Automating Financial and Revenue Reporting: A Comprehensive Guide

By Matt Klepac, CEO of Vertify

Within successful B2B businesses, go-to-market strategies use trusted revenue and financial reporting techniques for sustainable growth. Prospects, customers, and market trends are rapidly moving and evolving and, more so today than ever before, mid-market and enterprise B2B organizations are recognizing the need to streamline and enhance their revenue and financial reporting processes. 

Some companies have the resources to attempt to keep their reporting needs in house, but often find the manual process to be extremely time consuming, error prone, and lacking the agility required to respond to the ever-changing market dynamics. Others work with consulting firms who also manually attempt reporting, but keeping up with the speed of the customer and market is virtually impossible. 

Then there’s the more mature companies who use automation to help them achieve predictable growth through real time, consistently trusted revenue and financial reporting. Many choose to bring these automation tools and techniques in house, while others work with forward-thinking growth consulting firms who are using these same 3rd party automation tools and techniques to deliver trusted reporting outcomes to their customers. 

In this blog post, we’ll shed some light on the benefits, tools, and challenges associated with automating revenue reporting and KPI intelligence. Let’s explore.

Benefits of Automating Revenue Reporting and KPI Intelligence

Increased Accuracy
Let’s face it, humans make mistakes. Automating revenue reporting eliminates the risk of human error, ensuring accurate financial data and reducing the likelihood of compliance issues. In return, automation gives employees and team members time back so they can focus on the things they do well and that the business needs to achieve the growth curve they are looking for. 

Time Efficiency
How much time do your teams spend on reporting and metrics gathering every week, month, and quarter? If you answer that honestly, it is likely upwards of 40 hours a month. That is not sustainable, and it leads to mistakes, inconsistencies, and turning away from the data all together. Alternatively, automation significantly accelerates the reporting process, allowing growth and finance teams to focus on analysis and strategic decision-making rather than manual data entry. Automation empowers trusted baseline reporting from the start and continuous improvement through weekly, monthly, and quarterly trusted KPI delivery. 

Real-time Insights
Automated KPI intelligence provides real-time visibility into key business metrics, enabling quicker and more informed decision-making. The fact is, business leaders demand and rely on ongoing, real time information to make decisions. If they solely focus on gut, boards will eventually see right through these techniques, and the results will be inconsistent at best and abysmal at worst.  

So, your business has chosen to invest in automation and is seeing the benefits, growing at 50%+ YoY. As businesses grow, automated systems can easily scale to handle increasing volumes of data and reporting requirements without a proportional increase in manual effort. Manual does not scale. This is where trusting in systems to help you grow allows you to continue on your growth journey without extreme roadblocks that manual controls deliver. 

Benefits of Continuous Automated KPI Intelligence

Revenue and financial reporting, as well as KPI delivery, is not a one-and-done project. Companies must invest in ongoing automated reporting to keep pace and to sustain growth. So, what are these benefits, and how can you take advantage of them for your business?

Let’s start with proactive decision-making. Continuous KPI intelligence enables organizations to identify trends and anomalies promptly, allowing for proactive decision-making and strategic planning. 

This leads to agility for your company as well. If you need to take a right turn abruptly, you want to have the confidence that you should be taking a right turn and not a left, right? How do you ensure that this is the direction you should go? Continuous intelligence allows businesses to quickly adapt to market changes, optimizing strategies based on real-time insights. 

In addition, automated reporting can start to produce predictive information. No, this is not where you start, but this is the goal. Down the road, automation tools can be leveraged to implement predictive analytics, forecasting future trends and supporting data-driven decision-making.

Automation Tools for Organization and Setup

Fortunately, there are many reporting automation tools in the market today, and businesses hold the power as to which solution set and company they want to work with. IT teams no longer need to worry about building or maintaining solutions that attempt to aid in the efficiency process of handling data. Now, they can trust purpose-built automation companies to build and maintain solutions that deliver extreme value to revenue and finance teams. 

But, which one is right for you? Let’s start by outlining a top performer in the market. 

Vertify offers seamless integration and automation capabilities for the business unit, ensuring data accuracy across various platforms. Its user friendly, no code interface simplifies the initial setup process and ongoing user experience for automated reporting. Vertify is a robust platform that allows billion dollar enterprises from across the globe to scale their businesses across a myriad of workflows, including revenue reporting, lead management, personalization, and many more. Vertify scales from lower mid-market to fortune 100 businesses. And, growth oriented services firms lean on the Vertify technology to enable their services for a faster time to decision making and program automation. 

When looking at solutions like Vertify remember that data management and automation engagements require collaboration between the automation product company and the business choosing to purchase that product. Therefore, be sure you like the people you are doing business with, because you will be working alongside them for the foreseeable future. 

BI Tools for Visualizing Ongoing Intelligence

Once you have the automation tools in place to ensure guaranteed and accurate delivery of data across your customer data tech stack, you need to ensure that the delivery of this mission-critical revenue data is delivered to a BI platform you can trust. So, who should you look at, and which one is right for your business?

Microsoft Power BI is a robust intelligence tool that enables users to create interactive dashboards and reports. It seamlessly provides dynamic visualizations of ongoing intelligence when coupled with a solution like Vertify. Power BI is supported by the Microsoft ecosystem and is one of the key players in today’s BI marketplace. 

Domo’s cloud-based platform offers powerful visualization capabilities as well. It consolidates data from diverse sources, providing comprehensive insights through customizable dashboards. Domo is an emerging player in the space and offers a lot of native functionality that is proving to be highly valuable to mid-market companies. 

Snowflake’s cloud data platform allows organizations to store and analyze vast amounts of data. It’s the cream of the crop and on the cutting edge of the market today. Its scalable architecture ensures that businesses can visualize ongoing intelligence effectively and efficiently. 

All three of these platforms work well for mid-market and enterprise companies and play nicely with the automation solutions above. Do your own evaluation and uncover which one makes the most sense for your five year growth journey. 

Challenges With Manual Revenue Reporting and KPI Intelligence

Let’s start with manual revenue reporting and data aggregation being prone to errors. Manual reporting is susceptible to errors, leading to inaccuracies in financial data and potential compliance issues. This results in a lack of trust, which in turn results in less reliance on data and more on intuition. 

In addition, manual reporting is extremely time consuming. The manual process of collecting, entering, and validating data limits the agility of finance teams. People are your number one asset, and data is your number two asset. You want both of them to be optimized. If the humans in your business are spending 10-20 hours a week on data collections and manipulation (which delivers data that is not 100% trustworthy), then you are doing something wrong. This is costly and puts your business at risk, which puts your people at risk. 

And lastly, manual revenue reporting is not real-time reporting. Manual reporting delays decision-making, as insights are not available in real-time, hindering the organization’s ability to respond promptly to market changes. Businesses need to operate at the speed of real-time, and in today’s market, there is no excuse to not use automation solutions to help you achieve this real-time reporting result. 

Deploying a New Revenue and Financial Reporting Strategy

Looking to deploy an automated revenue reporting strategy, or looking to improve your current automation strategy? Here are five things to think about as you deploy and set yourself up to win with revenue data: 

  1. Comprehensive Training: Ensure that the marketing, sales, customer, and finance teams receive comprehensive training on the new automated systems to maximize efficiency and minimize errors. Revenue operations teams can lead the way in a successful training process.
  2. Data Security Measures: Implement robust data security measures to safeguard sensitive financial information, considering encryption, access controls, and regular audits. Automation solutions like Vertify can ensure the highest level of governance and security. 
  3. Integration Testing: Work with an automation company that conducts thorough integration testing in the beginning and ongoing automated error handling controls to ensure seamless connectivity between automation tools, BI platforms, and existing systems.
  4. Continuous Monitoring and Optimization: Establish a system for continuous monitoring of automated processes, identifying areas for optimization and improvement as needed. Once again, automation platforms worth their weight should keep you aware of success and failures within your automations. 
  5. Stakeholder Communication: Communicate the benefits of the new reporting strategy to stakeholders, ensuring a smooth transition and obtaining their support for ongoing improvements.

That’s a Wrap

Automating revenue reporting and KPI intelligence is integral for modern businesses seeking to stay competitive in a fast-paced environment. The benefits of accuracy, efficiency, and real-time insights, coupled with the right automation and BI tools, can transform financial reporting processes. By understanding the challenges and adopting a strategic approach during deployment, your organization can pave the way for a more agile and data-driven future.

Want to see first hand how Vertify can help you automate your revenue reporting? Book a demo to see Vertify in action today!