Top tips for a smoother reporting process
As we all get to grips with Lockdown 2.0, many of you will be heading into the year end reporting season with still so much uncertainty about the near future. I wanted to take a moment to provide some reassurance that we have been working tirelessly to ensure that we’re prepared, whatever curve balls might be thrown our way.
Building on our rapid response to COVID-19 back in March (which already feels like a lifetime ago), we are fully set up for flexible remote working, with the right technology, collaboration tools and processes in place, while our own contingency and continuity planning continues to evolve and adapt as circumstances do.
Of course, no matter how well we prepare, lockdown and remote working is going to mean things work differently this year. Whole projects, and I’m not just talking about year end reporting, will be delivered remotely rather than just the tail end. Whilst the process may well be different, we will continue to deliver to the very highest of standards.
As things begin to heat up, I’d like to share our 10 top tips for a smoother remote reporting process:
1. Share key contacts early
Get everyone involved on both sides up to speed as early on, so they know how and when they will be involved, and how best to keep in contact. As part of that, we will share our team contact details so we're as available out the office as in – wherever we are, we’re only ever a phone call or email away.
2. Communication, communication, communication
Things will inevitably change during a project – new situations arise, priorities shift – but by keeping us abreast of changes and any potential impact on the project timeline, as soon as possible, we can minimise disruption.
3. Weekly full team calls
We recommend holding a weekly full-team status call. These are invaluable for our team to know what’s happening in your world.
4. Consider using CtrlPrint
Many of our clients already use CtrlPrint as part of their report workflow. If you don’t already, it’s worth considering. CtrlPrint is a platform that enables you to edit content in the live design layout and, with everyone involved potentially working remotely, will ensure a smoother amends process and prevent version-control issues.
5. Ask for an expert eye
Our team of Consultants can help to ensure your narrative is fit for purpose and addresses recent FRC guidance on reporting during times of uncertainty. By sharing your content drafts with your Emperor consultant early on in the process, we can help finesse your content and potentially save time and money down the line.
6. Proofread before typesetting
It’s always easier to make changes before content is put into the design. Building time into the schedule for us to proofread your draft Word content means we can iron out all of the inconsistencies before it's flowed into the design layouts.
7. Build in time to turnaround proofs
Reviewing proofs always takes time – and with your colleagues potentially working remotely, this might take longer than usual. Building as much time into the schedule as possible for this will really help the process, and your account manager will be able to advise you, but we will of course be on hand to support our clients where this isn't feasible.
8. Mark up clear amends
One of the simplest ways to make the project go smoothly at the crucial moments is to ensure that amends are marked up clearly. We recommend using Adobe Acrobat markups and your project team will be discussing this with you shortly.
9. Report delivery
Because of the unique situation this year, we'll be discussing mailing and delivery with you much earlier to ensure we are well prepared.
10. Reach out
You can always reach out to us if you’re concerned about anything. And as well as your usual team, including Account Manager and Client Director, you will have an Executive sponsor who you can call at any point.
The FCA has confirmed that the European Single Electronic Format (ESEF) will be delayed for UK companies by one year. The requirements were originally scheduled for financial years starting on or after 1 January 2020, but will now commence for financial years starting on or after 1 January 2021 (i.e. for publication from 1 January 2022).
Despite the official delay, if you're ready to implement in 2021 you can do so, and Emperor is ready to support you with this. Feel free to discuss with your team if you would like more information.
As ever, if you would like to discuss anything with me, however big or small, please do not hesitate to get in touch.