The watchwords for today’s financial reporting are integrity and transparency. Failure to provide accurate internal and external reports may result in personal liability.
Current US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations leave no room for executives to view their audits with complacency. They can no longer assume that as long as their financial statements comply with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), it doesn’t matter if the figures might be creatively engineered to sidestep ethical principles or reality.
Today, chief executives and chief financial officers must certify to the “appropriateness of the financial statements and disclosures contained in the periodic report, and that those financial statements and disclosures fairly present, in all material respects, the operations and financial condition of the issuer,” according to the SEC.
Executives who wilfully certify statements they know to be false can face criminal charges, fines up to $500,000 and jail terms of up to 20 years.
Even the most ethical executives should be concerned. Can you really swear to the accuracy and integrity of data management processes throughout all the tributary systems that flow into SEC or International Accounting Standards (IAS) reporting? Can you be sure that the legacy accounting tools, proprietary systems and renegade spreadsheets used by various departments are actually supplying valid information that supports a single version of the truth?
As financial transactions and disclosure rules have become more complicated, so has the process of accounting for them. Conventional accounting systems, spreadsheets and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems have not kept pace with the financial reporting and analysis requirements of dynamic organisations, especially as global business operates at a faster pace than ever, demands strategic decisions on timelines that overwhelm pre-web business models, pressures companies to manage their business from new perspectives and attaches your good name to the bottom line.
The SAS answer moves beyond two-dimensional spreadsheets, beyond proprietary solutions, and beyond transaction-oriented accounting systems. SAS Financial Management integrates legacy and point solutions with comprehensive SAS data warehousing, planning, forecasting, analysis, reporting and cost-management tools. The result is a unified performance management approach that enables financial managers and executives to:
- Plan and allocate resources more effectively and efficiently, aligning strategic objectives with operations and driving performance results.
- Manage and consolidate disparate financial and non-financial information, and turn it into a form that can be used for meaningful analysis.
- Analyse across multiple levels and dimensions to not only know what was, but what will be and why — generating real business intelligence to fuel greater performance.
- Report on the organisation’s performance across multiple dimensions, levels and viewpoints quickly, easily, in whatever format is required by the user to satisfy the internal need for timely strategic information and to meet stringent regulatory reporting requirements.
SAS Financial Management unifies legacy and point systems into a comprehensive, manageable, repeatable process that generates a single version of the truth — one to which you can confidently sign your name.