faster validation, greater accuracy and regulatory compliance.

2 Sound Financial Management Is Everyone s Responsibility Financial reporting has taken center stage. Regulators, investors, customers, partners and employees have renewed interest in the timeliness, accuracy and availability of financial information. Recent economic uncertainty also requires finance departments to be vigilant about cutting costs and improving operational efficiency. Forward-looking financial executives understand that in order to reach corporate performance objectives, the finance department needs to work closely with business units. Involving every cost-center manager in critical financial management processes such as period close validation and budget variance analysis lays a solid foundation on which to build this partnership. Business Process Challenges There are key areas in which financial management process weaknesses directly impact a company s ability to maintain reliable and efficient internal controls. By addressing these challenges, companies can build a repeatable and consistent reporting environment that can be leveraged within and beyond the finance department: 1. Not enough reviewers Most often, the responsibility for validating and reconciling financial data is confined to the finance department. Companies can improve the efficiency and accuracy of financial reporting by providing current data more frequently to more reviewers outside of finance. 2. Data silos throughout the organization Data resides in multiple systems across different departments and sites. When employees are working with integrated and centralized data, firms can be confident that everyone is working from a single version of the truth. 3. Manual, error-prone processes Today, it is common for each department to manually create its own spreadsheets and reports. Automating financial controls processes such as data integration and report distribution reduces the number of reports, versions and touchpoints, which mitigates the risk of errors. 4. Staff resources not leveraged appropriately Analysts provide the most value when they are delivering the strategic insight for which they were hired. In reality, they often spend their time tracking down individuals. When analysts are freed from manually reconciling data and building spreadsheets, they can focus on guiding the business to cut costs and improve revenue. Typical Financial Reporting Problems Most reporting solutions don t meet all information requirements because they: Cannot integrate data from multiple, distributed sources in real time Are unwieldy and complicated to use Do not contain enough information, or generate more information than users need Do not provide appropriate tools for analysis and decision making Lack complex formatting capabilities such as charts, dashboards and graphics The Solution By extending real-time financial information beyond the accounting department, companies can distribute fiscal accountability directly to those employees in charge of spending and revenue. Today s business managers have increased accountability, and must think and behave like CFOs. John Van Decker, META Group 2

3 Improved Visibility for Better Decision Making Seventy-six percent of CFOs and senior finance executives base their business case for improving finance processes on better decision support. To make confident decisions that drive the businesses forward, employees need access to accurate, clear and timely information. To facilitate better decision making, companies must: Give more employees the information and tools they need to take action towards improving performance Ensure employees are basing decisions on reliable data integrated directly from its source Give cost-center managers access to the operational data they need to validate and reconcile revenue and expenses on their own Give investors greater transparency into operations and performance Business managers and financial analysts leverage real-time visibility every day. For example, Cost-center managers detect budget overruns and inefficiencies before they occur to reassign resources behind the most profitable activities. Financial analysts are freed to perform forwardlooking analysis, such as running and comparing scenarios and forecasts. Improved Accuracy for Tighter Financial Control Finance departments can take concrete action towards reducing the operational risk caused by incomplete or inconsistent information by doing the following: Distribute financial data to validate it at its place of origin the cost center. Automate data integration so data in reports is taken directly from its source. Eliminate manual processes that introduce errors, such as creating and reconciling one off spreadsheets. Companies with consistently accurate reporting are better positioned to comply with international disclosure regulations, earn market trust and effectively manage to budgets. For example, Employees trust and actively use spending and revenue data to assure closer adherence to budgets Disclosures meet the requirements of regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley and IASB proposals An automated and repeatable reporting framework accommodates new regulations as they are issued Strong financial controls processes spur market trust and investment Improved Efficiency for Speed and Resource Optimization Integrating financial validation into departmental daily workflow streamlines financial management processes. For example, companies are able to: Speed the period close with frequent validation by everyone with cost-center responsibilities Integrate data into one central report to reduce spreadsheet sprawl Automate processes to optimize staff resources Building efficient financial reporting processes encourages regulatory compliance and equips companies to be more responsive to internal and market shifts. For example, Finance departments are prepared for period closes Managers make faster, as well as better decisions Faster closes meet the SEC s accelerated filing requirements Financial analysts are less administrative and work more effectively Enterprises should begin to build monitoring and reporting systems capable of adjusting to changes in reporting frequency demanded by regulators and capital markets. Eventually, regulators will want near real-time information. Dan Miklovic, Gartner 3

4 Reporting Applications for 100 Percent Adoption Actuate-built Enterprise Reporting Applications for financial management are designed around a central precept: the more users who can securely access and use financial information, the more that information contributes to improving corporate performance. Actuate solutions integrate data from multiple financial systems in real time, provide accurate and useful reports that are personalized for each user or group and distribute these reports beyond the accounting department for financial accountability across the organization. Integrated Data for a Single Version of the Truth Reporting applications built with Actuate leverage Enterprise Information Integration (EII) to provide current and integrated financial data in a single report. Intuitive, Portal-Based Application Experience Financial information is delivered via the web in an intuitive portal environment so it gets used. Reports come in standard, familiar formats such as parameterized web reports, Excel and PDF. Reporting applications are widely adopted and integrated into the daily workflow of finance personnel and costcenter managers alike, ensuring more employees get involved in financial validation. Consistent, Automated Report Creation Reports are generated with the same business logic every time to reflect standardized accounting procedures and eliminate the errors caused by version inaccuracies and manual interventions. Real-Time Visibility into Current Data Actuate-built reporting applications provide realtime, consolidated account information by directly accessing transactional systems, so financial performance data is always current and can be validated daily, not weekly or monthly. Personalized for Different Users Reporting applications provide personalized information at the right level of detail, and the tools to make that information useful, for everyone from the CFO, to accountants, to cost-center managers. Managers are assured they are working with exactly and only the right information and decision support components to validate data and better steer their operations. Scalable Platform Distributes Information Worldwide Financial management reporting applications built on the Actuate platform deliver financial information over the web within a highly scalable architecture, so reports are available anywhere, at any time, by everyone. Actuate Product Overview Leading organizations rely on Actuate s Enterprise Reporting Application Platform to develop and deploy intuitive, self-service, customer- and employee-facing applications. Actuate enables the secure and reliable distribution of information to a large number of users within and beyond the firewall, while giving IT total control over data infrastructure and access. Develop Actuate s object-oriented, visual development environments provide complete programming flexibility. Developers can use Actuate s programming language and/or simple, intuitive graphical designers to quickly build Enterprise Reporting Applications and reports. Deploy Actuate s unique architecture leverages a common infrastructure and shares hardware to allow businesses to seamlessly and cost-effectively add applications and users as needs expand. Experience The Actuate application experience provides a user interface that is intuitive like popular consumer web sites, adapts to the familiar look and feel of existing applications and imposes no limits on presentation. Users gain access to any data, tool or format through a single application view and are ensured current data and personalized views of that data. 4

5 Application Examples Period-End Close Reporting Puts central and repeatable processes in a place for validating, reconciling and completing financial statements. Creates the framework of an external financial report. Allows companies to delegate accountability for fiscal management throughout the organization to be prepared for any period-end close. Financial Planning and Reporting Revenue management systems that track and forecast Profitability analyses that examine financial contribution by division, product, territory or operating group Tax and compliance reporting systems that consolidate data from multiple internal systems, provide drill-down to any detail level and produce required reports Budget Variance Reporting and Analysis Tracks and manages expenses and revenue against budgets to meet financial targets and make decisions about spending and reassigning resources. Identifies unnecessary expenditures and new opportunities to facilitate better decisions. Operations and Cash Management Cash forecasting systems that consolidate currency flows from global financial systems created by multiple software vendors Foreign exchange management applications that consolidate cash balances from dissimilar financial systems around the world Asset management systems that integrate data from legacy asset data files and packaged applications Project accounting solutions that unify cost information from materials and labor tracking systems Requirements Dashboard & Portal Access Department Staff Execs; Financial Mgrs Acct., Dept. Mgrs Anlsts Web Reports Parameterized Reports Ad Hoc Query e.spreadsheet Analytics Scalability The Key to Distributing Accountability Enterprise Reporting Applications are developed and deployed on the industry s most scalable and flexible reporting application, making Actuate the only reporting solution that can scale to reach hundreds of thousands of users with a single application: Unparalleled benchmarks around report generation, distribution and support for concurrent users Multi-threaded processing to ensure high performance under heavy volumes of concurrent activity On-demand report viewing so only requested pages get delivered over the network, as opposed to an entire report Hot backup and failover in case of a server outage maintains 24x7 availability for users worldwide Also See Actuate for Sarbanes-Oxley Solutions Brief Actuate for Period-End Close Solutions Brief Corporate Financial Governance White Paper Actuate Corporation 2207 Bridgepointe Parkway Suite 500 San Mateo, CA Tel: (888) Web: 5

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