As the business intelligence solution market evolved, many enterprises struggled to determine and establish the best use for these tools. In the beginning, BI tools were isolated to users in the analyst or IT community where reports and analysis were produced on request. This information was shared with executives and senior managers, and was not accessible to business users or financial, accounting or auditing professionals within the organization. If these professionals did receive this information, it was often incomplete and inaccurate.
Today, Business intelligence is more accessible and user-friendly, and many organizations are actively working to cascade these tools to business users and to CPAs, finance professionals, investment advisors and auditors. While BI tools were previously seen as reporting and analytical tools, CPAs and other financial pros have discovered the value of actionable, fact-based business intelligence. Predictive analysis and key performance indicators (KPIs) provide objective metrics and a planning and forecasting environment in which these professionals can ensure accurate, clear reporting and planning.
For the CPA, it is important to work with business units, managers and team to agree upon and establish the data analytical needs and information that will best suit their requirements, and personalize the approach to give the team or unit what they need to improve their own planning and results. In this way, the CPA can ensure that the data provided to the unit will not come as a surprise. The proactive approach will always provide more consistent, dependable results!
CPAs and financial professionals can work with IT staff to ensure that user access and system security is appropriately configured and that all related systems and software solutions are included in the integrated environment.
When all business requirements are identified, a financial professional or manager can easily leverage BI tools to gather, analyze and manage data and monitor and report on this data with alerts and notifications. The wise CPA will also look at measurements and metrics to monitor and help the business to manage business processes and resources against budgets and results.
If the enterprise establishes mobile, self-serve BI tools for its business users, CPAs and financial pros can easily share reports and information with business units, thereby ensuring timely response to issues and a more collaborative, meaningful environment in which to do business.
In this way, the organization can establish and encourage a team approach to managing data and results and allow the financial professional to use knowledge and skills to better support and improve the performance of the organization and its staff.
In today’s competitive business market, the role of a CPA, financial investment professional, auditor or finance manager is crucial to business success. In order to play a proactive, collaborative role in the organization, financial and accounting professionals must work with Business Intelligence tools to identify risk, monitor and measure results and offer recommendations and solutions to improve the bottom line and the planning and predictive process.
Dynamic business intelligence can provide crucial support and analytical capabilities for auditors, CPAs, financial advisors and finance managers alike.