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How to deliver more value with less in FP&A

Integrating FP&A processes on a single platform reduces the cost of finance operations while adding value for users.

Many companies have made significant progress in driving down the overall cost of their finance operations over the past decade; however, those in the bottom quartile still have costs over three times that of the top performers (2.0 percent of revenue vs. 0.6 percent of revenue according to the latest APQC statistics).

These figures show that for a good number of organizations, improving the efficiency of their finance function is still work in progress. But even those companies in the top quartile should not be complacent. In addition to the increasing compliance workload, businesses expect their finance teams to provide more timely, relevant, and accurate information that leads to better decision-making.

Low-cost finance teams already use cloud solutions

Clearly, automating laborious, spreadsheet-based planning processes with more flexible financial systems helps improve productivity and reduces costs. What’s more, research funded by the Financial Executives Research Foundation and recruitment specialist Robert Half shows that top quartile companies with the lowest cost of finance make far greater use of cloud-based solutions. The differences are compelling, so it’s well worth taking the time to log in and access the report. But keep in mind that it’s not as easy as simply migrating your existing stove-pipe FP&A applications to the cloud —the process could involve multiple subscriptions and `leave you with exactly the same integration headache you had when they were all on-premise.

Anaplan takes a different approach

Subscribing to Anaplan gives you a single cloud-based environment for all FP&A processes and enables true collaboration since users can share master data and transactional data across other enterprise planning processes. This lets your team:

  • Develop top-down strategic plans with multiple scenarios that show how the choices you make impact the corporate P&L account, balance sheet, and cash flow, as well as identify operational constraints that need to be addressed.
  • Cascade top-line plans down to business units, which typically need to develop bottom-up plans that use drivers for modeling revenues and resource requirements, and incorporate highly granular data, such as compensation details, on entirely different time scales.
  • Integrate financial consolidation and intercompany reconciliation in real time to deliver a fast, accurate, and compliant finance close. Then you have immediate access to the latest actuals to start the next round of reforecasts, seamlessly integrating consolidation and planning.
  • Run newly forecast financials and projections from Sales and Operations through a costing app to see how they impact future product profitability.

Integrating top-down with bottom-up planning clearly reduces the number of budget iterations. At the same time, unifying previously stand-alone FP&A processes on a single platform minimizes the data integration workload. Both result in improved efficiency and ultimately lower costs in the finance function. But that’s not the whole story: Faster cycle times mean decision-makers get their information quicker and, because it includes more detailed insight, it is more likely to be useful for their decision-making.

That’s more value for less—just like we promised in the title. Learn more by requesting a demo.

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