Mark Macaluso, Vice President of Professional Services at Tagetik, discussed the strategic advantages of developing collaborative financial reporting.
“I’ve been in this space of financial reporting for a long time. Things are changing rapidly and they’re getting crazier by the moment,” announced Macaluso at the outset of his thought leadership presentation at the 2016 Chief Financial Officer Leadership Forum held on November 2 in New York. “We’re at a stage now of ‘adapt but stay in control.’ In the past, when the CFO discussed reporting, the meaning was clear. It was primarily focused on the P&L, balance sheet, cash flow, 10Q, 10K, etc. Now the expectation has changed to a more holistic reporting cycle that includes insights as well as numbers. It requires more than the black and white or right and wrong of reporting numbers. It requires not only financial information but narratives and recommendations. CEOs are looking to the Office of Finance to provide this, and the CFO is now playing a strategic part in driving the company and setting the direction,” explained Macaluso.
“Now the expectation has changed to a more holistic reporting cycle that includes insights as well as numbers. Financial reporting requires more than the black and white or right and wrong of reporting numbers.”
“Reporting demands and requests are now coming from all over. These stakeholders range from frontline managers to the board of directors and external investors and auditors. They’re looking for the same core information but want to view it from different angles. It’s becoming challenging to do reporting when the requirement is so complex. The solution is collaboration,” stated Macaluso.
“A successful approach to address these issues is having one central application that manages not only data but also the entire process of sourcing the data, converting that data into information that can be reflected in reports, creating the narrative to interpret results and document plans of action, and producing the required outputs for all the different stakeholders in all the different formats in which they prefer to consume it.”
Macaluso talked about a KPMG survey titled, “A View from the Top,” which interviewed over 500 CEO-type executives at companies with $500M in revenue and above. “The survey found that one in three CEOs worry that their CFOs aren’t prepared for the challenges ahead. This means the CFO and the Office of Finance will have to become more innovative, because innovation is great for growth. However, innovation also increases risk,” said Macaluso.
“One in three CEOs worry that their CFOs aren’t prepared for the challenges ahead. This means the CFO and the Office of Finance will have to become more innovative, because innovation is great for growth. However, innovation also increases risk.”
“We must view this as an opportunity—an opportunity for the Office of Finance and CFO to elevate and influence the strategic direction of the company. Here’s an excerpt from this KPMG survey: The regulatory environment will have the most influence on the future role of the CFO; 61% of CEOs see it as an opportunity to derive competitive advantage.
“What makes collaborative reporting possible is technology. We need management of the data that’s up-to-the-minute, transparent, accessible, and consumable on all devices. Going from issuing standard reports to collaborative reporting is a big leap,” Macaluso pointed out. “It’s necessary to assess where you are and take a staged approach to creating this transformation. This is accomplished using what’s called the reporting continuum—walking before you run. The Office of Finance must determine where it stands now and where it wants to be on this reporting continuum.” Collaborative reporting comprises five sequential levels:
1. Financial reporting—which may still be manual
2. Management reporting
3. Disclosure reporting
4. Narrative reporting
5. Collaborative reporting
In conclusion, Macaluso stated, “What we’re talking about here is a unified platform for collaborative reporting. This is what drives financial success. This means not only combining financial data, the nonfinancial data, the unstructured data, and managing the narrative but having financial intelligence that recognizes when a number isn’t good. It also means that all the stakeholders using this data—finance, CEO, board, regulators, management—know the data is current and correct. Everyone must be looking at the same field, on whatever device and wherever they are.”
“What we’re talking about here is a unified platform for collaborative reporting. This is what drives financial success. This means not only combining financial data, the nonfinancial data, the unstructured data, and managing the narrative but having financial intelligence that recognizes when a number isn’t good.”
ABOUT MARK MACALUSO:
Mark J. Macaluso has over 25 years of management experience in the enterprise software/technology industry in various senior and executive roles focusing on Professional Services and Sales Engineering. He has experience in both start-up and corporate environments with an exceptional track record in innovation, solution development, and global team leadership. His Professional Services strengths include building and growing world-class teams to develop and launch global business initiatives that contribute to revenue growth, margin growth, and customer satisfaction. His contributions to Hyperion Solutions, Cartesis, Business Objects, Tidemark, and Tagetik are examples of his success in this area. His Sales Engineering strengths include growing and building world-class teams to increase license revenue by developing global strategies focused on delivering consistency and repeatability to demonstrate the art of the possible. His contributions to Cartesis, Endeca, and MarkLogic are examples of his success in this area. Mark was a member of the Hyperion Solutions Executive Management Team, Cartesis Inc. Executive Management Team, Endeca Operations Executive Management Team, and Tidemark Executive Management Team, and he’s currently a member of the Tagetik North America Executive Management Team.
Mark, who lives in New Jersey, has a B.S. in marketing and business administration from Kean University in Union, NJ. He is co-founder of Megan’s Miracles for Pediatric Cancer, a non-profit dedicated to funding pediatric cancer research and providing support for families with children battling cancer.