Financial Awareness

This manual is in pilot operation.

Data for management control does not always come from financial accounting systems, yet it often has a financial character. Handling financial data requires special attention:

  • Balances and Flows: Financial data is differentiated between balances (data determined at a point in time) and flows (data determined over a period). Balances and flows require different treatments when displayed. For example, in a quarterly report, "Sales Revenue" (a flow) is shown as the sum of monthly values over three months, while "Inventory" (a balance) needs to display the balance at the end of the last month of the quarter.

  • Views for Flow Values: For flow values, it’s necessary to display them using various views (ways of accumulating), such as monthly, quarterly cumulative, semi-annual cumulative, and annual cumulative. The numbers for August, for example, differ whether you’re looking at monthly values or quarterly cumulative values. Moreover, changing a monthly value requires adjustments to the quarterly cumulative, semi-annual cumulative, and annual cumulative values accordingly (and vice versa).

  • Debits and Credits (Revenues and Expenses, Assets and Liabilities/Capital): When displaying financial data, it’s necessary to switch signs according to the account’s debit and credit. For instance, Sales Revenue is displayed positively for credits, while Cost of Goods Sold is displayed positively for debits. The Gross Profit, calculated as the difference between the two, is displayed positively for credits.

  • Understanding Increases and Decreases in Balance Items, and Ensuring Consistency with Balances: There may be a need to understand the breakdown of increases and decreases in balance items. For example, you might want to break down the change in fixed assets into investments, disposals, and depreciation amounts. Such needs often arise in cash flow management. Besides understanding the breakdown of increases and decreases, it’s also necessary to identify and display discrepancies between increases/decreases and the beginning/end balances to ensure consistency.

If you were to handle management control data using only spreadsheets, you’d have to embed formulas for such calculations into the spreadsheets. Even if each formula is not significant on its own, as they proliferate throughout the sheet, complexity and maintenance difficulty increase.

fusion_place takes over these basic computational tasks for financial data from spreadsheets. We call this capability "Financial Awareness."