Even the smallest companies plan for growth and a critical component in order to achieve that vision is by performing financial planning & analysis.
This means, among other things, performing budgeting and planning/financial forecasting, reporting analysis, financial consolidation, and tracking of KPIs.
It is important as a company to understand what it is that is needed in order to operate cost efficiently and in order to effectively allocate the finite resources of the company.
While it is easy to assume that companies by now must somehow have a good grip of their financial planning & analysis process because they do it all the time and because it is such a critical aspect of running the business, the truth of the matter is that most companies are frustrated with their process in one way or another.
So what are the most common real life FP&A issues that most companies struggle with?
- Long budget lead time
Most finance departments can agree that the entire FP&A process is not only tedious, it is also time-consuming. Some larger companies take 10 months to complete the process from start to finish which is not unusual but is rather sad.
Because of the long budget lead time, the business is not agile in its strategy and there is a high cost of change.
- Collaboration Issues
The difficulty met by finance teams in collaborating during the entire process makes everything twice as hard. Most finance departments struggle with a process that lacks transparency.
Simple things like sending emails back and forth, verifying that everyone is working on the latest version, collating comments or just simply approving or rejecting sheets all add unnecessary stress and time to the already long and complex process.
- Actuals/Reports Issues
Many finance departments have a hard time because it is impossible for them to investigate reports, to make changes to the reports on the fly, build custom reports or they simply struggle with QA issues. It is also quite common not to be able to compare actuals vs budgets in an easy way.
- Consolidation issues
It is rather strange when you think about the fact that multi-million or billion dollar companies still manually consolidate their figures. You can just imagine how error-prone, tedious, and questionable the resulting output might be.
But even for smaller to medium sized companies, consolidation is still done manually in Excel spreadsheets because they are unable to automate it.
- Lack of good financial visibility
Finance departments that still use mountains of Excel spreadsheets will agree that while excel spreadsheets get the job done (albeit, ineffeciently and inaccurately), there is no good financial visibility.
Some businesses are unable to do any type of allocations easily. Most have to wait until the last minute and then integrity also becomes an issue. For some, they are also unable to test the potential impacts of varying decisions because they just do not have the capability to do this.
- Overdependence on IT team
If you talk to most finance departments you will quickly learn that for certain reports, they will need the IT team´s help or for maintenance of the tool, they need to constantly call on the IT. Sadly, even inviting new finance users to use a specific solution will most often require IT involvement.
- Too many disparate systems
This problem is very common especially to those companies that grow via acquisitions. Without a good and effective FP&A solution, it is hard to onboard new companies and it is hard to have comparable figures for different legal entities.
Addressing these FP&A pains
Performance Canvas Financials is a unified cloud-based FP&A solution that can be installed and setup in as fast as 5 minutes. We say unified because it is a tool that was built from the ground up to offer support not only for budgeting and planning but also for reporting & analysis, financial forecasting, financial consolidation, and metrics management.
It basically is a complete FP&A solution that works by delivering leading best practices in FP&A through its prepackaged finance logic.
This means that all these best practices in FP&A are already incorporated in the tool and when you use the tool, it guides you so that you not only automate time-consuming tasks, you also streamline your process.
In short, it makes the entire process faster at the same time as it improves the quality of your budgets, plans, and reports.
How does it address the pains?
Performance Canvas Financials reduces your budget cycle time by 50-90% because it not only improves the process by enforcing an intelligent workflow, it also automates most of the tasks. It also has built-in collaboration features like versioning feature, approval workflow, and commentary/cause of change.
Performance Canvas Financials, after its 5 minute install and setup, instantly gives you a working solution that gives you access to actuals, budgets, and live forecasts. No waiting needed.
Because the install and setup is so easy, maintaining the tool also is just as easy. No IT team involvement needed and even for inviting users, the steps are extremely easy and straightforward. It takes no more than 60 seconds to invite a new user.
One of the strongest capabilities of Performance Canvas Financials is that it is system agnostic. It has the ability to integrate to any system. It has native integration for example to Microsoft NAV, AX, GP, Epicor ERP, Epicor iScala, Epicor Enterprise and many others.
To know more about how Performance Canvas Financials addresses the growing pains of finance departments, visit www.performancecanvas.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request for a free online demo of the product.
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