Automation is probably one of the main reasons why several industries such as the manufacturing industry for example is thriving. Automation in different aspects of the industry allows several companies to minimize costs and maximize profit. However, across several industries financial planning, budgeting, forecasting, reporting and analysis, or even consolidation of figures remain to be a huge struggle.
It is strange considering there is no shortage of budgeting and forecasting tools or any other business intelligence tools for that matter.
To be truly successful in this area regardless of the brand of the BI solution a company chooses, it must be easy to implement and wholeheartedly accepted by the finance users. The buy-in of the users is very important as they need to feel that the tool will genuinely help them which is why “they want to accept it” more than just having a feeling of “they need to accept it.”
This buy in spells the difference between the success or failure of the tool implementation and use in the long run.
If you are looking for a reporting, budgeting, forecasting, consolidation, and BI solution today, here are the top 10 most important features you need to look for in a solution.
The tool should accommodate both visual and numeric data that is readily accessible as the need arises. A user must be able to create a report from scratch with the information he or she needs in just a matter of seconds or minutes instead of hours.
- Driver-based Forecasts
The BI solution should allow you to work with unlimited and varied type of drivers depending on what works for your organization.
- ERP system extension
Your reporting, budgeting, forecasting, and consolidating tool should serve as an extension of your accounting software or ERP system´s actual data. It must be able to read data from your existing system. Integration with your current ERP system is the most ideal scenario.
- On-premise or cloud solution
Your solution must give you the option of doing either an on premise installation or cloud-based solution. The choice should not be enforced on you rather, you must choose based on what works best for your organization.
- Built-in Rules
Business rules must be built-in the system and available for users to choose from.
- Simple Interface to General Ledger
A direct link or simple interface to the general ledger should be present in the tool for easy population of actual data and immediate use of these data in the analysis especially after a closing period.
- Chart of Accounts Set-up
The solution must allow you as a user to set up or mirror chart of accounts that can serve to represent your actual accounting system´s chart of accounts.
- Module Add-ons
The upgrade possibility of the tool should be endless. A modular approach where you can have functions such as revenue forecasting, accounts receivables and accounts payables, profitability analysis, drill page, HR module, sales budget should be available in the solution. The tool must grow as the company grows.
The tool should allow you to allocate forecasted amounts to pre-defined accounts.
- Native Microsoft Excel Integration
The finance world is highly dependent and familiar with Microsoft Excel. Having a tool that is natively integrated with MS Excel will not only make it easier for finance users to learn the tool, it will also leverage their existing skills. As long as the underlying problems of having huge spreadsheets have been addressed by the solution, MS Excel remains to be the most preferred and optimal tool for finance users.
If you are looking for ways to improve the way you do reporting, budgeting, planning, and consolidating, Performance Canvas by DSPanel offers a way to increase the efficiency of all finance users through intelligent automation, fast implementation, and easy software championship. Visit www.performancecanvas.com for more information or email us at [email protected] to see an online demonstration.
DSPanel offers cutting edge technology platform for business analytics, planning, and visualization. DSPanel designs, builds, and operates with the end users in mind. Performance Canvas was created by DSPanel to answer the unarticulated needs of the market not addressed by previous available solutions. With Performance Canvas, information is transformed into valuable business insights for the business executives to utilize in their decision-making process. DSPanel currently has over 2500 organizations deploying their solutions.