Plug the Black Holes in Your Working Day

Three time-wasters that financial controllers should eliminate as soon as possible

Black holes are impenetrable. Their gravitational attraction knows no limits. Nothing and nobody can escape from them. And, worst of all, being black and embedded within the dark expanses of space, they are completely invisible.

Scene change: You arrive at the office in the morning… and before you know it, it’s lunchtime. A task that is only marginal to your job has devoured hours of your day. It has taken up your time, preventing you from making progress. As work within work, it remains largely invisible. However, unlike those in space, the black holes in your working day can be plugged.

Collecting data? Have the figures delivered.

Requests, reminders, being put on hold – by the time you have gathered all the data you need, you have had to make twenty follow-ups. Your colleagues take a lot of asking… but what else can you do?

The answer lies in collaboration, which means physically and organisationally separate teams working together. Share your document for your colleagues to enter their own figures. The audit trail in professional solutions keeps a permanent record of each entry, removing the need for painstaking follow-ups and coordination.

Corrections? Checks? Save yourself the trouble.

Right at this moment, perhaps, one of your colleagues is entering a number in your query. Unfortunately, the number is incorrect, which is going to distract you later with a lengthy search for the error. Someone else will copy a cell – and ruin the formula. If you’re lucky, Excel will return an error message. If not, oh well. You always glance over all the entries and totals anyway to check that they are plausible.

Automatic plausibility checks relieve you of these chores. The formulae defined in corporate performance management solutions, unlike those in Excel, cannot be modified by the users. And, to forestall any queries, your colleagues can add explanations to any entries that might not be immediately clear.

Design? That’s not your job.

You’re not a designer, right? Nevertheless, a uniform appearance enhances the quality of your reports.

Design produces clarity. Design makes the KPIs easier to find because they are always at the same place. Design provides comparability. Design enables report users to interpret reports from different sources quickly and correctly. Design conveys high quality and professionalism.

That’s precisely why you go to the trouble of putting your reports into an attractive layout. But wouldn’t you prefer to delegate this task and get on with what you’re actually supposed to be doing? Then why not leave the formatting of the figures to your corporate performance management solution? With standardised templates, the software will generate uniform reports while you have long been working on essential projects.

More freedom with time-wasters out of the way

When time-wasters vanish, you will have more freedom. What are you going to do with it? Perhaps new projects are already waiting for you, or perhaps you could initiate some improvements yourself, take a moment to relax or have coffee with your colleagues. Look beyond the horizon, look out into space – where black holes are still to be found.