According to Gartner, Corporate Performance Management (CPM) is an umbrella term that describes the methodologies, metrics, processes and systems used to monitor and manage the business performance of an enterprise.
The software that enables the translation of these methodologies, metrics, and processes into operational plans is called a CPM software.
A CPM software is now days an essential tool in any finance department as it is a system that is designed to support enterprise-wide accounting tasks such as budgeting, planning, forecasting, reporting, consolidation and analysis and dashboarding, and other business intelligence tasks.
However, as a CFO, how do you find the suitable Corporate Performance Management software for your company? How do you know if the CPM software you are currently looking at meets your present and future business requirements?
There are a lot of points to consider in choosing the right solution. It can be based on costs, level of integration, deployment models, and implementation times.
The truth of the matter is that finding the right CPM software for your company can be overwhelming but as long as you focus on the right things, it can be simplified. Here are the 5 tips we have for you.
- Know your Must-haves
There are several CPM vendors out there that will promise you all the stars in the sky and to be honest, some of them can really deliver a great many functionalities.
However, it is so easy to get lost in the vastness of what some vendors can offer that instead of having a solution that addresses your most urgent needs, you end up with a solution that can do almost everything but solve nothing for your business.
When looking for the right CPM software, know what type of functionalities you absolutely must have in order to address your most pressing needs.
Is it having both server and excel modeling capabilities? rolling forecasts? Driver-based budgeting? The ability to do unlimited what-if analysis? Easy to modify report templates? Ability to do allocations? Or is it the ability to do dashboarding and scorecarding? Is it AR and AP automation? the ability to scale easily? Or integration capabilities?
In all of these, list down your non-negotiable features and work your way from there. All else outside your non-negotiable functionalities are just nice to have.
- Know your Team
Choose a CPM software that you know your team will accept and learn quickly. What good is a robust solution if your team is intimidated by the use of it or if it takes them a couple of months to learn before they become productive again?
When choosing the right solution, choose one that has the familiarity of Excel to them but at the same time make sure that the CPM software has addressed all the underlying issues associated with budgeting and reporting in Excel spreadsheets.
Ensure that new CPM software you will choose is user-friendly and easy to adopt even for those that are not so technical.
- Set your Budget for the Software
If there is one thing you must know, it is that the cost of the CPM software is not necessarily commensurate to its capabilities.
Sometimes, the cheaper ones are better than those 5x its price and sometimes the more expensive one is superior than all the cheaper ones.
Set your pain limit when it comes to costs because most CPM vendors can negotiate the costs.
- Choose your Consultants Wisely
Your solution can only be as good as your consultants implementing it. Make sure that when you choose a CPM software, you keep in mind that you need to be able to find the right people to deliver it to you, install it correctly, and people you really trust can understand what it is you are trying to accomplish or solve.
Find consultants you know you can have a good and open working relationship with as it is vital in the successful choosing and implementation of a CPM software.
- Set a Realistic Timeline and Budget for Delays
Most CPM vendors will tell you they can implement fast/quickly. Of course, what “fast” means vary depending who you ask.
As the leader in your organization, set a realistic timeline taking into consideration the type of assistance your team can extend to those implementing, your other tasks on the side, potential delays or hiccups during the implementation, hardware availability, holidays or vacation leave of some of your key people.
Once you have set a timeline, budget for delays because it is not uncommon for many unexpected problems to arise during implementation. In fact, it is probably more common to expect problems than to expect a smooth sailing implementation.
A CPM Software that Understands your Business
Performance Canvas Financials (pcFinancials) is one of the most modern and fast growing CPM software in the market today.
It allows you to optimize your existing ERP system investments by integrating with it along with integrating with your other line of business systems. It offers you a complete and unified platform for budgeting and planning, reporting and analysis, forecasting, consolidation, and other BI tasks.
Performance Canvas functions by incorporating the latest best practices in budgeting and planning as well as reporting and analysis, forecasting, and consolidation into the platform. It is a tool that tells you how to do things better in order to increase efficiency and efficacy in your organization.
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