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Private equity reporting - ready for open waters - Assemble a good crew - EY - United States

Private equity reporting - ready for open waters?

Assemble a good crew

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Firms need to start formalizing flexibility as much as they formalize roles and responsibilities.

During periods of change and expansion, executives must establish clear lines of leadership. Staff and specialists will be unfamiliar with the specific requirements and nuances of increased reporting and will therefore be uncertain about the right way to proceed.

Different groups of finance, operations and compliance professionals will be unfamiliar with the new ways of working with each other. They will need to adapt and learn how to collaborate in even more ways. A formal reporting process, clear communication lines and a formal calendar make it easier for leadership to identify and direct corrective action, or to cut short extensive debate over materiality of items.

Firms can:

  • Clearly define roles and responsibilities. As departments expand to take on new reporting responsibilities, there is the risk of having people take on more than they are capable of doing. It is more effective, however, for individuals to have a key focus.
  • Separate the subjective/analytical roles from production roles. Some of this will be inevitable — there will be production jobs versus analytical jobs. But some firms have found ways to mix in the subjective and the routine through job rotation and "backup" roles.
  • An emphasis on remaining flexible. Flexibility comes in many forms: either in role or schedule. Firms need to start formalizing flexibility as much as they formalize roles and responsibilities.

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