Detailed Monthly Cash Flow and Balance Sheet Analysis
As company revenue growth tapered and management contemplated a regular dividend, periodic cash flow analysis began to receive greater scrutiny.
Senior management began demanding detailed monthly cash flow and balance sheet analysis. Such analysis required a major evolution in the financial reporting team’s daily operations.
Initially, this task fell to the veteran analyst. Supported by temporary contract labor, the analyst leveraged existing data collection systems and processes—primarily SharePoint® and Excel® spreadsheets.
- The increased frequency of reporting, along with the more detailed analysis required to provide management with a clear understanding of monthly cash flows, devoured roughly 60 man-hours per month.
- During the next year, the financial reporting manager took advantage of the team's growing capacity. The manager realized an opportunity to increase the quality of the monthly cash flow and balance sheet analysis provided to management, while simultaneously reducing the time and effort necessary to produce it.
- The prior year, the financial reporting team had implemented Wdesk for its SEC reporting.
- The team had involved the controllers across all lines of business to author and edit the disclosures related to their areas of responsibility directly in Wdesk, which reduced the time required to prepare Forms 10-Q and 10-K and improved the quality of disclosure.
- The financial reporting manager began to apply this principle of direct authorship to the monthly cash flow and balance sheet analysis—moving it from an Excel-based format into Wdesk.
- The result was a set of standardized data input templates directly populated by information providers in each line of business and boilerplate language for each direction of flux.
- Information providers across all lines of business were able to input their numeric data in a matter of minutes and then choose from a menu of standardized explanations of financial results. Those two steps generated a substantially more complete monthly cash flow and balance sheet analysis in a very short period of time.
- The financial reporting team further leveraged Wdesk by linking fundamental financial metrics in the monthly cash flow and balance sheet analysis to SEC filing documents (i.e., Forms 10-Q and 10-K). This sharing of information greatly facilitated the unavoidable reconciliation of internally reported results with externally reported results.
- Reducing the time necessary to produce the reporting required by management on a monthly and quarterly basis
- Improving the quality of analysis of financial results of operations
- Making it easy for management to reconcile its proprietary, internal view of the company with the wider view required by statutory financial reporting requirements
- The monthly cash flow and balance sheet analysis produced using Wdesk became a standard heavily utilized by the management team as well as the external audit team.
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