The Importance Of Real-time Data On Business Financials

Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Having access to real-time financial data is critical to running a business in today’s economy. Better yet, it’s a prerequisite to success and the most important part of remaining up-to-date with a company’s financial performance. Unfortunately, far too many of today’s businesses rely upon manual processes when managing their company’s day-to-day finances. Far too many are forced to deal with data entry and key entry errors, ones that come from managing the company’s finances via excel spreadsheets, word documents and timesheets.

The reality is that these reporting systems aren’t live, don’t benefit from collaborative efforts, have inaccurate information, are rarely updated on time and can’t provide the type of real-time data that today’s enterprises need to make critical financial decisions. This is why it’s of vital importance that companies have access to an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software that tracks the business’s finances in real time. Here are just some of the reasons why today’s businesses must have real-time data tracking on their financial performance.

Inventory Reconciliation

Properly managing inventory is essential to improving gross profit on sales and growing the company’s revenue and market share. With this comes the responsibility of reconciling inventory on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly basis. Companies must have a live system capable of tracking a company’s value of inventory in terms of its carrying costs, its costs of financing, its costs of obsolescence, its costs of damage, its costs of theft and finally, its costs of freight. ERP software allows companies to not only track the value of inventory in real-time, but it allows them to see the impact of each of these costs on a daily basis. Since inventory is often a company’s largest asset, having access to real-time financial data is critical to mitigating these aforementioned costs.

Cash Flow Management

Maintaining a positive cash position is vital in today’s economy. Proper cash flow management means the company must continually manage and reduce its costs of inventory and receivable financing. Increasing inventory turnover rates, and reducing the time it takes to collect on receivables, are both critical aspects to reducing the company’s financing and maintaining a positive cash position. Proper cash flow management depends upon having access to real-time data, the kind of data that is easily accessible, readily available and always indicative of the company’s costs of inventory and receivable financing.

Real Time Financial Reporting

At the end of the day, it’s all about having access to accurate financial data. Companies must not only manage their day-to-day finances, but they must have the necessary financial information in order to decide upon long-term capital expenditures. This information is also needed when companies plan on expansion as accurate financial data is critical to a go/no-go decision. In addition, timely financial data helps companies decide whether to treat fixed assets as either onetime purchases, or capitalized assets that are depreciated over time. These decisions come from having real-time data on income statements, balance sheets and cash flow statements. These three financial reporting structures rely upon the kind of data that simply can’t be managed by excel spreadsheets or multiple timesheets.

Today’s businesses are constantly struggling to maintain a positive cash position. A large part of the problem relates to the high costs of dealing with customer bankruptcies and late receivables collection. Other issues pertain to a company’s costs to finance its inventory counts. Ultimately, companies need access to real-time financial data because it helps them to better manage their finances, which in turn allows them to reduce costs and improve efficiencies. This is why so many of today’s companies must do away with the high costs of managing finances via timesheets, word documents and excel spreadsheets.