Creating sophisticated plans, budgets, and forecasts is essential for CFOs and other decision makers in the company as it enables them to make wiser strategic and operational decisions. Ensuring such tasks are accurately and effectively performed is crucial. Plans, budgets, and forecasts have to be developed according to the most recent and relevant data.
It is undeniable that financial planning, budgeting, and forecasting is an essential component of effective business management. By nature, is a time – consuming, labor intensive process that can be a hindrance to progress in this fast-changing economic environment. It also requires a lot of attention to details and a huge amount of effort. However, given its importance in the organization, many companies are spending more time than necessary on creating budgets and forecasts to ensure it is correct. However, they spend less time analyzing and applying the results which is rather counterproductive.
Are you one of those who’s spending a lot of time developing and reviewing financial plans and budgets? Is your forecasting process effective and efficient or do you spend most of your time adjusting your process to have an accurate forecast or working budget?
The tools you use to create your company’s plans, budgets, and forecasts really matters. Nowadays, majority of businesses are still relying on generic spreadsheets in spite of the high availability of specialized planning, budgeting and forecasting process automation solutions.
Well, the truth of the matter in using spreadsheets is that it is essential to your personal productivity and it is embedded in the day-to-day operations of your organizations. However, it is also true that spreadsheets – especially for core financial processes like planning, budgeting and forecasting – is tedious and unreliable when someone has to make immediate decisions under increasingly pressured circumstances.
In order for these processes to be effective, you need to have the ability to pull-up real time reports and run new scenarios based on emerging data. You cannot simply do this with Excel spreadsheets as it was not built for this purpose.
By using specialized planning, budgeting and forecasting process automation solution which has the capability to run real-time reports and compare historical vs actual data, organisations can reduce the time it takes to create and adjust budgets by automating and streamlining many of the tasks involved. You don’t have to waste time cross checking your numbers or trying to figure out how the numbers came to be and you do not have to worry about conflicting versions of the truth in the business. With real-time figures at your disposal, you can have everything you need to effectively run your business and create concrete tactical and operational plans.
Furthermore, it enables the staff to meet deadlines through transparent approval workflows and schedules and it ensures that bottlenecks are addressed. Removing manual elements in the process like those found when the entire process is done in spreadsheets will also help reduce the risks of human error. Consequently, this allows for delivery of a ‘single version of the truth’ across the organization.
Therefore using an automation solution makes these processes easier to perform and more intuitive while ensuring reports, budgets, and forecasts are more accurate and most importantly, far more useful.
What would you like to do next?