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Now trending: board reporting best practices


Now trending: board reporting best practices
November 18, 2014

When things go horribly wrong at a public company, the first question asked is, Where was the board?

In our newest white paper, Board Reporting Trends and Best Practices in the Digital Age, we discuss how senior management should help the board of directors fulfill its role. You'll also hear practical advice from members of your peer group and industry experts:

  • William Kearns, Director of Financial Reporting at Alaska Air Group
  • Robert Herz, former Chairman of FASB and current Board Member of Morgan Stanley and Fannie Mae
  • Steve Rosston, Senior Advisor to Glynn Capital Management
For the board to be successful, it must understand the same critical information that's available to senior management and the process management goes through to make these key decisions. Here are some key items the board and management should keep in mind:
  • Get on the same page
    An effective oversight begins with an effective agenda. The agenda should be a partnership between senior management and the board—making sure priorities to both parties are addressed.

  • Be complete and consistent
    A great board book is the catalyst for a great discussion. There needs to be a complete and consistent methodology, objectives, and reporting against those objectives. Without the complete story and analysis, topics and discussions will be lacking.

  • Create analysis that informs
    Providing the board with face financial statements isn't the whole story—it matters how you got there in the first place. The board cares about what happened and what the drivers and sensitivities were. Experts also say that soft information should be top of mind when management prepares analysis.

  • Go paperless
    Without current information, the board and management can't have the right conversation. Board portals allow for greater collaboration between management and the board. The board is able to see the numbers, understand what is happening, and offer more meaningful insight and discussions at board meetings.

To make this partnership a well-oiled machine at your company, read the full white paper here.

Mike Rost
Vice President of Partnership and Alliance

About the Author

Mike Rost is a key contributor to product strategy at Workiva and works with business leaders in the areas of financial reporting and compliance. With more than 25 years of experience assisting organizations using technology to optimize business processes, Mike has an extensive background in finance and accounting, corporate performance management, and GRC technology. Mike was a founding member of XBRL International with involvement in the XBRL initiative dating back to 1999. He has also been active in industry associations, including the Open Compliance and Ethics Group (OCEG) and the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA). Mike has a bachelor's degree in economics and an MBA in marketing and finance from the University of Minnesota.

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