Collaborative disclosure management and narrative reporting - powered by Sturnis365
Eliminate the errors, risks and inefficiencies in your statutory reporting process, from annual reports to filings.
Produce board books, lender reports and investor decks in a fraction of the time it takes you today.
Comply with SEC, ESEF and other requirements today, and prepare for ESG and others of tomorrow.
Fluence transforms how you produce annual reports, board books, statutory filings and more:
Produce trusted, real-time reports in days or weeks. Say goodbye to endless emails, proofreading and competing versions.
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“We were considering a solution that would have cost a significant amount and taken months to implement. Between its out-of-the-box functionality, Office integration and how our finance team can manage the entire reporting process, we quickly realized how much more we’d benefit from Sturnis365”
Designed for the evolving reporting demands on the office of finance, Fluence gives your team complete control - no IT required - with:
Go live in two weeks. Set up your first report in two minutes.Get Started Today
Fluence's narrative reporting features go beyond statutory disclosure to automate the production and distribution of any internal or external report with multiple:
Investor decks, board books or ESG reports. Fluence prepares you for reporting demands on your finance team today and tomorrow.Get Started Today
“Fluence’s acquisition of Sturnis365 adds the essential capability of efficiently creating and managing documents for regulatory filings and broader narrative reporting, including internal board books, investor presentations and more stringent ESG reporting”
No matter how many entities, regions and reporting requirements involved, Fluence puts time, confidence and control into your reporting with:
Fluence Disclosure Management customers have seen huge benefits including a 90% gain on time to value, as well as eliminating recurring cost and companies typically engage a large consulting firm for months on end to complete their reporting.
And the best part, Disclosure Management is also all out of the box, which means it’s also quick to implement and has a fast time to value.
What does disclosure mean in business? Why is the process of creating disclosure documents so difficult? Is there any way to make this process easier? In this guide to disclosure management, we will answer all of these questions and more.
Here at Fluence, we understand how important it is for your business to stay in compliance with regulatory requirements and share information with your stakeholders—and we are committed to helping you do just that. Let’s get started.
Disclosure is a term typically used to refer to making financial and non-financial facts and information publicly available. The “reporting” comes into play because these disclosures are often done through a variety of business reports. Disclosure reporting can be either internal or external, typically including financial information as well as narratives and general information about the business.
Corporate disclosure is when companies share details either internal or externally. These disclosure reports usually convey a variety of information in order to help current and prospective investors, customers, and analysts understand the company’s standing. These reports may include:
Corporate disclosures can be voluntarily provided, but this information is usually released to meet mandatory reporting requirements. In order to maintain their status as a public company, regulators require disclosure statements. Regulatory authorities have specific requirements for what, when, where, and how information must be disclosed. These regulators vary depending on the country, and multinational corporations may fall under more than one jurisdiction. Regulatory bodies include the Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States, the European Central Bank, the European Banking Authority, and the European Securities and Markets Authority. It’s important to verify what regulations your company falls under and to make sure that your disclosure reports are fully compliant and submitted at the right times.
A disclosure statement provides positive or negative information about the company so that current and prospective stakeholders can be fully informed.
If you are creating a disclosure statement for a regulated report, there will be specific requirements for what you must include. For example, the European Union (EU) requires certain large businesses in the EU to disclose information about their operations and how they manage social and environmental challenges. Another example is the research report in the United States, where the SEC requires the types of disclosures in financial statements to include the nature of the relationship between equity analysts and their employer, as well as the company that is the subject of the research report.
For an internal disclosure, you may not be required by a regulatory body to provide specific information, but best practices will dictate what should be included. For example, a board report typically includes detailed financial statements like a budget so that board members can understand where the company stands.
Internal disclosure is the process of sharing information internally. This is generally done to help facilitate communication and alignment, as well as keeping all internal stakeholders apprised of vital facts about the company. Internal disclosure is often narrative, telling a compelling story about the business to help internal supporters understand the full picture. Management packs and board reports are excellent examples of internal, narrative disclosures.
There are many different types of disclosure reports that businesses use. These include, but are not limited to:
One of the most common types of disclosure in the United States is the 10-K annual report, which we will use as an example. Keep in mind that while some of these details are specific to this report, the general process and understanding of the type of detail that most disclosures must include can be generalized.
The 10-K annual report is the document that public companies must provide yearly to their shareholders, regulators, and the general public. This presentation includes a detailed account of the operations and financial standing. One of the important things to note about an annual report is that it is a combination of graphics, photos, and data that is all woven together with an accompanying narrative. The annual report lays out the company’s activities over the previous year and often includes forecasts and future plans.
In the United States, annual reports like the 10-K became a mandatory requirement after the stock market crash of 1929. In the aftermath of this devastating event, lawmakers took a look at corporate financial reporting and worked to standardize the process and make it required. Most disclosures exist for similar reasons—the process of disclosure is important for protecting investors and stakeholders from being misled.
There are several reasons why corporate disclosure is important. These include:
Disclosure requirements are the specific pieces of information that companies must provide in their reports as well as how the information must be presented. For example, the 10-K report must be completed and filed with the SEC, who requires companies to share information in four sections:
Part One must include:
Part Two must include:
Part Three must include:
Part Four must include:
It’s important to note with these mandatory disclosures in financial statements that U.S. companies must follow the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), a set of accounting standards, conventions, and rules. For example, the Principle of Consistency states that “Consistent standards are applied throughout the financial reporting process.” In addition to following GAAP, an independent accountant is required to audit the company’s financial statements. For larger companies, the contractor also audits the internal controls over financial reporting. The auditor will then create a report that serves as an essential part of the 10-K. While these are requirements in the U.S., many companies worldwide choose to follow GAAP (or similar practices) and use independent auditing to make sure their reports are as trustworthy and professional as possible.
Disclosure management is the collaborative process of handling the creation and submission of audited disclosure documents. As you can see from the 10-K requirements that are described above, this document requires many pieces of information and a large number of collaborators in order to properly prepare, edit, and file this form. A tricky part of the disclosure process is that companies must use objective information like numbers and financial statements and tell a compelling (and truthful!) story about their business. This is true for any report, not just the 10-K.
With many different authors and numerous components, creating disclosure reports can be quite the headache. And yet, it is essential that these documents are accurate and complete, and completed in time to meet your deadlines. This can be quite challenging, as multiple collaborators can cause confusion and human error can easily occur with manual processes. This is where Fluence comes in. Disclosure management tools like ours help mitigate these issues and make the disclosure process flow smoothly.
A disclosure management tool is usually a piece of software. Disclosure management software helps companies consolidate compliance information into one place, keeping all the required documents and reports up-to-date and accessible. These tools allow companies to create, manage, and publish statements and reports.
Creating an annual report is a difficult task—and one where errors can be costly. One of the main benefits of disclosure management software is the ability to combine data from different sources and take advantage of financial intelligence with that data (like scaling, rounding, currency, and more). Sturnis365 also allows you to:
In a word? Efficiency. As you know, the disclosure process tends to be incredibly inefficient, especially with legacy software or older solutions that still require an enormous amount of manual input. With Fluence, you’ll find a flexible solution that leverages automation whenever possible to reduce the work that your team has to do. With no more inflexible hierarchical structures, you aren’t forced into using fixed templates that you can’t adapt for your specific needs.
Gone are the days of hunting down twelve different people to find the information you need—Fluence automates document collection, distribution, and consolidation. Not only that, but collaborative data collection is incredibly simple and quick. Each person can input data in a MS Word document and save it directly to the database. This triggers a fully auditable, fully automated distribution to the relevant stakeholders, ensuring a coherent unity with every piece of information. Data collection can be achieved in a fraction of the time it used to take you.
With the ability to easily set and change workflows from a single controlled dashboard, you will have complete visibility on the entire creation process. You can assign tasks to either a single user or a group of users, and use tools like the email notification when the tasks need to be completed. This type of administrative ability gives you powerful auditing functionality, which is essential for creating sensitive reports.
Not only that, but these types of tools give you full control over the disclosure reporting process. The comprehensive audit trail makes it easy to see who has touched what, with timestamps, so that internal control of the document is simple and secure.
Remember that word we mentioned at the start of this section? Efficiency translates directly to your bottom line. In fact, when Fluence is compared to alternative corporate disclosure management solutions, companies can save up to 90% on document setup time and reduce ongoing maintenance costs.
You’ll be amazed at the ease of use, flexibility, integration capabilities, and speed of deployment that you’ll get with Fluence. Already have a disclosure management tool? You can use one of our simple automatic migration tools to transfer your current settings in minutes.
Our platform has revolutionized the disclosure management process, creating incredibly efficient workflows for complicated, convoluted reports.
For example, Takeaway.com licensed our platform on December 31, 2019. They went live on January 6, 2020 and published their 2019 annual report after a little more than a month on February 13. Hermes Bron, in charge of reporting and consolidation, shared that “We picked up the software in a single day of training and our plans go beyond the annual report and iXBRL. We will embed the collaboration/reporting tool into more of our frequent processes for internal and external reporting.”
Another astonishing result? ENEL, a leading European energy company has to create and file a 400 page annual report. When they switched to using Fluence, they found that their document setup time went from 220 days to just 20 days, a reduction of 92% in time spent. The company shared that “ENEL is extending the number of users from 300 to 500 as the platform is easier to use and initial document setup times are a fraction of what they used to be with alternative solutions.”
Sound like the kind of improvement you'd like to see in your disclosure management and narrative reporting?