Manual processes, the changeover to automated FPM, and where the upgrade starts.
Manual processes in your financial reporting and FPM solution are associated with a number of risks:
- Human error in reporting.
- Impact on investor confidence if incorrect results are reported.
- Time-consuming re-entry of data.
- Slow turnaround of reporting.
- Reduced ability to forecast accurately.
- Employee burnout during reporting periods.
Understanding the processes and deliverables in the FPM upgrade process, from a client perspective, helps you to understand why and how an automated process can help your business to capitalise on resources, and what kind of changes you will need to make in order to successfully execute a modernisation or automation of your systems.
There are three important focus areas while planning an FPM solution upgrade:
1. Raw-Material: Data
When you start looking at your FPM procedures, close attention must be paid to your data.
- Where does it come from?
- Is it accurate and consistent?
- How is it consolidated?
- Where are your problem areas?
- What do you need, specifically, to improve the quality of the information in your reporting?
2. Raw-Material: Budget and ROI
Once the initial consults are complete, a high-level proposal will give you an outline of the upgrade / modernisation process.
With this, you will need to assess:
- The project time-frame and return over time
- References and recommendations of the solution provided
- Deadlines and timelines, based on your Financial Year End
3. Raw-Material: Employees
Considering your talent and resources in the overall process is important.
In terms of your finances:
- How much time is wasted on manual-entry processes?
- How many highly-skilled employees are assigned to manual, menial process tasks?
- How could you optimise your salary budget to get the most out of the staff you have?
In terms of health and wellness:
- How can automating the majority of the slog-work help you to empower your employees?
- Will you be able to reduce the workload, and improve the quality of work from your workforce?
Answering these questions, and considering the impact that your current processes have on your business bottom-line, will help you to establish the need, where your problem areas are, and the benefits of upgrading your processes to an automated FPM Solution.
In the planning and proposal phase, you will also have a clearer picture of what needs to be done, how it needs to be done, and who will be required to help you move your FPM solutions forward.
If you have queries about Financial Performance Management that you would like us to cover in this series, let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Words by Alison Krumm