MICHELANGELO AND THE ART OF THE FINANCIAL REPORTING

magine you’ve gone back in time – to 1512 in Rome. More specifically, you’re standing in the Sistine Chapel, watching the famous artist Michelangelo complete what will become known as “one of the absolute masterpieces of the Western art”.

Michelangelo has been working on the 500-square-meter painting for approximately four years. The work is painstaking and physically challenging. But finally, he is almost finished. You watch as he puts the final touches on an angel wing.

Suddenly, the stillness is interrupted by a shout:

“Michelangelo! Come down, I have an urgent message for you!”

Michelangelo pauses for a moment, but then goes back to his work. .

“Michelangelo! I am the herald of the Pope! Come down! It’s important!”

That man keeps on shouting.

“Michelangelo! You must come down! The Pope says you must read this right now!”.

Michelangelo is clearly annoyed. The messenger has destroyed his concentration.

“Fine, then! I’M COMING DOWN!”.

The artist angrily pulls the scaffolding ropes and lowers himself to the ground. The herald runs up to him and hands him a rolled-up, sealed vellum.

Michelangelo snatches it and opens it to read:

STOP SCRIBBLING UP THERE.

I CHANGED MY MIND.

TOMORROW WE’LL HANG THE WALLPAPER.

S.S. GIULIO II

Certainly, financial reporting is not a work of art. However, it does involve days – or more – of very close, careful work.

When your company’s CEO wants to make important modifications at the last minute, you can easily find yourself in the shoes of poor Michelangelo.

Too often, executives do not understand the value that a corporate performance management and collaborative disclosure management approach would add to the management of the accounting processes – from data entry to disclosure.

Without effective technology tools, finance professionals are forced to maintain highly detailed and cumbersome Excel sheets. They have no time to analyse and innovate. They focus on minute details rather than on the analysis of data and its interpretation.

The more time that passes, the more complicated our the Excel sheets and their management becomes.

Corporate performance management and collaborative disclosure management systems relieve the workload of the “financial statement artists”, enabling us to manage an increasing amount of information in less time and spend more on critical analysis, thereby minimizing the likelihood of last-minute requests and changes.

These systems help finance spend its time focusing on the overall financial reporting management process, which is increasingly complex, more regulated, and dependent upon many contributors throughout the enterprise.

Today, it is necessary to abandon the idea that the financial statements are the result of a few experts. On the contrary, sound financial statements come from the efficient collaboration of all organizational units of the company that provide information to an entity in charge of managing, analyzing and publishing them.

In today’s world, modern financial professionals don’t get on the scaffolding by themselves. Instead, they and their collaborators have the tools needed to work to their full potential, allowing them to manage any hitch, from the smallest reporting detail to the structure of the documents, to the overall performance of their business. Including the wallpaper.

(read this post on Tagetik Official Blog)

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