Méthode transforms financial reporting

”Time-to-market and compliance with regulatory frameworks are key.”

Background 

A global wealth-management and investment banking organization has a large financial reporting division. The division publishes around 50,000 items of investment research each year. The reports are distributed to subscribing customers in the financial community, as well as being syndicated to news services like Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters.

The reports are produced by about 1,000 analysts and support staff located in the USA and at about 65 offices located in financial centers worldwide.

Challenge

Time-to-market and compliance with regulatory frameworks are key factors in the creation and distribution of this kind of financial research.

The solution traditionally used to produce the research – standard Office applications - had become increasingly unsatisfactory in a number of ways:

  • More formats: subscribers wanted to read reports using a variety of formats and platforms - PDFs, Web pages, tablet and mobile – and converting Office files to these formats was time-consuming and error-prone.
  • Tighter regulation: at the same time, compliance with increasingly stringent regulatory regimes required a careful sequences of checks and reviews. There was no provision for this in the existing solution.

Solution

The organization needed a solution that would allow it to distribute reporting in more formats and through more channels – but without requiring the use of more resources. At the same time, it needed to incorporate built-in safeguards to ensure that the published materials complied with regulatory and quality standards.

As an ‘industrial-strength’ digital publishing platform, EidosMedia’s Méthode was able to satisfy their requirements though a range of productivity and workflow-control features.

Modular documents – A Méthode document can consist of different components, worked on in parallel by several users at the same time. This significantly reduces production time. At any moment each user can view the complete document with each section in its most updated version.

Checks and controls – As documents pass through the workflow, the permissions – who can do what 

– change, so that at each stage only authorised users can perform permitted actions. Documents cannot proceed beyond checkpoints until a specified operation - a quality control, a legal check, the addition of a chart – has been carried out. This provides an unobtrusive way of ensuring that all published content satisfies the criteria that govern its production.

Excel™ integration – Charts and tables prepared in Excel are imported into the report with a single command. There is close interaction between the Méthode and Excel environments: if a chart or table has been modified since it was imported into Méthode, users can click to update the item to the latest version.

Ergonomic interface – the user interface is ‘minimalist’, presenting only the workspaces and functions specifically needed by each user. An ‘action panel’ next to the editing wndow has buttons to carry out common actions such as creating a new file or editing an existing file. The contents of the action panel change according to the content of the main editing window – during Excel imports, for example, it will show thumbnails of importable charts.

One-click multi-format publishing – Once a report is ready, one click publishes it to multiple destinations. Without manual modification, the report can be published as a PDF, a responsive-design web page or an email. During its preparation users can preview the report in any of its output formats. 

  

Outcomes 

Higher productivity: Automation of many routine tasks from graphics import and multi-format publication reduces workloads and allows staff to concentrate on report content. Multi-author parallel working further reduces the time-to-market for published products.

Closer teamwork: A granular system of user permissions and automatic notification and update allows smooth, efficient interaction between team members even when distributed across different locations.

Better compliance: The checks and reviews built into Méthode’s workflows significantly reduce the possibility of material being published which does not satisfy the organization’s standards of quality or the requirements of the regulatory framework.

In addition to improving the productivity and compliance of existing processes, the Méthode solution also provides a highly flexible digital platform for the development of future products and formats.