Newsletter – September 2012

Dashboards – Who Needs Them?

We have all heard about dashboards and their benefits. So, how come we see so very few clients who have them? I think the answer is just due to inertia and time. After-all, with all that is happening in accounting and finance departments every day, who has the energy and the time to introduce new reports?

At CFO Consulting Partners, we urge our clients to adopt a dashboard reporting process. The dashboards we like are updated daily, and the information puts the CFO in the position of being a true partner to the CEO.

Dashboards can provide CFOs the ability to keep his or her finger on the pulse of the business. He can watch the key numbers that drive the business, and he can make recommendations for improvement.

Dashboards should also allow CFOs to have a fairly close idea as to what the monthly results will be. In short, it puts him in a position to “feel” the business. From my experience, it is a win-win.

How does one start? Put together three or four key stats you would like to follow. Update them every day, and share the information with your CEO. Better yet, put the dashboard on a shared drive so both of you can view it each day. Over time, you will undoubtedly add to the dashboard as you need more questions answered. Also, you may eventually want to invite others to view the dashboard.

Try it. If you would like a sample of a dashboard, please email Allan Tepper at, or feel free to call him at 609-309-9307 x701.


Is Your OCC Bank Call Report Automated?

It takes a well planned project management approach to automate the Call Report  However, once complete,  this is a onetime exercise that only requires maintenance for regulatory and business changes.

The payoff for the time spent is large. Improved accuracy, better processes, regulatory brownie points and efficient use of employees are just some of the benefits.

How does one get started?

1. Review your chart of accounts to assess whether it facilitates the Call Report preparation process. If not, consider spending time to fix it.

2. Start a calendar for the Call report. Share the calendar with all business units that provide information for the Call report. Make sure there are firm dates for submissions.

3. Use dedicated Call Report software, such as Fed Reporter.

4. Map the general ledger and subledgers (revised to facilitate mapping process) to the report.

5. Plan for analysis and review time.

6. Consider rotating staff to prepare the report. And have the prior preparer review it.  This way, you build in back-up and develop a good control process. Finally, this approach is likely to make regulators more comfortable with the process.

7. Document. Document. Document!

If you would like to know more about Call Report automation, please ask for our white paper by contacting Eileen Xethalis,, or feel free to call her at 609-309-9307 x704