Part 6. The Platform


All of the experiences over all the years have resulted in a platform that is radically different than today’s financial reporting systems. Before we describe that system, let’s review briefly the principles behind it, as outlined in Parts 2 and 3.

  1. Business events are the stuff all business reporting systems are made of.
  2. Answers to questions are most often contained in a single record of a report of some kind.
  3. The reporting record and the business event are very different things; most often the reporting record requires passage of time, and accumulation of many business events.
  4. As business expanded the use of IT, more and more attributes were captured on business events, with a corresponding demand to use them in reports.
  5. Rather than scaling the posting processes to accumulate business events into reporting records by posting at lower levels of detail, IT chose to make multiple posting processes and reporting environments, each for a subset of attributes.
  6. As reporting systems proliferated, the systems took short cuts with time and auditability, creating reporting systems which do not reconcile, adding to the confusion.
  7. This proliferation of reporting systems with many different reporting models has caused:
    1. Increased IT cost in maintenance of systems,
    2. Increased cost in the business through reconciliation, inaccessible information, and poor decisions based on inaccurate information,
    3. Increased cost to society through poor transparency,
    4. Decreased flexibility to respond to new business, IT and societal demands.
  8. These diseconomies of scale are most prevalent in the largest organizations.
  9. The cost of financial and other types of reporting is enormous and, unless a different approach is taken to the problem, will become worse as we spend more money for the same solutions which are creating today’s problems.
  10. The alternative is to scale the posting process, moving the reporting function closer to the need and reducing the system proliferation.

The resulting platform, similar to a skyscraper, large factory or warehouse, consolidates many other functions into one location. This system demonstrates that greater scale is possible.