For the first time in more than a decade, the City of Detroit in 2010 submitted its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) ahead of schedule, assisted by GL Wand, an Excel-based reporting tool from Excel4apps. Installed in 2009, GL Wand provides finance users a direct link via Excel to financial data in the City's complex Oracle ERP system, a capability that has quickly decreased the time needed to prepare the CAFR.
"When I arrived at the City's Finance Department in 2008, it seemed that we were two centuries behind in the technology needed to produce the City's CAFR," said Norman L. White, Chief Financial Officer, City of Detroit. "We would manually run the Oracle reports and then transfer the data to Excel spreadsheets to compile the CAFR -- a long and arduous process."
With GL Wand, Finance can quickly produce financial statements from Oracle data. Users pull the data and transmit it directly to the City's CAFR template. In addition to completing the 2008 and 2009 CAFRs within one fiscal year, the City submitted the fiscal year 2009-2010 CAFR two weeks ahead of deadline.
According to White, GL Wand also increased the integrity of the City's CAFR and enabled users to easily document source data.
"The ability to drill down directly from the CAFR to the supporting transaction detail has been a great analytical tool," White described. "Thanks to GL Wand, it now seems like our technology for producing the CAFR and other financial reports is ahead of our peers."
Excel4apps is a provider of best-in-class Excel-based reporting and budget-loading software for use with solutions from Oracle and other vendors. Its award-winning GL Wand and Budget Wand products help financial professionals save time by delivering accurate and secure information in the familiar Excel environment. The company serves a broad range of industries, including financial services, education, utilities, insurance, hospitality, manufacturing and engineering. All products are available for immediate download and free trial, installing in minutes with no data warehouse and no additional hardware, setup or security configuration needed. Excel4apps maintains offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, United Arab Emirates and South Africa.