Many companies have streamlined the process of closing the books – both at the legal entity level and the corporate level – through the use of enterprise software solutions.
But what happens after the last entry has been made in your consolidations system? Often, manual processes again take over; there is a proliferation of documents in spreadsheet and word processing formats; conflicting edits are made to the same information in different document versions; approvals are often sent on e-mail and are not saved as part of an audit trail.
Companies can realize significant savings by implementing a solution that allows them to reduce the time, risk and cost of regulatory disclosures, by managing the production, publication and filing of financial regulatory statements and reports. The SAP BusinessObjects Disclosure Management application, which was acquired from cundus as announced in a press release in December, 2010, was released in April, 2011.
The primary benefits and features of the disclosure management solution include:
- Speed and flexibility. Data from various systems is brought together for one source of the truth. Source data can come from consolidations, core financials, and business intelligence systems, as well as spreadsheets and manual entry; the finance organization can refresh the disclosure data from the source systems at any time. The information from multiple source systems is then combined with narrative to construct financial and regulatory statements.
- Collaboration. A built-in workflow manages the editing and approvals processes between teams and individuals. A financial statement is broken down into chapters and sub-chapters; only one editor can work on a chapter at any given time. The workflow controls the notification of other team members when a chapter or a statement is complete. A comparison of any two versions, highlighting the changes made, can be made at any time.
- Compliance and control. Approvals of individual chapters, and of the overall financial and regulatory statements, maintain a compliant audit trail. Once approved, the financial statements can be published in multiple publication-ready formats, including Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and PowerPoint), Adobe PDF and HTML. The same data used for the financial statements can also be tagged and electronically filed in XBRL format.
The diagram below depicts the process at a high level, from inputs, to the processes management by SAP BusinessObjects Disclosure Management, to the financial reports and statement outputs.
To find out more about the new solution: