Financial Planning Technology Enables Planning Approaches
Developments in business planning and performance analysis technology have created an opportunity for Finance organizations to adopt powerful planning techniques. Technology available from OneStream and Planful enables planning teams to make qualitative changes in the planning approach.
We can get away from single year forecasting. We can stop the manual keying of data by department managers in every corner of the business. We can stop fixating on one forecast. We can stop the long hours of manually downloading, refreshing and validating Excel files before sending to Business Unit partners, not to mention the time spent re-aggregating numerous Excel files back together.
We can lean on and leverage planning technology to help us efficiently manage planning processes in new ways. With Planful and OneStream, we can:
Utilize Business Drivers in Planning – let simple business rules be used to formulate the routine aspects of Department forecasts. With the time saved, Business Partners can focus on intelligent input in the real business sensitive components of their plan.
Move to Rolling Forecasts – This subtle, but powerful change in approach allows the business to get away from the typical financial year focus, and instead, adopt planning windows that are more consistent with the business’s cycles.
Scenario Planning Iterations – we believe forecasting should be done as a collection of scenarios. The scenario approach allows the business to identify planned adjustments to potential business outcomes. This provides upfront strategy and decision-making guidance. The ‘forecast of record’ and the measure of true performance may change as we move through the forecast period.
Initiatives – best, in our opinion, when planned in conjunction with Scenarios. Initiative planning can be event or scenario triggered. As the business can see the performance develop, strategies identified in the Scenarios can be rapidly adopted.
Strong technical platforms in the hands of strong planning teams become powerful business management assets.
By: Mark Davidson, Managing Partner