How to Get FP&A Reporting Out Faster with Automation and Data Management

Emily Mason | Senior Content Writer

Subscribe to
The Strategic Finance Brief

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

You can unsubscribe at any time, no hard feelings. Privacy policy

Once accounting closes the books, a race begins to deliver reports and analysis to your stakeholders. But if your FP&A team spends 70% of their time on tedious data transformation, management and manually creating reports, there’s no way you can win. 

Strategic opportunities or decisions around risk mitigation are coming on a daily basis. But if you can’t deliver essential FP&A reports with added data-driven analysis while they’re still relevant for decision-making and taking action, it’s impossible to stay competitive.

FP&A needs practical solutions for this constant struggle. Modern FP&A tools deliver tangible ROI and solve these reporting problems with automated data transformation, preset publishing and distribution features, and powerful collaboration functionality. All of these can dramatically speed up your monthly reporting process – so you can focus on the analysis and business partnering you were hired for AND actually want to do! 

Why You Need Faster FP&A Reporting

Automation is a top priority for FP&A leaders in general, but in the area of financial reporting, implementing it really shines and drives measurable efficiencies and results.

Why do finance teams need faster ways to produce reports? 

New insights from the forthcoming State of Business Partnership 2024 survey give a strong indication: 

  • 45% of FP&A leaders say that it takes them 6+ days to produce reports once their books close. 
  • 95% of those surveyed say that inadequate FP&A tools and technology are definitely or probably holding them back. 

FP&A reporting is more than a ‘must-do’ part of the job. Once you’ve dialed in the accuracy, frequency, and professionalism your reports will reliably: 

  • Translate financial data into meaningful and useful information for non-finance executives. 
  • Reveal trends and insights on business performance.
  • Inform and encourage stakeholders to be accountable for their performance against agreed upon and approved budgets and targets.
  • Represent the FP&A team’s brand throughout the organization in a polished and professional way.

You need real solutions to improve your process, so you can deliver reports before the data goes stale or the window of opportunity closes. 

Four Strategic Solutions to Automate Your Financial Reporting and Analysis

Modern FP&A software is a game-changer for financial planning and analysis teams to address reporting challenges in four key ways:

1. Master Data Integration 


Hunting through spreadsheets for errors. Copying over data. Manual reconciliation. Formatting errors. Aligning master data across various source systems and addressing inconsistencies. They’re all the stuff of nightmares for financial analysts. And all of them dramatically slow down the FP&A reporting process. This delay means that stakeholders don’t receive their BvA reports or other essential reports with enough time to react and adjust their spending. 

“FP&A teams need consistent and accurate master data so they can report and analyze budget vs actuals to answer the essential FP&A questions: What happened? How does that compare to what we planned?”
Nate Skelton, VP of Product, Stratify 

Modern FP&A tools can improve data integration and master data management by seamlessly connecting key sources of business data, including ERP, HRIS, and CRM. Your team won’t need to second guess whether they have the latest actuals from Sales or HR. Plus, if your FP&A tool has effective master data management protocols, data imports won’t ‘break’ your master data model and cause unnecessary manual work to find and fix the errors. The time saved helps your team generate reports and dig into analysis to support stakeholders. 

Explore more benefits of master data management in Stratify. 

2. Workforce Reconciliation


Headcount reconciliation is a foundational piece of FP&A reporting (and a huge chunk of operating expenses). Accurate headcount reports keep different departments in sync and informed of whether they’re ahead or behind on the hiring plan – and any implications. 

But 65% of FP&A teams are still doing it manually! Manual headcount reconciliation is incredibly time-consuming, made more difficult by disconnected HRIS and finance data. 


Workforce planning software for finance integrates HRIS data and compares it to the business workforce plan in real-time. Analysts can complete reconciliation in a simple workflow, comparing actuals vs. planned positions within minutes. The time saved is better spent on analysis and business partnership – discussing the implications of headcount performance indicators or turnover and recommending the best course of action to save money and be fully staffed for strategic initiatives or fast-moving opportunities. Accurate headcount reports are the basis of effective collaboration between strategic finance, HR, and all other business units.

3. Automating FP&A Reports 


Report formatting can be an endless task – one that won’t pay off if business partners don’t use or understand the reports! It easily eats up your valuable time, but it doesn’t need to. FP&A software automations have changed the reporting game. 


FP&A tools like Stratify simplify report formats and ensure that the reports you generate contain the latest data (thanks to the smooth integrations). These standardizations (like automated P&L, balance sheets, and cash flow statements which can be quickly filtered across accounting segments or planning categories) will speed up your reporting cycle and shave weeks or days off of your current process.

4. Customized Stakeholder Reporting 


After basic formatting, you still need to customize your reports according to what each business unit or business partner has requested or needs to know. This final hurdle to delivering financial reporting is sometimes the final straw for finance teams – meaning stakeholders don’t get the most useful or valuable reports that would drive strategic decisions. 


Financial reporting software has made it much simpler to create charts and other custom visualizations that bring your financial data to life and put it into context. Additionally, a tool like Stratify allows for different reporting hierarchies and tailored versions. Then each business unit can make sense of their report, and FP&A can use it as a launching pad for productive discussion and strategic planning. When these reports are accessed within the secure Stratify platform, stakeholders and FP&A team members can assign each other tasks, ask questions, and clarify in real time.

FP&A Reporting Needs an Overhaul 

To stay competitive, your FP&A team must deliver timely, data-driven reports and analysis to stakeholders. Financial reporting tools offer automated data transformation, preset publishing and distribution features, and powerful collaboration functionality, significantly improving the monthly reporting process. If you’re concerned that your analysts spend too much time on reports with too little impact, it’s time for a change. 

Start delivering reports in time to impact decisions! 
Learn more about FP&A reporting in Stratify

Last Updated:
June 18, 2024

Subscribe to the Strategic Finance Brief

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

You can unsubscribe at any time, no hard feelings. Privacy policy

The Guide to Scaling Strategic Finance

Download Now