Three key elements your enterprise planning and budgeting solution must include

Three key elements your enterprise planning and budgeting solution must include

Does your company plan and forecast with the speed and agility it requires? Most lack the tools required to do so.

Today’s business environment is ever changing, making it increasingly difficult for companies to deliver predictable financial performance for their investors and stakeholders. When companies look to new solutions, they are confronted with an array of choices. Available solutions force them to choose between cloud, on premise, and in-house solutions. Companies can either automate their current processes or select a vendor that explores new methodologies. Even with these available solutions, you may find that you are still unable to plan and re-forecast as quickly and accurately as you’d like.

Why can’t companies have it all? You can, if you ask the right questions of your potential vendor. You need a solution that both satisfies your immediate requirements and is adaptable to the way you will plan and budget for the future.

The world is changing and the same goes for planning and budgeting. Will you be ready? Here are three key elements your enterprise planning and budgeting solution must include:

  1. Operational big data

According to PwC, “Institutions that leverage Big Data to gain insights into their operations, customers, and marketing opportunities can position themselves for ongoing success. But transforming Big Data into actionable insights requires sophisticated analytics tools.”

How is your data structured for operational big data? Finance will soon find themselves in the domain of big data with models that run to many billions of data points. Yet many planning and budgeting tools were not designed to cope with this level of volume. In order to handle operational big data, ensure that the solution you select is built around an in-memory calculation engine.

  1. Agile

Traditional budgeting is time consuming and costly to produce. Information required for reforecasting departmental needs is often held in other offline models or multiple spreadsheets. This can be resolved by integrating business planning with financial planning in a driver-based budget. Changes made to any input value or driver directly impact future revenue or expenses. Adopting such methodologies means reforecasting becomes a continuous, light-touch process. Having financial projections built on internal and external business drivers gives earlier awareness of future variances, helping you to become more agile and responsive.

  1. Mobile

In 2013, the Apple App Store generated $10 billion in downloads. With the swipe of a finger, consumers can accomplish anything on their mobile phone or tablet. Mobile technology has made our every day lives easier.

For businesses, mobile can facilitate real-time collaboration and shortening core processes where possible. Re-forecasting requires timely inputs such as updates on how sales opportunities are progressing from field-based and operational staff. Remote employees that require access to business planning and budgeting can leverage mobile to receive automated alerts, self-guided analysis, and the ability to amend and approve budget submissions and re-forecasts. Ensure your solution integrates all mobile platforms today to get the most valuable return for your business.

Including these three critical elements will help you identify the solution provider that matches your immediate requirements today and also helps you adapt these requirements to evolve with your business in the future. For additional details on what to look for in an enterprise planning and budgeting solution, download our full whitepaper.

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