A changing world and a fixed budget
Budgeting and its related aspects are, basically, a question of conditions. Many parametres are, potentially, of importance to next year's result: such as wages, currencies, sales prices, etc. In other words: As regards financial planning, many variables are on the table, each of which may impact the relevance of the budget.
In response to this complexity, it is quite understandable that most organisations ask their clever people to deliver a realistic and ambitious scenario for the coming year, all aspects of which have been carefully considered. Despite these efforts, the unexpected may always occur, and overnight the plan is no longer a sufficient point of departure. At worst, you may have a financial plan that can hardly be related to the specific situation that you are in as well as a planning process that cannot support urgent, critical decisions.
A planning process that supports the business
That's why we recommend an agile planning process focusing on an efficient turnaround of financial scenarios, which is always based on the organisation's most recent current data - typically illustrated through one or more rolling forecasts.
We also emphasise the importance of it being easy to twist and turn these scenarios, so that the impact of changes to the organisation's conditions can quickly be specified. Thus, it not only becomes easier for you to relate to complex changes, but it also allows you to resort to possibilities that were not on 'Finance's radar' when preparing the budget almost one year ago.
Flexibility, clear expectations, and the most recent information
At Basico, we have many years' experience with consultancy and implementation of planning tools. We recommend that you have the following keywords in mind when considering changes to your planning system.
Can your system be put to use easily and quickly - especially with a view to providing answers to specific questions and without loading extra work on Finance?
And can the system provide figures efficiently based on the most recent current data?
Is it possible to track calculations, drivers, and other relevant parametres so that the users can maintain control of the situation and relate to the figures produced by the system?
Is it easy for your employees to access and understand the system and its underlying processes - especially for those with a non-Finance background?
Are there actually only a few employees who understand the system and the processes?
Are there many manual processes, such as data processing and work with large excel sheets, which could potentially be done incorrectly and create distrust of the system?
Do the users often experience that the system fails or that it can be used by more persons simultaneously?
Tools that go hand in hand with agile planning principles
Basico is a solution provider of Workday Adaptive Planning, which is a award-winning cloud-based platform.
We recommend Workday Adaptive Planning - not only because the technology is best-in-class, but because the product has been designed to go hand in hand with agile planning principles. Therefore, Workday is not 'just' a smart system, but a catalyst for an efficient and value-creating approach to financial planning. Furthermore, Workday Adaptive Planning is an attractive alternative to the rather 'heavy' systems in the market and a strong solution for those wanting to go beyond Excel-based planning processes.
Mail series: Financial forecasting
Finance IT Services' digitalisation circle illustrates which competences we can offer when you intend to digitalise the financial processes of your business with a holistic point of departure.
When we help you digitalise and automate Finance, we take pride in combining the applications and tools that meet your specific needs. In a way ensuring that the solution supports the data, processes and people working hard behind the lines.
You can click on the various areas in the figure below if you want to read more about the many competences presented in Finance IT Services’ digitalisation circle.