Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Top 10 Financial Accounting Mandates

Today's guidelines for financial reporting call for the highest possible level of accuracy, speed, and competency. Here are the top ways to meet the demands of a new reporting era, and how Microsoft and i.t.works can help:

1. Guarantee corporate integrity by ensuring consistency with numbers and transparency across the organization. This includes finding ways to facilitate the gathering and reporting of accurate information.

2. Promote greater collaboration and communication among different departments, putting an end to the "silo" mentality that keeps data in separate places and prevents applications - and people - from sharing up-to-date information.

3. Increase business insight inside the company, so virtually any employee can identify a mistake or questionable activity before it becomes a major issue.

4. Provide better information management by enusuring that everyone involved in the company's governance processes is knowledgeable and informed. This includes enhancing the board's understanding of how the company reports financials (that is, what the numbers mean and what metrics are supported by the numbers).

5. Empower your employees with a heightenend responsibility for detecting and correcting financial reporting anomalies, inaccuracies, and omissions.

6. Improve relationships with investors by providing a better picture of non-financial performance in areas such as productivity levels, operational quality, overhead, customer satisfaction and loyalty, work-force loyalty, the level of innovation within the company, the value of its brand names, and more. Ideally, CFO's will gain greater business insight into what interested parties really want to know and then articulate that information to them, helping to build credibility while maintaining control over strategic information.

7. Install a tighter system of checks and balances to reduce the chance of errors. Maintain accuracy and integrity in an environment where shared responsibilty requires additional controls.

8. Empower budget-makers with technological tools that help increase their budgeting/forecasting accuracy.

9. Implement financial software to help strengthen controls within business units.

10. Improve collaboration with investors by communicating consistently and frequently.

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