5 CFO Reporting Challenges and How Can You Overcome Them?

24 May, 2022
4min read
Timothy Fogarty, AVP, Digital Transformation
Linkedin profile

What you'll learn

  • Financial reporting ensures the company’s overall financial stability and quality of work
  • CFOs face problems in creating reports that are essential for top management to make crucial decisions
  • Modern finance automation solutions enable finance teams to better manage their businesses through proactive planning and reporting
Reporting Challenges:
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Anyone who has worked in finance understands that financial reporting is fraught with difficulties. To overcome these typical roadblocks you need to find the right strategy you can to overcome these typical roadblocks is critical to increase the quality of work and ensure the company’s overall financial stability.

With the increase in the involvement of technology in finance, the amount of data available to finance teams has increased in recent years. So, why is it still so challenging to produce timely, accurate, simple-to-understand reports that assist executives across the organization to be aware of trends early?

46% of accounting teams feel they were serving stakeholders' needs successfully

In today’s situation, the leadership in various businesses hesitate to take action despite being aware that their financial reporting is not up to par. While there are many reasons for not taking action, the one that is foremost is the belief that making improvements is too complex and time-consuming. However, changes to reporting systems ensure better business results and enhance cash visibility.

In this blog, we look at some of the common reporting challenges.

Read our blog, ‘A Comprehensive Guide to Analytics in Order to Cash’, and learn more about AR reporting challenges and solutions.

Reporting Challenges:

1.Verifying the accuracy of reports

Spreadsheets are a great tool. However, the static nature of spreadsheets makes it challenging to produce updated financial reports fast and accurately. During the verification and review process, multiple accesses cause version control concerns and jeopardize the productivity of finance teams and the security of the reports.

Even with single-user spreadsheets, the lack of a centralized reporting system generates errors in measurements, data, and computations. Once errors are discovered, finance teams waste time checking and validating data to rectify them.

CFOs who automate data collection can increase data trust while making it easier to uncover valuable insights.

13% of CFOs said their finance teams would shift to a shared service model to save time

2.Staying up to date on regulatory changes

CFOs are always concerned about regulatory changes, especially when it comes to maintaining compliance with government regulations. The more locations a company conducts business in, the more regulatory standards a CFO must monitor and be aware of.

CFOs must also take the lead to increase their company’s data expertise, as well as align and standardize procedures, including automating certain processes where appropriate. With changing technology and new economic realities, a proactive strategy helps the organization stay compliant and ahead of the competition.

3.Siloed workflows

Financial reporting should be a collaborative effort between financial and non-financial managers to report the numbers and use them to generate insights and take action.

Communication and teamwork are always the issues when it comes to reporting. Operating managers frequently lack sufficient input or buy-in to the financial planning process and are unaware of how their decisions affect the overall profitability. Whereas the finance teams are unable to provide genuine performance insights that will help managers to improve results since static reporting methods do not allow stakeholder engagement.

Finance teams should strive for a collaborative solution that encourages and controls participation while also boosting company-wide accountability in the reporting process.

4.Turning reports into action

Financial data accuracy delivers crucial insights into the company’s financial well-being.

Unfortunately, converting data into action isn’t always straightforward. Invest in predictive budget software to predict outcomes and performance based on specific activities to help CFOs gain better insights

5.Handling data from multiple sources

41% of CFOs say they manage data from three to five sources systems

A CFO should be able to provide a clear insight into the company’s data and other relative performances to the company’s key stakeholders. The data should be actionable for the stakeholders to make critical decisions.
However, even one missing piece of data can prevent stakeholders from getting the required information.

Using typical reporting methods to obtain and include data that is generally kept outside the finance bracket adds complexity to the reporting process. The company’s website, CRM(Customer Management Platforms) platforms, ERM (Enterprise risk management)software, and other technologies that track transactions and customer interactions are potential financial data sources.

Unfortunately for CFOs, many of these platforms also track a broad range of non-financial data. While this information can be helpful in other areas (such as identifying bottlenecks in the sales process), it makes the CFO’s job more difficult.


Your finance team can become bogged down in low-value duties due to outdated technology, which prevents them from contributing value to the company. On the other hand, modern cloud finance solutions enable finance teams to better manage their businesses through proactive planning and reporting.

With modern cloud solutions, you can:

  1. Improve accuracy
  2. Interpret data easily
  3. Increase team collaboration
  4. Eliminate data inaccuracies


1.What reports do CFOs need?

Reports required by CFO for financial reporting:

  • Cash reserve and cash flow forecast report
  • OKR reporting (objectives & key results)
  • Financial risk reporting
  • Sales forecast 
  • Consolidated and segmented profit and loss statements, balance sheet, and previous cash flow reports
  • Product/sales mix 
  • Segmented gross margin/contribution
  • Customer behavior
  • Internal team productivity

2.What do CFOs worry about?

As the finance leader of the company, CFOs focus on areas including:

  • Presenting reports to the board, top management, and others to provide insight into how the business is doing
  • Creating timely, accurate, consolidated, and easy-to-digest reports for better insights
  • Making their financial reporting up to the mark to ensure a prosperous future

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