Financial Spreading – Challenges and Solutions

Financial spreading refers to extracting data from financial statements. It entails using a spreadsheet or financial spreading tool to extract valuable information from a borrower’s or business’s financial statements. The data helps analysts identify trends and compare financials. It has other benefits for steering analysis trends, too.

Financial spreading requires that investment bankers, underwriters and analysts review each piece of information manually, and it could, therefore, be a rigorous and time-consuming process. It could impact team productivity and restrict their focus on core tasks. AI-powered tools could offset such operational inefficiencies, but may distort the balance between accuracy and efficiency. Inaccuracies and other challenges could be resolved by making informed decisions when choosing effective automation solutions.

We list below the challenges in financial spreading and possible solutions.

  • Challenges in Financial Spreading

The most significant challenge is minimised efficiency. Manually extracting data from statements is tedious and reduces an analyst’s or banker’s productivity. Minor changes in the model may require hours of work to modify the financials.

It could also result in a sluggish loan approval process. For instance, if an organisation spends a considerable amount of time to manage a borrower’s financial statements, it would lead to a poor customer experience and difficulties in comparing data and spotting inaccuracies.

Finally, manually extracting data from unstructured statements could impact the level of accuracy of financial spreading. Human error plays a significant role here and could be resolved with the help of an automated tool.

  • Solutions For Financial Spreading

The solutions should direct a business’s or bank’s focus towards innovation, onboarding new clients and streamlining loan disbursement or cash flow activities. Tools for financial spreading that ensure consistent and accurate results will help in this regard, although using them entails adhering to strict measures to ensure data quality and accuracy.

  • Incorporating Automated Tools

Automated solutions can help optimise financial statement spreading to bolster decision making and enhance the accuracy of data extraction. Depending on the tool, the solutions can leverage machine learning and an insightful user interface (UI) to enable businesses to move swiftly from data extraction to credit assessment while optimising the new business onboarding process. However, it is essential to make an informed decision when selecting a tool, ensuring the aforementioned metrics can be incorporated to produce quality results.

  • Centralising The Process

The process of financial spreading can be centralised in a standard format with the use of customisable templates or online databases. This enables the financial statements to be sourced from internal or external data resources and automatic mapping and processing to be conducted via a centralised system. It also involves minimal manual intervention and enables businesses to make credit decisions.

  • Employing Offshore Teams

If the business is unable to handle the complex nuances of financial spreading, it may be viable to deploy an offshore team. This team would be entrusted with all the responsibilities of the data extraction process, freeing up the bank’s core-team to focus on issues requiring judgment.

  • Producing Reports

Apart from producing a holistic analysis, financial spreading or data extraction tools can generate methodological reports in easily accessible Word, PowerPoint or PDF format. They will contain critical data relating to borrowers and clients to aid comparison of the financials. They could also be customised for other analysis.

Conclusion

Technological advancements and bespoke solutions are driving innovation in financial services, including financial spreading data extraction and analysis processes. The use of modern technology could, therefore, minimise the time spent on unproductive tasks requiring manual intervention. Solutions for financial spreading and expert advice could save costs and ensure client satisfaction. Automated and AI-powered tools also prioritise efficiency and accuracy, as they leave no room for human error.