Streamlining Corporate Reporting with Oracle Narrative Reporting
Author: David Silverstrim | | December 19, 2023
In the fast-paced world of corporate finance, accurate and timely reporting is more critical than ever. As economic landscapes shift, reported earnings can become increasingly volatile, making it essential for organizations to provide clear and sustainable explanations of their financial performance. This is where Oracle Cloud EPM Narrative Reporting steps in, revolutionizing corporate and management reporting. In this blog, we’ll delve into what Narrative Reporting is, the common challenges it addresses, and its benefits for businesses.
Understanding Narrative Reporting
Narrative Reporting is a specialized business process available within Oracle Cloud EPM, designed for management, regulatory, and narrative reporting. It offers a secure, collaborative, and process-driven approach for creating, reviewing, and publishing financial and management reports, both for internal and external stakeholders. This versatile tool also serves as a cross-cloud service reporting platform, seamlessly integrating data sources from various Cloud EPM services.
Oracle Narrative Reporting is particularly well-suited for a range of reporting needs, including periodic management reporting, budget books, SEC reporting, insurance statutory filings, and CAFR and FERC reporting.
Use Case 1: Satisfying the Reporting Consumer’s Needs
Common Challenges for Reporting Consumers:
- Inability to Answer Vital Questions: Reporting consumers often struggle to access the information necessary to effectively run their organizations.
- Inconsistent Data Sources: Data sources frequently yield inconsistent results, hindering the creation of a unified reporting truth.
- Time-Consuming Data Collection: Significant time is spent collecting and transforming data into meaningful insights.
- Integration Challenges: Combining on-premises, cloud, and other data sources can be complex for traditional reporting tools.
- Lack of User-Friendly Tools: User-friendly reporting tools for accessing performance data are often lacking.
- Security Deficiencies: Inadequate security measures limit access to relevant data.
Use Case 2: Satisfying the Reporting Creator’s Needs
Common Challenges for Reporting Creators:
- Silos and Lack of Standardization: Reporting creators face challenges in building meaningful reports within isolated environments.
- Inefficient Processes: Lack of standardized processes leads to inconsistent results and increased time spent building and validating reports.
- Collaboration Challenges: Ineffective collaboration due to numerous individuals involved in the reporting process.
- Manual Steps: The need for manual alignment of qualitative information with quantitative data.
Additional Common Challenges
Other common challenges that Narrative Reporting addresses include:
- Delivering the right information to the right audience.
- Aligning qualitative information with quantitative data.
- Ensuring effective collaboration and efficient workflow.
Benefits to the Business
Implementing Oracle Narrative Reporting brings numerous benefits to organizations, including:
- Faster Financial Reporting Processes: Enhanced efficiency and accuracy through standardized calculations, automated workflows, and documented procedures.
- Greater Transparency: Integration of processes with consolidation and general ledger systems for improved transparency.
- Automated Centralized Reporting: Streamlined reporting across general ledger, consolidation, and planning systems.
- Standardization: Elimination of homegrown, disparate reporting systems.
- Risk Mitigation: Reduced risk of process knowledge loss due to employee turnover.
- Cost Savings: Decreased cost per user, elimination of hardware upgrades, and access to continuous software upgrades.
- Simplified Automation: Automation of tasks and processes.
- Simplified Integration: Seamless integration leveraging the cloud platform.
So, how does Oracle Narrative Reporting address these challenges and provide a comprehensive solution for corporate reporting needs?
Components of Narrative Reporting:
- Report Packages
- Excel and Word supported data sources
- Comments on authorized users
- Publish reports in PDF, Excel and HTML formats
- Regulatory reports
- XBRL Taxonomy designer
- SBRL Mappings
- SEC, IFRS and XBRL formula validation support
- Publish in XBRL, iXBRL, EDGAR and HTML formats
- Data Sources (EPM or ERP Cloud, On premise system, Other ERP systems, Any system of recorded data, Oracle supplemental data manager)
- Tabular Reports
- Bar charts, waterfall models, and graphs
- Reports can be migrated from source cloud
Management reports in Narrative Reporting retrieve data from chosen sources, spanning different time periods such as a month, quarter, or year. This data is then presented in both tabular and graphical formats. Examples include IFRS statutory income statements, balance sheets, quarterly summaries for executives, credit risk assessments, and financial asset ratings.
The Report Package feature within Narrative Reporting allows users to define and customize the appearance of their reports. It integrates data, narratives, and data visualizations, drawing from tools like Microsoft Excel, Word, and management reports. The ‘variables’ functionality simplifies the management of consistent text, numbers, and dates throughout the Report Package. Within the Report Package, three key roles are defined:
Author: Multiple users collaborate to compile various reports and supporting data into a unified report package.
Reviewer: Responsible for evaluating draft versions and providing feedback for report revisions.
Sign-off: Involves electronically signing off on reports, preventing further modifications.
For example, a Report Package can include a quarterly activity summary table and comments within different sections of the table. It can also incorporate content related to statutory disclosure requirements such as business performance, governance systems, capital management, public disclosures, and more.
The Books feature in Narrative Reporting enables the grouping of one or more management reports or documents to generate a single PDF output. Users can create custom tables of contents (ToC) and employ ‘sections’ to organize multiple reports or group them at a specific level of ToC display. Parameters for all the reports within a book can be selected during execution.
Disclosure Management plays a crucial role in converting statutory financial statements into the Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL). Its primary functions include ensuring data accuracy, providing secure management, and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements. Disclosure Management also offers capabilities for XBRL taxonomy development and management, concept mapping, and validation within the familiar Microsoft Office environment.
These components collectively form a comprehensive framework within Narrative Reporting, enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of corporate reporting processes.
Collaboration and Integration:
- Secure Collaboration: Business users can participate in the reporting process through a user-friendly web interface or Microsoft Office environment.
- Repository Management: Users can organize, manage, and access content in a secure and auditable environment.
- Regulatory Reporting and XBRL: The Disclosure Management module ensures regulatory compliance by converting financial statements into XBRL format, providing data accuracy and security.
Oracle Narrative Reporting not only streamlines the reporting process but also enhances collaboration, data accuracy, and regulatory compliance.
In today’s dynamic business environment, efficient and accurate reporting is essential for organizational success. Oracle Cloud EPM Narrative Reporting offers a robust solution to meet internal and external reporting needs. By addressing common challenges faced by reporting consumers and creators, it streamlines reporting workflows, ensures data accuracy, and enhances collaboration. With the ability to integrate data sources seamlessly and provide a secure and auditable environment, Oracle Narrative Reporting is the key to achieving financial and operational excellence in corporate reporting.
To learn more about how Oracle Cloud EPM Narrative Reporting can transform your reporting processes, download our latest whitepaper “Quantitative Data + Qualitative Insights = EPM Cloud Narrative Reporting” and take your business to the next level, contact our Oracle’s experts today.
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