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Private equity reporting - ready for open waters - Demand good data - EY - United States

Private equity reporting - ready for open waters?

Demand good data

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Most reconciliations aren't inherently challenging — they are just poorly staffed.

Many firms spend much of their time doing fundamental yet time-consuming tasks such as formatting files, checking for errors and reconciling feeds. And the result isn't always perfect data; it's often a perpetuation of the same errors that were introduced in the first place, now working their way into general ledger and management reporting.

It could be time for you to take another approach.

Successful practices include:

  • Automate your feeds for control — and establish clear standards. Firms already using enterprise general ledger and reporting system installations should take the time to make sure that the extract-transfer-load (ETL) and other data transfer protocols are configured, monitored and updated on a regular basis.
  • Identify key reconciliations and assign accountability. Most reconciliations aren’t inherently challenging — they are just poorly staffed. Firms that apply the same level of rigor to reconciliations as they do to the integrity of their general ledger accounts will naturally have a reduction in inter-entity receivables and payables, aged items and potential surprise adjustments.
  • Apply rigor to qualitative commentary and unstructured data. Data for qualitative explanations may come from other investment accounting or operations databases, rather than the general ledger. This kind of data isn’t easily supported by structured queries or routines. Instead, it’s the kind of data one gets from making a phone call or by holding a meeting with the right people. Firms that carefully structure and communicate their requests using templates and other explicit instructions will have fewer “cycles” to get the right data.

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