What Is Exception Reporting? 13 Facts You Need To Know

The exception report details situations in which actual performance dramatically differed from expectations, typically in a negative way. The purpose of this report is to direct management’s attention solely to issues requiring quick action.

For instance, an exception report may highlight instances in which spending exceeded the budget or production levels fell below the production plan.

What Is Exception Reporting?

The exception report is a form of summary report that identifies any occurrences that go beyond the regular range. This type of report is utilized in a variety of contexts, including inventory reconciliation, project management inquiry, and staff evaluations.

What Is Exception Reporting?

The purpose of the report is to identify any elements that fall outside of permissible boundaries so that corrective steps may be taken to reduce or eliminate exceptions and improve overall efficiency.

Understanding Exception Reporting

In terms of inventory reconciliation, the exception report is sometimes crucial for finding discrepancies between a physical inventory and the inventory recorded in inventory databases.

Errors may sneak into virtually any sort of inventory over time, necessitating modifications to represent the actual quantity of products on hand. This not only makes it easy to alter the ordering of new things so that appropriate supplies are always on hand, but it also makes it feasible to maintain an accurate inventory for tax purposes.

For instance, many manufacturing firms maintain what is known as a company store, which is responsible for supplying parts and other components essential for the operation of the machinery on the factory floor.

Managers of that store generally do a cycle count, physically inventorying everything from the tiniest screw to the most expensive motor components utilized to maintain and repair manufacturing equipment.

When it is determined that the number of units listed in the inventory database does not correspond to the physical count, an entry is made on an exception report. This makes it easy to detect if a received shipment of that component was not added to the database or if some disbursements from the physical inventory were not recorded correctly.

In rare instances, the exception report may also highlight supply theft, resulting in strengthened security measures that assist the organization reduce its loss.

In addition to aiding in the reconciliation of various types of inventories, an exception report may be useful for project management. In this instance, the report highlights jobs that are still outstanding, despite the fact that their estimated completion date has past. By recording the exception, it is feasible to modify the project’s work plan to account for the deviation and get the project back on track.

What Is Exception Reporting?

Even with employee evaluations, an exception report may be useful. The purpose of this section is to highlight any employee-related occurrences that go beyond the fundamental requirements of the role.

The exceptions may pertain to performance failures or performance that exceeds the normal work position.

For instance, the detail of the exception report may indicate that the employee requires additional training in certain areas or identify instances in which the employee was able to assume additional responsibilities while a coworker was ill, allowing the business operation to continue with minimal disruption to productivity.

Depending on the nature of the concerns reported in the exception report, the employee may be advised for remedial training or given a commendation for offering additional services to an employer while properly managing assigned work.

Data Quality

Poor data quality costs the average organization over $15 million per year, according to Gartner. Incomplete data, duplicate entries, and out-of-date data all contribute to the issue. Reporting operational exceptions can be beneficial in several ways.

Exception reporting can identify instances in which information is insufficient. If a customer record lacks address information, for instance, it might result in late delivery, misdirected invoicing, and payment delays. Postal codes that are missing or inaccurate sometimes result in fines from shipping businesses, which can build up to large expenditures if the problem is widespread.

Additionally, incomplete information might result in regulatory fines. In the United Kingdom, for instance, employee records with missing information on pension contribution opt-outs might lead to compliance difficulties. By proactively reporting these types of exceptions, businesses may stay compliant and avoid problems.

Additionally, you may utilize exception reporting to identify duplicate master data. It is fairly usual, for instance, for many customer records to exist. This can result in further data quality issues.

If you record a change of address for one instance of a customer’s record, but send the following sales order to the old address associated with a separate customer record, you will incur expenses and experience delays.

As a result of sending many promotional mailers to a single address, duplicate addresses can also result in monetary waste for the marketing department. On a big scale, this is significant.

Examples of Operational Exception Reporting

Exception reporting offers accounting and finance with several chances to boost efficiency and effectiveness. In credit and collections, for instance, an exception report may include a list of clients whose outstanding bills surpass 80 percent of their credit limit and whose debt is over 45 days old.

This information may be shared with the sales department so that account representatives are aware of any future credit holds.

Using exception reporting, the accounts payable department may detect timely payment discounts that are at danger of expiring. The organization may take advantage of discounts and save money by pushing these invoices to the front of the payment queue.

Exception reporting can be utilized in buying to detect invoices for which there is no corresponding purchase order. These may suggest instances of unauthorized expenditures. Unauthorized expenditures can impede efforts to effectively estimate cash flow, and they may indicate a lack of internal controls.

Exception reporting can also be used to facilitate processes within an organization. You may then mark rejected purchase orders for follow-up, for instance. When transactions are delayed due to missing approvals, the firm may experience a slowdown. Delays in supplier deliveries can have a ripple effect across a company, resulting in delayed customer deliveries.

Some fundamental examples of project management and financial metrics tracked by exception reports

  • Actual versus estimated time spent on a project.
  • Overall cost and budgeting for the project
  • Quality and risk administration
  • Output and manufacturing levels
  • Cash flow, budgeting, income, and spending are financial performance indicators.

4 benefits of exception reports for project managers

1. Gives a fantastic overview of your entire project plan

Exception reports provide your project and management teams with an overview of the project’s progress. It aids in documenting any problems that may develop throughout the course of the project and provides a methodical explanation of the problem and potential remedies.

Consider the core 5Ws (What, Why, When, and Who) and 1H (How) procedures for project management. Each of these questions requires a factual response. You should also be able to support your responses with empirical evidence.

What Is Exception Reporting?

Introduce exception reports as part of your business process reporting or inside your project management dashboards for an outstanding understanding of your project plan’s strengths and limitations.

2. An early warning system and overview of pressing issues for decision makers

In most cases, time is of the essence when an exception report is required. Prioritize conducting the necessary analysis to obtain an overview of the most critical challenges inside your project.

Exception reports serve as a mechanism of early warning. Indicating concerns in advance will alert decision-makers when the company is at risk of missing critical performance goals.

This also helps your management team determine when they need to take remedial action or provide permission for workers to conduct additional investigations.

3. Equips your project team with a better understanding of why deviations occurred

Having problems occur during a project with strict deadlines is typically stressful and stressful.

Exception reports facilitate a return to the fundamentals and a methodical, composed approach to these difficulties. It gives a step-by-step structure for conducting a comprehensive investigation to capture the context, establish the facts, collect recommendations, and discuss the impact on the project plan.

This procedure helps you manage the strong emotions of team members, maintain team concentration, and reassure project stakeholders that the issue is under control.

4. Insight into how to improve the process workflow for subsequent projects

By recording the lessons gained from current exceptions, your project team will have a better understanding of how to prevent such problems in the future.

You might modify your project management methods based on the facts and insights acquired from developing an exception report.

Even better, recording lessons gained benefits teams at both the strategic and operational levels, if not the whole enterprise.

Step by step guide on what you can include in a sample report:

Unsure of how to organize an effective exception report?

Let’s go down the process of generating a comprehensive exception report that will amaze your management.

Feel free to modify this format to your own specifications.

  1. Set the scene: Describe your project’s objectives and where you are in the process.
  2. Describe the circumstance: What has occurred on the project to necessitate the writing of an exception report?
  3. How and why have you deviated from the path? Provide an examination of the exception’s cause and perceived impact.
  4. What impact have these exceptions had on the project? First, consider budgets, timelines, and resource allocation. Present things in a logical and analytical manner.
  5. What suggestions do you have for correcting course and resolving problems? Provide your management team with a number of actionable alternatives. As much as feasible, organize your presentation. For example, each suggested solution should include the related costs, potential hazards, and advantages.
  6. What do you suggest most highly? Which course of action would you recommend pursuing based on your suggestions?
  7. What is the change period? Document the additional time, resources, and funds required for course correction in light of your recommendations and concerns. This facilitates expectation management.
  8. Record the lessons learned as a consequence: Both your project team and future project teams will be able to use the lessons learned from this analysis to future initiatives. Use lessons learned data to enhance your project procedures. Or create a new, enhanced procedure from scratch.
  9. Create an exception plan that updates or replaces your prior project plan using your preferred project management application after your exception report is complete.

What Is Exception Reporting?

Format of the Exception Report

  • A concern brought up at a live progress meeting (face to face or conference call)
  • A word / PDF document
  • An email
  • A notice generated within a project management application.
  • If the situation is urgent, the Exception Report can be delivered orally (don’t sound too frightened). If necessary, you can follow up later with a documented Exception Report.

Exception Report Quality Criteria

Reason for the variance must be explained explicitly. The effect of the concerns should be elaborated on in the Business Case.

Clarify the impact on the Project Plan Options have been identified and examined. Additionally, the Project Manager should propose the most suitable alternative.


  • Determine how the Project Board want to be notified if the matter is truly urgent.
  • Utilize a report format with which the Project Board is familiar (ask the Executive)
  • If you are waiting for a response from the Executive, you should be able to remind them.

Exception Report in Banks

Why Exception Tracking is Critical

In banks, well-structured exception reports enable users to sift and filter exception data rapidly. Administrators of credit or loans utilize these filters to construct reports that evaluate several criteria, such as officer, branch, and account-related information.

Consistent and comprehensive analysis of exception data enables banks to detect circumstances requiring quick action, so safeguarding their interests in relation to:

  • Defaults: If a deed of trust is not registered and a loan defaults, the financial institution may be unable to foreclose on the property.
  • Collateral: Without vehicle insurance tracking, a totaled automobile becomes lost collateral.
  • Collection: Absence of the promissory note hinders the bank’s ability to collect the obligation.
  • UCCs: UCC filings must be renewed every five years.
  • Compliance: Missing documentation might result in inadequate compliance examinations by authorities.

What Is Exception Reporting?

Common Ways to Track Exceptions

Banks utilize a variety of strategies to track issues and create exception reports.


One low-cost method is an electronic spreadsheet. Although cost is negligible in this instance, manual data entry consumes a great deal of time. The spreadsheet generates reports, which are subsequently emailed to the relevant bank employee.

It may be necessary to send or courier printed reports to a different location. Therefore, introducing the human factor might also result in human mistake.

In-house Databases:

Another alternative for monitoring exceptions is an in-house, custom-built database; the merits and downsides of spreadsheets also apply to databases. Databases can provide extra technological issues, necessitating the participation of IT.

Exception Report Software:

Automated software, generally provides a more streamlined approach to tracking exceptions, generating reports, and delivering flagged items to employees for resolution. A financial institution can customize the software to flag “critical” exceptions that must be dealt with immediately, such as a recorded deed of trust within 30 days or a title policy within 60 days.

Automated exception reports can be run daily if the financial institution desires, and they are automatically routed via email to the appropriate compliance officer, insurance clerk, or other bank employees as necessary.

How To Read Your Exception Report

There will be an exception number displayed for unscanned and mismatched document types and stores. Modify your report to display the latest seven, thirty, sixty, or ninety days, or create a custom date range.

Display your exception report as a chart or a list to gain quicker insight on missing document resolution. The dynamic, real-time report enables users to click through to examine a particular day and see exceptions immediately. For instant clarity, document titles, transaction numbers, and RO numbers can be amended immediately in the exception report.

What Is Exception Reporting?

We advise dealerships to regularly check their exception report with their staff. Scan operators should ensure that all scans from the previous day were adequately identified, communicated, and processed into One View by examining the unmatched portion of the report.

Meanwhile, service managers or owners should evaluate the unscanned documents from the previous month by reviewing the exception report each month. Download your mismatched or unscannable list at any time for evaluation and resolution by your team.

Once the unscanned list for the month reaches zero, it is safe to trash all papers, if allowed by the retention rules of your state association, manufacturer, and CPA company.

What are Unscanned Documents

When an invoice or transaction is closed in the DMS, a record is extracted for each closed invoice or contract. If the document appears on the unscanned report, it has not yet been scanned into the One View system. Unscanned papers are followed by their expiration date.

Reasons for Unscanned Documents

There are two basic causes for a document to appear in the exception report’s unscanned documents section.

  • The invoice or contract had not been scanned.
  • The scanned invoice or contract had the incorrect name or document title. It is conceivable that this will be rectified when the report of mismatched scans is reconciled. Verify that your deal number, return order number, and invoice number are legitimate.

What are Unmatched Scans

If a scanned invoice or contract does not have a corresponding record in the DMS, it will be shown as mismatched in the One View system.

Reasons for Unmatched Scans

There are three basic causes for a document to appear in the exception report’s mismatched scans section.

  1. In the DMS, the scanned invoice or contract was not closed. Therefore, it was unable to retrieve a record. Ensure the record is closed in the DMS to rectify the situation.
  2. The document was scanned, but the incorrect name or title was delivered. Similar to your unscanned papers, you should verify the validity of the deal number, return order number, and invoice number.
  3. The document that was scanned has been archived for more than seven days. The nightly feed program will only retrieve seven days of closed invoices or transactions.


Exception reporting is “the analysis of exceptional activity (such as errors or unusual traffic) in your website.” This could be anything from an error message to a sudden surge in sales.

Exception reporting can be used as a tool to help you learn about your site visitors and how they behave. It can also be used to spot trends and predict problems.

When using exception reporting, you should always remember to use a positive mindset, because you are not looking for anything negative; rather, you are simply looking to find out more about your customers.


What is an Exception Report? An exception report is a document that states those instances in which actual performance deviated significantly from expectations, usually in a negative direction. The intent of the report is to focus management attention on just those areas requiring immediate action.
The primary purpose of an exception report is to identify where something has gone wrong, and to make management aware so that they can address the issue in a timely manner.
As we noted above, the exception report is usually part of the controlling stage in project management. This is the point in the project when the project manager reviews issues related to the project. If one of these issues threatens the project, then the project manager needs to create an exception report.
The Financial Transaction Exception Report provides a list of non-payroll financial transactions to a funds center and all it’s subordinate funds centers that match or exceeds a particular threshold dollar value.


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