Armanino Blog
Article

Financial Planning & Analysis Transformation to Best-in-Class

by John Dunican
October 29, 2015

A survey conducted by APQC recently  found that only 40% of finance executives rated their financial planning  analysis (FP&A) capabilities as effective. Many finance teams use Excel as their tool of choice for financial planning, but Excel lacks collaboration, controls, and the ability to deliver timely insights. It's no shock to learn finance executives find their FP&A systems ineffective when their tools can't keep up with their needs. Increased pressures on the finance team to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of FP&A systems are causing teams to seek better solutions as tools like Excel buckle under the weight of those growing demands.

In order to keep business leaders informed and make timely decisions, real-time performance data is essential for finance leaders. An agile FP&A function enables businesses to standardize processes, creates a more collaborative planning process, and allows the establishment of easy-to-understand dashboards and smooth reporting across the entire organization. Transforming your FP&A function into a well-oiled machine can make significant differences in strategically planning for future growth and understanding your business with true visibility. Changing solutions might sound time-consuming or painful, but by planning and utilizing best practices, the difficulty of transitioning is greatly reduced. Additionally, the benefits of a transition to a best-in-class system tremendously outweigh the costs or potential angst - real and perceived!  Once a scalable, best-in-class system is in place, FP&A becomes an invaluable strategic element of the company growth process.

Transforming the financial planning & analysis function to a cloud-based corporate performance management solution enables business leaders to experience the benefits of a single source of the truth across the entire company.  Regularly spending time to manually export and consolidate data will slow a company's growth and hinder success. The recent white paper A Roadmap for FP&A Transformation: Adding True Value to the Business explored the impact of successful FP&A reporting. Carl Schleutermann from Armanino's CFO Advisory Services team remarked, "With a re-engineered, automated FP&A reporting process, what used to take weeks using Excel spreadsheets can be achieved in a matter of minutes. If the board wants to understand the impact of a potential change, staff can show that immediately." An FP&A system will drive success with streamlining and automated budgeting, collaborative planning, integration of data from disparate systems, one-button quarterly forecasts, and efficient what-if analysis and revenue planning.

Reports and dashboards enable true visibility into a company's real-time data with increased speed and accuracy. Secure access and easy customization ensure the needs of every stakeholder are easily met without disrupting daily workflows. Utilizing a best-in-class FP&A system cuts down significantly on the time it takes to pull reports and drill-down reporting options make it much easier to slice up the data in various ways to ensure your team always gets accurate data for whatever they need.

Learn more on transforming your financial planning & analysis function to a best-in-class system and delve into case studies on what your peers have experienced in the full white paper A Roadmap for FP&A Transformation: Adding True Value to the Business. Additionally, remember to check out the November webinar on

Discover more on the best-in-class financial planning & analysis solution Workday Adaptive Planning with Armanino.

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Authors
John Dunican - Partner, Consulting - San Ramon CA | Armanino
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