Disputing budget reconciliation numbers is frustrating for the finance team. This can sometimes be an error-prone area because you likely receive data from multiple sources, or there might be inefficiencies and your IT department can’t deliver what you need in a timely manner.
But that doesn’t change the fact that when your CFO asks about the financial condition of the company, they want answers as soon as possible – if not immediately.
It’s great if you can pull things together at the last minute, or plug the numbers you need in by hand, but you can’t and shouldn’t always have to cram for the data you need. That’s where the new Microsoft Power BI can help. Read on to learn how Power BI can help you get the accurate financial data you need when you need it most.
Whether you’re pulling data for your sales team or marketing department, your financial data must be accurate. Since data needs often come from various segments of an organization, it must be verifiable across all departments. CFOs and their staff need trustworthy answers they can use for decision-making purposes; Power BI can assist with this.
Power BI can help provide accurate spreadsheet data instantly and in real-time without the need for second-guessing. Excel has been a strong tool to help with reporting in the past, but many analysts find issues with version control and linking. The use of Power BI also reduces the need to have 20 spreadsheets linked together – another downfall of relying on Excel.
With true business intelligence, you have the data you need at your fingertips with speed and efficiency, along with an easy-to-use dashboard that works in real-time. Benefits include more accurate forecasting, increased flexibility, better response times and improved access to information.
Also, Power BI is beneficial when you are on the road and need to access up-to-date data on a mobile device, whether by smartphone or tablet. If you’ve got an Internet connection, you can view your dashboard as if you were sitting at your desk. Integration with Salesforce or other CRM platform can help with accessing customer data since you can streamline the information you need.
For Power BI to help your team, it has to be implemented with modeling, forecasting, performance management and profitability management. There may need to be integrations and adjustments along the way, but the ultimate goal is to cut down on lagging response times and inaccuracies. Increasing efficiency and reliability requires extensive time with only Excel spreadsheet data. Power BI, on the other hand, helps teams develop better management strategies.
Before you do anything, your organization must first commit to making some changes, because your finance department needs consolidated, clean and integrated data. One of the first steps is replacing handwritten reports with more automated processes to help target the areas that need the most change. The result? Your company will be able to target those areas that is under-performing and demonstrating the most inconsistencies.
Sometimes using Excel alone is the problem, since it won’t and can’t readily give the answers CFOs need without some degree of data manipulation. This issue is often what drives businesses to seek out help with Power BI initiatives. With Power BI, that hard-to-integrate data becomes a reliable and necessary tool.
Aside from the increased competence in the financials you need, Power BI can help with decision-making data, useful reporting, timely responses, and reliable solutions. The benefit of having Power BI with your financial data is that your numbers are accurate, it reduces time wasted on multiple spreadsheets, and the dashboard is always up-to-date and reporting. The Internet demands we have real-time access, and that includes the data you use. In a time when you can’t afford to “rework the numbers,” let Power BI guide you to the data you need.
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