Update Oct 10 - Two steps forward
I ended up having two good meetings with Finance. Armed with countless reports from various groups across our organisation I took them through the reality of having lots and lots of single point reports but no end to end reporting that links cause and effect. In the end they agreed to work with us, albeit in a couple of weeks after quarter end reporting is out of the way. I was able to confirm that the reporting tool of choice is Excel!
In addition we have put up a business case to receive funding for a workflow system that links the various stages of our ordering process. Today this is mostly done through group email boxes. We are confident of this being granted. An interesting benefit of this workflow system across multiple departments is that it will give us activity based reporting of the work as it passes along the value chain. This grass roots activity measure will become a valuable feed into our balanced scorecard.