Communication Breakdown. Why is there no consistency in how we deliver financial reports?

Andrej Lapajne

AFPonline, November 2015

All too often, financial reports fall somewhere between messy spreadsheets and dashboards, full of poorly labelled an inappropriate charts, 3D effects and speedometers, that simply do not get the message across the decision-makers. While recent data visualization trends have improved the situation, the major problem of financial reporting is yet to be solved.

There may be a solution. The International Business Communication Standards (IBCS) consistently define shapes and colors of actuals and budgets, variances, different KPIs, etc. Often referred to as the “traffic signs for management”, the IBCS are a set of best practices that went viral in Europe and have solved business communication problems in numerous companies such as SAP, Bayer, Lufthansa, Philips, Coca-Cola bottlers, Swiss Post, etc.