There are many influences affecting how the future of client reporting may evolve. Hence, this blog is split into multiple parts, each part looking at one aspect of the future model.
So before considering the future of client reporting, one needs to initially consider the current state. It’s impossible to build and evolve a client reporting model unless the current state is stable and produces reports that are both accurate and timely. It’s rather like building a house and adding another storey but the foundations and existing walls aren’t sufficiently strong and built for the purpose. With client reporting adding “enhancements” on weak foundations will simply not work as intended, in fact it could make the situation much worse than before. In the case of the house, the extra storey might cause the entire structure to collapse. In the case of client reporting, if the core processes are inadequate, as volume, complexity, frequency of reporting and distribution are added to the mix – the entire process could fail.
Hence, before starting to consider the future model, you must ensure that the existing core processes and system adequately supports all current requirements. If they don’t, then you need to address these issues first. Trying to extend the use and function of a poor or weak system, will likely create, magnify and escalate existing problems. Many firms fall into the trap of engaging additional people into the team to deal with arising issues, however, this is like adding more builders to the collapsing building and is not the answer from a financial or a practical perspective. It just won’t work as it doesn’t fix the core problem.
The business as usual (BAU) reporting model needs to have the following characteristics, to be considered as stable and a platform from which to extend the capability into the future:
• The systems and processes should require little or no manual intervention on a day to day basis
• The reports produced by the system should be accurate and timely, and require little post production checking and zero re-working
• The reporting team should manage and control the entire process without recourse to persons or influences outside their own team
• The target despatch deadlines should be met regularly and reliably, without last minute pressures
• The reports should exactly match the client and business requirement, in terms of content, branding and despatch timeframes
So, to summarise this first blog – ensure the platform and processes to be extended, are at least, coping with current BAU requirements.