5 reasons to create your annual reports in OneStream

We are well underway in 2020. Hopefully, this means that you’ve finished your annual reporting process for 2019. Surprisingly, for many organizations, the reporting process still consists of a lot of copying and pasting between Excel and Word. All this copying and pasting can be time-consuming and error prone. This approach is also used by organizations that already use OneStream, a missed opportunity! What are the 5 main advantages of using OneStream for your annual reports? And how does the new Finext Template help you to quickly set up your annual reporting process?

By Michel Peters, July 2020

For many financials, the annual reporting process is time-consuming and sometimes frustrating. Using OneStream for your annual reports helps you to turn this into a much smoother process. By eliminating the massive amount of copying and pasting, you reduce the number of manual activities and the risk of errors. How can you use your current OneStream platform for this process as well?

Finext Annual Report Template for OneStream

Using OneStream for your annual reports is quite straightforward. The newly developed Annual Report Template for OneStream enables you to quickly set up your annual reporting process in the platform.

The template is based on best practices and developed explicitly by Finext OneStream specialists to enhance functionalities needed for the annual reporting process:

  • Using this template, you can create full Word templates with data directly from OneStream. Word files can be uploaded and downloaded from the correct entity folder.
  • The template improves security as well; files can only be viewed and uploaded if you have the correct security profile, and the solution always logs the identity of uploads.
  • There is a central place to manage your documents. You don’t have to manually find the correct storage location in OneStream every time; it automatically gives a timestamp to files. Also, you don’t have to provide the filename with a specific ‘tag’ every time before you upload a new version.
  • Insight into who uploaded which document, especially useful when multiple users are working on it.
  • Standardization forces users to manage and upload the documents in a fixed way so that you standardize the process and gain insight for others in the organization.
  • The template includes example Word templates and OneStream reports, making it easier to set up the Word templates for the first time.

Workspace to manage the documents

5 reasons to use OneStream for your annual reporting process

Now that we have established that using the platform for your annual reports is easy, let’s delve into why it’s a good idea to do so. What are the five main advantages of using OneStream to help with your annual reporting processes?

1. Use data directly from OneStream

The most significant advantage of creating your annual reports through OneStream is that your data always comes directly from OneStream. In OneStream, you will set up your table (cube view) to the desired format of your annual report, and then you can connect it to any Word file.

The Word files can be uploaded to OneStream at any time to update all the tables containing OneStream data. Each table is saved in the Word template as an image to prevent any editing of the data within Word itself. The image includes the reference to the original table, so OneStream can always refresh the data if necessary.

Preview the Word version of the report in OneStream

2. Standard templates

Create annual reports based on Word templates

Standard Word templates in OneStream help you to quickly get a concept version of the annual report, using standard content and tables. You can save as many templates as you want. For example, a template for a consolidated annual report and one for a single entity to provide to the Chamber of Commerce.

In the template, you can connect variable parameters like the name of the entity, dates, and entity-specific values like a chamber of commerce reference number. These parameters are replaced with the correct text when the file is opened for the first time.

Example of stored templates

3. Full use of Word functionality

The Word templates are regular Word files, so all the normal Word functions are available. When the data of your concept annual report needs to be refreshed, OneStream will only replace the table images. Any other formatting will be unchanged. For example, when there are comments in your Word file, these will still be there after you refreshed your document in OneStream.

Your Word file does not require a connection to OneStream to be able to view the data. If you want to send your last version to someone outside of the organization, this is always possible without access to OneStream.

Use the full Word functionality like writing comments

4. Manage and secure files from one place

Select which folder you want to view and manage

You can manage your files entirely within your workspace. Based on which period and entity you selected, you will always save and view your files from the correct folder. It is also possible to hide folders from the standard file explorer within OneStream, to make it only accessible from the workspace.

The security can be set up by using all the existing OneStream security profiles. Access and maintenance rights can be set per entity and even per type of file. The data from OneStream that is shown in the Word file also depends on the existing security. If a user doesn’t have access rights to view data from that entity, then the Word file’s data will show ‘No data’.

Manage your files from your workspace

5. Version history

Whenever you upload a file, a timestamp and username are added to the file name to keep track of when the file was uploaded and by who. Since standard Word files are used, you will also have all the standard Word functionality to keep track of changes to maintain the version history. Additional functionality can be added to automatically change the version number or keep a separate log with all the times a file was opened, uploaded, and downloaded.

Each file is marked with a username and data

Get even more out of your OneStream platform

Using OneStream for your annual reporting process enables you to completely eliminate manual Excel processes. Your data is the verified OneStream data and uses the existing security model. The Finext annual report workspace makes it easy to manage all your files and have a central starting point when creating your annual reports. If you’re already using OneStream, why not add this process to the platform as well? This way, you get even more out of your solution.

Like to know more?

Discover more details and request a demo at marc.roest@finext.nl

Finext and OneStream

Finext is partner of OneStream and works closely together with this important player in Performance Management. Together, we executed over 70 OneStream projects world-wide.

Finext has a team of certified consultants with a strong track record in Enterprise Performance Management solutions. As independent specialists, we believe that the right Performance Management solution is determined by your situation. What is the context, what are the goals you want to achieve, and what are your business needs? We are happy to advise and assist, also during the selection process.