Resolution 2015: Question Your Reports

Dec 30, 2014

It is the time of year for resolutions. Something about a fresh start of a new year gets most people in the spirit of improvement. Many common resolutions are to get into shape, to lose weight, to eat healthier, etc. I know the advertisements for gym equipment and memberships seem to increase this time of year since that is on the forefront of many people’s minds. I generally don’t make resolutions, but I do often reflect on things I can do to improve myself. What kind of resolutions do you make?

When we think about resolutions we often think about our own personal life and personal gains. I challenge you to think about your professional life as well. Maybe resolve to be more efficient at work, improve your work-life balance, etc. What could you improve in aspects of your career?

questionOne thing I challenge any controller, or role that generates reports for others, would be to think about those reports. Why are you generating the reports that you are? What is their purpose? What is the benefit? Would anyone notice if you stopped? If you have attended any of our seminars where you have heard me talk about reporting you have heard me ask that very question. When I ask that question most people chuckle and then realize, wow you’re right, so many people wouldn’t notice. Then why are you doing so?

So often as accountants we do things because that is the way we have always done them. We fall into a pattern of continuously repeating each month and period end in the same manner year after year. Stop and think about why you are generating a report. Is it giving the user the best information that he or she needs? Is there a better report with additional information what would be more appropriate? Go and talk to the end user and ask them what they need. I challenge you to look at it as your job to know what they need as well, and to help them determine what they need.

Make a resolution to stop following last year and to really focus on what would be the most beneficial. I think you will be surprised how much better things can be when everyone has what they truly need.

Categories: Cost Accounting