3 Steps to Automate your Annual Financial Report with Business Intelligence

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I recently met with Graeme Hoy from the University of Canberra to understand more about how CALUMO software was helping them out.  CALUMO is UC's Finance reporting and budgeting tool.  Reports are delivered to many departments throughout the University as live web pages and some Excel reports too. CALUMO is also used to collect and consolidate contributions from across the faculties in the annual budgeting process.  In addition University of Canberra manages their student critical load planning with CALUMO.  There is more about CALUMO's usage at University of Canberra here and on Microsoft's Ray Fleming's blog here.

University of Canberra have just started using a feature we recently released - CALUMO Skylights. The capability to dynamically link BI data to Word documents and PowerPoint presentations with CALUMO Skylights is built right into CALUMO. Skylights isn't a bolt on you have to buy, you just get it.

University of Canberra are using Skylights to produce their annual reports (they have more than one).  The annual report is written in Microsoft Word using a special font the marketing team has provided.  This report goes to UC's printers for a beautiful print out and PDF ready for distribution in Australia and across the world. The annual report has no less than 44 notes to the accounts and the main schedules (tables of data).  That's more than most organisations have to deal with and probably not quite as many as BHP Billiton.

What are the benefits?

  1. Changing notes layout is quick and easy. Modify your note in Excel, republish (one button click) then refresh your Word document (the second button click) and you're done.
  2. Real time. Since the Word document can be updated with a single click (and not a song and dance), there's no need to wait until numbers are finalised.  The document can take shape progressively and updated immediately as results harden.
  3. No tables in Word required! Phew! You don't need to mess around with tables in word and live with what Word offers any more.  No more check, check and then re-check that hand calculations have flowed through to all schedules.
  4. No copy and Paste from Excel – Did that ever work anyway?
  5. Post a journal and see the result in your annual report in minutes.

So how does CALUMO Skylights help?

Updating annual report notes to the accounts is complete in 5-10 minutes. CALUMO Skylights offers a ribbon in Microsoft Word that helps you add CALUMO Skylights and the magic button – Refresh All Skylights. UC have included all the notes required for their annual report as CALUMO Skylights (CALUMO reports). Now they need only update a transaction in the ERP then hit the Refresh All Skylights button in Word and the entire annual report is updated. See how here:

 

 

 

 

How did University of Canberra do it (the 3 steps)?

  1. Build your Financial consolidations in CALUMO. UC initially used CALUMO for management reporting so adding financial reporting was a breeze. Graeme created a new entity in the ERP for eliminations. The ERP is far and away the best place to hold journals – that's what it's for. CALUMO grabs data from new entity and a new hierarchy was built in CALUMO. Most time is taken getting the structure correct which is a decision process, the actual work to add the new hierarchy is very fast.
  2. Create your notes in Excel and publish them as CALUMO web pages. This is a very fast process and with CALUMO's add in to Excel takes a few minutes.  Excel is so flexible, you aren't limited to Words tables any more.
  3. Add report to Word document using Skylights. Using CALUMO's ribbon in word, you select Insert, select your report and you're done.  A live, printable note, linked to your ERP is ready to send to the printer.

CALUMO doesn't write the words for you - yet.  Stay tuned on that one.

If you would like more information, please email me at wleitch@calumo.com.

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