Every year, the financial planning and analysis team dreads that period of time when they have to work like investment bankers. This means clocking in more than the standard 40-50 hour work week. For some financial planning and analysis manager, they have that luxury of having a full weekend off but for many analysts in the team they have to start grinding over the weekend to prepare the files for Monday morning’s meetings. This is especially true for those that have not invested in a business budget planning software.
The team headed by the financial planning and analysis manager will now battle through the pressure of reporting quickly in order to provide a reliable analysis and insight that can support their 3-year strategy plan. All that and the fact they have to deal with office politicking on the side.
The financial planning and analysis team’s role has now expanded from just assessing and reporting the financial performance of the organization to becoming data scientists. These people have become the responsible people for generating critical company-wide information.
More than just the requirement of education, analysts are now expected to know how to access and collect information from BI, ERP, and other data sources in order to come up with actionable information.
There are of course other financial planning and analysis teams that are luckier than others because their CFOs or managers have invested in the best financial planning software that suits their planning and analysis needs. Majority, however, have not invested in these types of software because either they are not convinced of the value or their CFOs or managers couldn’t find the business budget software for them.
The Struggles of the team
As mentioned earlier, speed of reporting, availability of information, and office politicking are just few of the many issues that financial analysts face on a daily basis. There are other challenges that financial planning and analysis team meets. Listed below are some of the common ones.
- Huge Excel Sheets
There are very few analysts that do not struggle with massive amounts of excel spreadsheets. This gets even worse the bigger the organization.
Imagine the number of spreadsheets they have to collate and comb through especially if there are several offices globally. They have to go over certain metrics per geographic location like return on investment, return on equity, and debt ratios.
- Lack of Unified View
The figures that most CEOs and CFOs see come from various data sources within the company. They also come in different forms unfortunately. To unify these figures and make the dashboard less look technical or “financey” and make it more sales and marketing focused is yet another challenge.
Financial planning and analysis teams are expected to present the information in a sensible way and in a manner where the only thing left for the senior managers to do is to make the decisions. However, the process of getting to that stage is difficult to say the least for the analysts.
- Forecasting Errors
Another common struggle that many analysts are familiar with is the problem of having too many mistakes in the forecasts.
In an organization where people have to collaborate inside a big organization with potentially certain communication gaps, different analysts or person responsible confuse versions, make human errors, or they miss out on important information which can really make the entire process longer and more painful than it should.
- Problems with Collation and Communication
Collecting information is one thing and consolidating all these figures is another. Analysts have to consolidate inputs from HRIS, BI system, ERP system, their own OLAP cubes, etc.
To analyze all these and communicate these figures in a manner that everyone understands and everyone respects can be indescribably gruesome.
- Slow pace of reporting
One of the stressors of the financial planning and analysis team is the fact that every decision maker regardless of job title wants real time, up to date information that they can access pronto. (Never mind the fact that some of them just ask it for the heck of it)
This has become a large part of the work of many analysts – accommodating left and right requests from different decision makers when they want it. As mentioned earlier, without a good financial planning software, this can prove to be very tedious for the team.
Best Financial Planning Software
Best financial planning software means different things to different people. For some, it means a software that can do rolling forecasts for them. For others, it can mean a software that can help them consolidate faster at a reasonable price tag.
Whatever this may mean to a specific person or organization, the fact remains that investing in the best financial planning software has become a need more than a want. If we want our financial planning and analysis team to spend less time on administrative chores and more time actually analyzing and planning as well as engaging in continuing education, then having a business budget planning software in place is definitely a must.
Performance Canvas by DSPanel is tagged by over 2500 customers as for them the best financial planning software in 2016 and the most promising business budget planning software because of its ability to not only automate different types of forecasts, it can also consolidate financial statements and make it easy to follow-up, modify, and report. Performance Canvas allows a unified view of the data to make sure that the figures actually make sense for the decision makers and all these can be done in just seconds or minutes.
More than just financial planning, Performance Canvas automates and streamlines the entire budget process as well from start to end. To know more about this software that is tagged as the best financial planning software and most promising business budget planning software, visit www.performancecanvas.com or email [email protected] to see an online demo.
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.