Exception reporting is used sparingly, probably because it is not well understood, but it is a business intelligence (BI) function that provides tremendous benefit to professionals and organizations that take advantage of what it can offer. Most BI applications contain robust features and functionality that provide individuals with timely, accurate and relevant information for monitoring, analysis, reporting and decision-making purposes. The greatest focus is on the delivery of information in the form of dashboards, standard reporting and analysis capabilities. Yet sometimes, BI applications can be too robust for most professionals to use or appreciate, unless they are  business analysts or their role is dedicated to analyzing information. While the ability to apprehend these capabilities may exist for non-business analysts, most individuals do not spend a great amount of time learning the extensive features and functions of their BI applications. Instead, they only focus on what they need to know because they are tending to their direct areas of responsibility. This is a common and natural occurrence. However, most professionals don't realize that exception reporting and alerts can help them do their jobs more efficiently. Beyond just saving time, exception reporting can even assist with major organizational objectives such as increasing customer satisfaction or aiding with Sarbanes-Oxley compliance.

Before exploring these benefits, let's first define our topic. Exception reporting is an automated means of monitoring predefined conditions that occur as a result of an organization's transactions and events. After the conditions are defined, exception reporting operates without direct human observation. Because an individual's ability to monitor the transactions and events of his or her organization is limited due to individual capacity to retain information and attention span, exception reporting enhances that ability while decreasing the burden of observation.

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