In this blog, I’m focusing on the reporting piece of financial planning and analysis process and the important role technology plays.
First, I want to share a brief anecdote. Having coming from the world of finance, my professional and personal network comprises several individuals who are in various roles from financial analysts to senior finance executives. Over coffee with a friend, who is financial analyst at large Silicon Valley Company, we got talking about the increasing popularity of marathons. My friend jokingly commented that she would like to run the famous Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco but for now is using up her energy and reserves for the “Midnight Excel Marathon” since it is nearing quarter close!
This is the reality of the FP&A World today, according to a recent Aberdeen Report. The responsibility of reporting, analyzing, tracking, assessing performance normally falls in the Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) group in a company. Systems and processes are put in place for that group to do their job, however, there are too many stand alone systems – one for planning, reporting, dashboarding, analyzing … The easy solution for the financial analyst is to dump everything into Excel and create management reports that are then leveraged for decision making. Organizations, while understanding the risk, have gotten comfortable basing their decisions on these reports that are outdated, have a high margin of error since they are compiled manually, out of context, and irrelevant as days go by in the planning process.
However, today, the enterprise software industry offers the best in analytical reporting technology. The problem is not lack of technology but lack of integration of technology in such a way that it supports the FP&A process in its entirety. Why shouldn’t a planning solution provide the user with the ability to create reports and dashboards in real time with business friendly visualizations? A new solution has tackled this challenge head on by embedding an industry standard reporting platform with a consumer grade user experience to build and share reports and dashboards in context from right within the planning application.
With reporting being part of the financial planning application, finance users can:
- Configure and personalize their dashboard with relevant KPIs related to planning
- Analyze and visualize your information in-context and in real time
- Optimize the decision making in planning with access to real time reports and metrics
53% of organizations with the current generation of cloud solutions enable business users to create charts and reports in a self-service capacity.
For more information read the Aberdeen eBook, “Next Generation of Cloud FP&A: Simple, Collaborative and Real-Time”.