The benefit of FP&A software solutions:
Modern Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) software solutions offer a considerable benefit to many organisations.
No matter the size or nature of your organisation, an automated and modernised financial performance management process can:
- Boost productivity and job satisfaction for skilled resources.
- Give real-time, agile and self-service reporting
- Reduce cycle times and costs for planning, forecasting and management reporting.
- Give you valid information and insights on which to base your decisions.
Kick-starting the FP&A modernisation process
These benefits are available to anyone with a mind to modernise and upgrade their existing processes using special-purpose software applications. However, as with many projects, there are some key factors to keep in mind to ensure a successful outcome.
In this blog, we look at two key factors that require a huge amount of attention:
- Data quality.
- The financial processes that you organisation uses.
1. DATA QUALITY
When organisations implement an upgraded FP&A system, understanding and reviewing the existing processes is key, as is understanding and verifying the integrity of the data assembled and input to these processes.
This means that our clients need to take into account:
- The existing process model, and all its flaws.
- Where does it fall down?
- What impact does this have on the organisation?
- How can it be improved?
- How the financial systems across the organisation vary?
- How do different departments record and report on financial processes?
- Does a centralised system currently exist?
- If so, what is the data integrity of the current system?
When we implement a new FP&A process model, we need a good understanding of these issues. We also need to ensure that all parties understand where the above factors can become problems.
Automating a bad process: How your modernisation project can fail.
Many organisations lose the immense benefits of an FP&A systems upgrade by simply automating bad processes. This means that the hit-and-miss processes, inconsistent data, and lack of standards across the organisation are pulled into your upgraded planning and reporting solution.
While they may take less time and look better, they still feature the same bad processes and inconsistent data.
What can you do to make the modernisation process smoother?
- Consolidate your data.
- Ensure your databases and information are clean.
- Reconcile the data.
While most commercial FP&A software is capable of giving a good result, the quality of the outcome depends on the implementation process and a keen understanding of your business requirements.
In the whitepaper When Bad Data Happens to Good Companies, SAS states that ‘…most people’s knee-jerk reaction to suspected data quality issues is to roll up their sleeves and dig into the details’ – when in fact, a measured, rational approach is required.
Start at the bottom, and work your way up.
Designing a new FP&A process model is helped along greatly by a solid understanding of what is there. If you have it, you can share it with us, and the process of integrating your new process with your existing systems becomes smoother and more productive.
Contact Cortell for a free consultation, or to discuss the data quality factor involved in your FP&A upgrade.