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What is MIS and How Does it Work?

Transparency is the key to harmonious business operations. The more you know about how your business is running the better positioned you are for effective decision-making, ensuring that your operations and finances are optimal. That’s why businesses of all shapes and sizes rely on regular reporting to stay in the driving seat. 

Reporting provides insights into cash flow, spending, profits and growth. But as your business grows, you have to collate more and more data. You need the right digital systems to help you store, access and interrogate this growing wealth of data. That’s where Management Information Systems (MIS) reporting comes in.

What is MIS reporting?

Management Information Systems is an umbrella term encompassing all kinds of digital information systems that are used to organise and evaluate data to facilitate managerial decision-making.

They draw on data from a huge range of sources, from day-to-day accounting activities (cost reports, variance reports, profitability drivers) to employee data, information on interpersonal and interorganisational relationships, and even personal knowledge. 

Management systems of yesteryear were somewhat chaotic. They were based more on executive intuition and instinct rather than tangible data. MIS reporting is designed to give management and executives access to the data they need to master their cash management, understand operational challenges and develop effective solutions.  

How do Management Information Systems work?

Management Information Systems are just like all other computer systems. They comprise software, hardware, users, procedures, media, messaging, input and output. While they are traditionally used to gauge a company’s finances and aid in accounting, Management Information Systems are also commonly used at management, strategic and even operational levels. Wherever data can be used for practical problem-solving, MIS can be deployed. 

Essentially, MIS is an amalgam of computer and managerial sciences. It can be integrated into your existing IT and operational setup, pulling data from a huge range of internal and external sources. 

This data is then collected into a central repository to be parsed and interrogated by management teams and executives. 

Different types of MIS reports 

Accounting teams draw on a number of different MIS reports, which in turn can influence managerial decision-making. Some of the different types of reports that make up MIS reporting include:

  • Budgetary reports

  • Production reports

  • Sales reports

  • Cash / funds flow statements

  • Cost reports

  • Abnormal losses reports

  • Orders in hand reports

  • External published statistics

  • Employee productivity reports (e.g. report on ideal time)

  • Plant / machine utilisation reports

Each of these reports is a piece of the puzzle. MIS pulls all these pieces together and arranges them into a format from which valuable insights can be gleaned. 

The applications and benefits of MIS

The quality and diversity of the information gathered by MIS brings with it a host of benefits for companies of all shapes and sizes. Let’s take a look at some of the applications of MIS reporting and their inherent benefits:

  • It can help eliminate wasteful spending such as idle time and wasted resources to enhance cost control

  • It aids in the evaluation of employees, equipment and processes 

  • It can be used to measure actual performance against projected figures and budgets

  • It takes the effort out of collating and maintaining data flows throughout an organisation

  • It can be useful in mitigating the uncertainty and risk that are often inherent in upper-level decision-making

We can help

If you’re interested in finding out more about Management Information Systems, reporting, or any other aspect of your business finances, then get in touch with our financial experts. Find out how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.

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