Despite the market saturation of many different types of forecasting solution, it is not uncommon for big companies to still manually create, distribute, and collate hundreds of forecast templates. These templates are then sent back and forth via email to the people involved in the process. Each forecast task also has to be separately approved (and approved in time by the management) otherwise it won´t be included in the forecast for that period. It sounds painful right?
This practice not only gives rise to version control problems, it also blinds the finance team in terms of what the forecasting status is because there is just no way anyone could truly know what the status of certain tasks are – if they have been accomplished or not. Someone also has to manually check if there are mistakes made along the way. Something heart pounding for the finance people whose necks are on the line.
When a manual forecasting process like this is in place, it comes as no surprise that forecasting happens only on bigger, more significant projects. Ideally, forecasting should happen for both big and small projects alike but when there is not enough time due to the manual nature of forecasting then a choice must unfortunately be made.
There is nothing noble about manually tracking workflow and expenses in each project. Not only does it lead to frustration of the finance team tasked to do the forecasting, it unnecessarily prolongs the process as well.
Here are the top 4 advantages of forecasting automation:
- No more version control problems
When the process is automated with a solution like Performance Canvas Financials, the tool integrates with any ERP system allowing the solution to read and track the stored data. Performance Canvas Financials has the ability to store spreadsheets, templates, and formula so that when a change is reflected in one sheet, it is automatically updated in all other sheets throughout the system.
This is because all the sheets are linked to each other allowing it to communicate seamlessly. This way, there are no varying versions because all those who need to do updates will be updating a single version that was last updated.
- Better Traceability
The good thing about having an automation solution in place is that there is a workflow. This workflow engine is so convenient when managing tasks. Unlike in the manual process where emails have to be sent back and forth to ask about status of certain tasks, with an automated process the monitoring of all the tasks is so easy. Everyone who has access can see the current status of a task if it is still pending or completed and who completed or made changes. There is better control and insight into what is happening during the forecasting process.
- Easy Spotting of Barriers
When forecast is automated, there is readily accessible, real-time information for the decision makers. It will be clear to see at any point whether or not the project will exceed allotted budget and time. When this happens, it is easier to anticipate problems and find a solution before the problem even occurs.
- Non-selective forecasting
With the manual way of forecasting, the finance team only has time to do forecasts for bigger projects because the entire process is tedious and time consuming. With an automated way of forecasting, since you cut the time to do forecasts to more than half of what it used to be and the process does not become as tedious, forecasts can now be done for both small and big projects alike. This increases customer and investor confidence and satisfaction with the organization. It also lessens the frustration felt by the finance team.
If you are looking for ways to improve your current forecasting process, check out Performance Canvas at www.performancecanvas.com. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org to avail of a free online demo of the forecasting solution.
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.