Blog  •  December 08, 2021

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How to Get Ahead of the Game by Automating your External Reporting Processes?

Quarterly and annual report filings are dreaded by many finance teams, and for good reasons. A lot of companies still file their reports manually. In-house or outsourced, manual filing is time consuming and increases risks of errors that can have a dramatic impact on a company's reputation and finances.

For public companies filing is a requirement, however, for smaller businesses it is a choice that can have a positive impact on the business. Indeed, filing regular reports on your company's health can attract new investors and help you achieve your growth goals. However, as a small to medium business your resources and budget are limited, so why have your finance team mobilised for days doing these reports when you could automatise a lot of the reporting process with a tool?

DFIN's ActiveDisclosure is built to give your team a robust set of streamlined features for quick, real-time collaboration and accurate financial reporting.

Streamline and simplify the reporting process with Guided Workflow

Remember filing your last report? First, you defined whom to attribute the different tasks to, then, you prepared an email including all the people you had a task for and entered the details on who need to do what. It took you time. You had to include links to where the tasks had to be done, to the resources required to fulfil these tasks and so on.

Imagine now this same process with ActiveDisclosure guided workflows. In a few clicks you can get your team aware of what needs to be done and where.

Guided workflows help streamline and simplify the reporting process. Here is how:

  1. Task assignment

From the platform, you can directly assign tasks to one or several team members. When you assign a task (or more), the assignee will receive an email notification letting him know of this new task assignment. If the user is not yet a ActiveDisclosure user, he will easily be able to create an account and start working on the task at hand.

For users that already have access to the software, in addition to the notification, they will also see their assigned tasks in their dashboard.

As the project manager, you will be able to see who has started or already completed their tasks. For overdue tasks, reminders can be sent directly from the software.

  1. Approval process

In a similar way, once a report is entering the approval phase, ActiveDisclosure allows you to assign tasks ready for review to numerous users. They will receive an email notification and see the new task in their dashboard. A task will only be approved once all the reviewers have read and approved the task individually.

This way, you eliminate the risk of getting a task approved before all required reviewers had time to check it. You can also see who has not reviewed the task yet and thus holding up the approval process.

End the manual copy/paste era to keep your Word documents up to date.

To avoid spending hours copy/pasting the latest data from one file to another the only options your company has is to build an integration from your source system to your reporting documents or pay for a third-party tool.

Building your own is time consuming and can be costly if you do not already have the expertise in house. At any moment it can stop working, requiring someone to investigate the problem and spending time fixing it.

With ActiveDisclosure you can keep your reporting documents updated automatically. It allows you to push seamlessly and easily your updated financial data from your Excel workbook to your document ending the era of copy/pasting.

Save time with pre-built SEC forms and iXBRL tagging capabilities

As your company grows and the demand for reporting increases, you can facilitate your finance team's reporting process with a tool that already has all the most common SEC forms pre-built.

From 10-Q to 20-F, the ActiveDisclosure has pre-built forms that will accelerate the reporting need of your company as you grow. The software pulls the data from your source file so that you do not have to manually update it. Furthermore, if you are heading toward an IPO, you will even be able to publish your reports directly from ActiveDisclosure to SEC.

In addition to pre-built forms, the ActiveDisclosure provide XBRL tagging capabilities so that you can tag or have us do the tagging of your reports before submitting them.

Too many companies are still updating and publishing their financial data manually. While large public companies frequently pay outside organisations to compile lengthy reports on their behalf, smaller ones do it internally with the little resources they have. Investing in a tool like ActiveDisclosure can help you save valuable time and money and can scale your growing company.

The ActiveDisclosure could be the right solution for you and your company, why not get in touch to find out?