What is Report rationalisation?

The current economic climate has put increasing pressure on client organisations to identify opportunities for cost reduction for core finance functions and reporting. Report rationalisation is a proven methodology to increase efficiency, standardisation and productivity of global reporting operations within finance functions.

Report rationalisation is achieved through prioritising key strategic metrics, eliminating non-value adding activities and simplifying, standardising and automating financial, Marketing Intelligence (MI) and Regulatory reports. Report rationalisation allows report producers more time for business partnering and provides management with the right insights at the right time.

What are some of the key issues arising within Finance functions?

We have identified a number of recurring issues within the Finance functions of our client organisations, including:

  • Extensive manual processing and manual report production.
  • Level and quality of commentary and insights varying between teams.
  • Time consuming data sourcing and poor data quality.

This, in turn, reduces the quality of data, commentary and insights, and can have an adverse impact on wider business performance. The report rationalisation methodology can be used to identify opportunities in the finance function, with a view to streamline processes to drive more value-adding activities.

Issues we hear from our clients

Data sourcing and quality

  • Proliferation of Excel-based reports, which are primarily static in nature.
  • Data sourced from multiple systems/reports consumes a lot of effort.
  • Data quality a key issue; multiple manual adjustments are required.

Manual processes

  • Reports vary in terms of formats/templates and granularity of information.
  • Significant time is spent responding to ad-hoc/additional information-related queries from business.

Level of commentary and insights

  • Minimal commentary and insights covered in the reports.
  • Level and quality of commentary and insights vary between teams.
  • Commentary collation is manual and tedious.

Expand use of data and analysis

  • Requirement to bring together Operational, HR and Finance data.
  • Usage of predictive capability to drive business performance.

Centralised capability

  • No centralised capability to address automation needs. Several bespoke solutions exist.
  • Ability to scale up automation solutions to support growing business requirements.

Data & technology enhancements

  • Client systems consolidations.
  • Data mapping issues and driving additional insights on client revenue data.
  • Scorecards to track performance of client managers’ productivity.

What is our approach to Report rationalisation?

Our Approach consists of 4 steps to achieve the benefits from report rationalisation:

  1. Conduct an initial assessment of the current reporting landscape.
  2. Utilising KPMG’s Eliminate,Standardise,Simplify and Automate (ESSA) framework to analyse the current reports produced.
  3. Holding interviews with key stakeholders to determine the reporting needs of the business.
  4. Finalising rationalisation opportunities and developing implementation roadmap to realise benefit.

What are the benefits of report rationalisation?

Report rationalisation has been successfully implemented across several corporate and financial services clients and brings about benefits across the organisation, including:

  • Quick results and reduction in costs.
  • Reduction in the number of redundant and non-value-adding reports.
  • Reduced time spent on report production.
  • Improved generation of insights to deliver the right information in timely and effective manner.
  • Opportunity for standardisation of reporting across teams and countries.

Case Study


A global financial services organisation was looking to streamline their organisation-wide reporting. The organisation faced significant issues as follows:

  • Lack of a single source of data, due to the use of various
    local legacy systems.
  • Duplicate effort in reporting across the business.
  • Significant manual effort and lack of automation in report
    production, particularly in data sourcing/validation.

During the engagement, KPMG assessed the current reporting landscape through the use of a custom-built reporting survey, various stakeholder interviews and in-depth analysis of over c.2000 reports in 12 weeks using KPMG’s tools to build an initial plan for report rationalisation.

Benefit potential

In 12 weeks, through in-depth analysis and stakeholder validation of our findings, we identified rationalisation opportunities for c.80 percent of reports analysed which would translate toan estimated 30-40 percent effort reduction.

Benefit potential graph


Rationalisation opportunities were identified through assessing each report against KPMG’s ESSA Framework. Below is an extract from a client engagement that showcases reports which were rationalised by each lever of our framework:

Case study