The Benefits of Real-Time Reporting for Your Business

By Linda RoperJanuary 7, 2021

-This article was last updated on 11 October 2022-

In the extremely competitive globalised business world we live in, businesses need to be agile and resourceful in order to survive. Having up-to-date information on-hand, which they know is accurate, is essential to make the best possible business decisions quickly.

Therefore, real-time reporting is extremely vital for businesses of all sizes. Keep reading to learn the several benefits of real-time reporting, as well as how ExpenseIn can assist your company in achieving all of these and more.

Expense reportsImage: ©Dapa Images via

What is Real-Time Reporting?

Before we delve into the benefits of real-time reporting, let’s first look at the definition of real-time reporting.

Real-time reporting is a business analytics solution that gathers data for users quickly and allows them to observe and access this critical information as it occurs. Users can access this data via an online platform, software, or similar alternative, and it always provides the most up-to-date information.

If you want to share this information with a variety of people, such as other employees or your clients, then they can also gain access to it with your permission.

Real-time reporting can also be used in place of static reporting. Static reporting, as opposed to real-time data, often provides performance reports as files that must be downloaded. These reports may be generated monthly, quarterly, or annually, and many of them entail manual entry or approval. Real-time reporting, on the other hand, provides the most up-to-date data, plus the platform handles the essential reporting tasks automatically.

Benefits of Real-Time Reporting

Businesses can prosper and achieve maximum productivity by utilising real-time data reporting. Additionally, they can reduce risks, save costs, and enhance their overall financial health by keeping a close eye on current developments and trends.

Let's explore the main benefits of using real-time data reporting and why it is important below.

7 benefits of real-time reporting

1. Proactive approaches can be taken

Instead of waiting for data to be gathered, processed, and analysed, real-time reporting allows you to create strategies and approaches based on information that is delivered instantly. This means that any decision made will be based on up-to-date data and trends, making it that much more effective.

Traditionally, actions have only been formulated based on previous data, meaning that by the time they are implemented, plans may be out-of-date, or no longer relevant. Real-time reporting allows for proactive, rather than reactive, business approaches.

2. Data visualisation is made easier

Companies can only gain a snapshot of the information presented in a chart by looking at past data. This means that a company's data must be constantly current and interactive.

However, with real-time data, it is easy to create data visualisations that depict updates in the company as they occur. Real-time reporting allows you to visually communicate data with key stakeholders and guarantee that important decision-making is never delayed.

3. Anomalies can be spotted instantly

By having real-time information on hand, any anomalies or abnormalities within the data can be noticed at once, allowing for quick investigation and the solving of problems before they escalate.

Not only does the instant ability to de-escalate problems save huge amounts of time and money further down the line, but it also allows for rapid investigation into the causes of the problem. A more rapid response allows for clearer investigative processes and pathways, giving stronger end results which are likely to be more accurate, and therefore more effective when designing solutions to these new problems. It also allows for patterns and trends to be discovered, which may help to inform future business decisions.

4. Daily operations can be understood with greater detail

Another advantage of real-time reporting is that it gives businesses the opportunity to understand all of the individual processes and systems within the whole operation. By being able to view each of these individual actions separately, without having them all presented to you in a quarterly or annual report, you are far more likely to understand the intricacies of daily operations, as well as understanding how they work synergistically.

From this information, it is easy to spot areas of potential weakness, areas of unusually high costs, or duplicate processes. This allows for the planning of greater daily efficiency, which will boost your business’s productivity while also cutting costs.

5. Companies gain a competitive advantage

Although real-time data reporting is becoming more common, a substantial proportion of businesses still don't make use of it. Therefore, organisations can gain an edge over their competitors by utilising real-time data analytics, rather than depending on past results. Staying current with the latest innovations and benchmarks will enable a business to make the best decisions that will benefit the organisation.

6. Real-time reporting saves additional costs

When a company makes use of real-time reporting, they find that they are able to dedicate less time, resources, and money on reporting and manual tasks.

As a result, real-time reporting allows businesses to save on staff expenditures. Additionally, these workers might be able to utilise their time for activities that are more profitable and productive, yet impossible to automate.

For instance, it used to be necessary to have robust IT support and mathematical knowledge in order to collect and analyse massive amounts of data. However, with real-time data and visual reporting, these requirements are a thing of the past.

Team members will now be able to gain accurate insights from the real-time data, thus enhancing overall business performance.

7. Key performance indicators are highlighted and goals can be optimised

A real-time report enables you to concentrate on the most critical key performance metrics (KPIs). This is because these reports emphasise the most relevant data points for your business to evaluate. Plus, because they're updated with the most up-to-date information, you can adjust your strategy as necessary.

Access to trustworthy data allows you to develop clear objectives that will lead you to your ultimate goal. Set your business objectives by recognising trends, pinpointing weak spots, and securing growth possibilities—all of which real-time data has the capacity to reveal.

Setting attainable goals requires you to understand precisely where you're starting from and map out a course, but it's also critical to react to challenges as soon as they occur. Real-time reporting displays current data and provides the clarity required to determine the best way forward—no matter where you may be on your business journey.

How ExpenseIn Can Help with Your Real-Time Reporting

At ExpenseIn, we know the benefits of real-time reporting and have incorporated all of these into our cloud-based software. As a result, ExpenseIn offers users an inspired solution to manage their employee expenses through receipt scanning via a mobile app, automatic creation of expense claims, and a fully accessible platform for managers to view and approve or reject claims.

By utilising ExpenseIn, businesses are able to fully streamline the once-lengthy expense claims system. Plus, with our real-time reporting feature, businesses can create strategies based on up-to-date data and trends, making it that much more effective.