Adapt IT's Nienke Kruger talks integrated finance reporting at Finance Indaba

With the advancements in financial technology, accountants need to operate an integrated financial reporting ecosystem.

The world of financial reporting continues to grow and become more complicated, and at the same time, accountants need to comply with regulations. This means accountants can no longer work in isolation; the entire process has to be integrated and symbiotic. 

As part of integrating your financial ecosystem, you need to improve the software you use for reporting. Speaking at day two of the 2019 Financial Indaba, Nienke Kruger, product manager for financial reporting at CaseWare Africa/Adapt IT explains. 

“Software should be improved as time goes on, and with regards to reporting, you have to continuously improve your software to keep up with the times.

Time and money spent on reporting 

In South Africa, $31 billion is spent on bad data. The main driver for this is simple data having heavy workloads on it. People spend 90 percent of their time using data, and are concerned about what they are reporting, while another 60 percent have a good idea of what they are reporting. Surprisingly, 71 percent of businesses still use MS Excel for financial reporting.

CaseWare has continuously improved its XBRL, a global framework for exchanging business information. XBRL allows the expression of semantic meaning commonly required in business reporting. CaseWare’s improvements save time for organisations, who will also be notified about any warnings that appear. 

How their solution works 

You create a new engagement, connect it with CaseWare to your accounting engagement, add notes, edit those notes, review them, and then export them to the population and you’re done. These are automated financial statements on the cloud. The solution works to meet the following financial reporting requirements:

  • Interim reporting 
  • Tax returns
  • Annual returns 
  • Annual financial statements
  • XBRL
  • Budgets
  • Integrated reports

The future for accountants

Accountants need to be ethical, and they need to understand technology-based financial tools are out there to help them with engagements, says Nienke. They also need to grasp the concept of software can do for them. 

In the end, when you present something that is not accurate, it directly reflects badly on your organisation. Accountants will send a clear message, the correct version of the truth does not need to be repeated more than once, and interim results will be the same, because it pulls from the same data source.

Accountants should be trusted by whatever organisation they are working for, they should put the right processes in place, and the accounting process has to be efficient and effective, says Nienke. They must use digital tools, automation and the cloud. Their job is to protect the brand that they serve on both a financial and non-financial level.