An investment company´s CEO named Johan Forssell has recently warned of an impending recession.
In the first quarter of their investment company´s report, he notes of a slowdown in demand that seems to be going on. He did mention that it remains to be seen just how bad this will turn out. However, they believe that this will be largely affected on a variety of factors such as trade negotiations between the US and China, how Brexit turns out, and some other relevant issues affecting the global market and its current state of volatility.
Perhaps a more important issue that needs to be talked about is just how well businesses are prepared to handle the demand slowdown if this worsens.
We had just attended a large customer conference attended by several controllers and finance managers in Las Vegas and every time we have asked these controllers about the state of their financial planning & analysis, they looked down and scratched their heads as they embarrassingly admit – it is still done in Excel spreadsheets, and we aren’t where we want to be.
Now, this isn´t unfortunately uncommon. Most finance departments still struggle with the manual and labor-intensive process of the way they do financial reporting, financial planning & analysis, and financial consolidation today. They know they need to improve; they just have not had the time to take that first step. Understandably so, the more manual you do things, the less time you have to think about increasing efficiency and productivity. It is a vicious cycle.
This brings us to the point earlier, if businesses are to prepare for changes in demand, there has to be business agility, and the way to do that is by ensuring that your decision-makers have real-time access to critical information. They must be able to do what if analysis, test their assumptions, allocate, budget and plan realistically, and report real-time. Absent this; your business will always be two steps behind that eventually this demand slowdown will catch up with you, and things can get ugly quite fast.
Start by looking at your current process, understand and document your bottlenecks and what you envision. What does an ideal FP&A process look like to you? What requirements do you want for new technology? Do you want it on premises or in the cloud? How much should it cost? How much time can you spend on implementation? What resources do you have available for this new deployment?
If you do not know where to start, may we recommend you have a look at Performance Canvas Financials? It is a complete and cloud-based budget planning software and reporting software in one unified platform. You can read more about it at www.performancecanvas.com.
We do not promise it is the right solution for you, but it is definitely worth evaluating. There is a reason its customers deem it the most user-friendly FP&A software they have ever seen.
What would you like to do next?