How Finance Teams Can Achieve Active Planning
The biggest challenge facing organisations today is keeping up, and quickly responding, to change. In a world of constant change, one thing remains constant for finance teams - the need for accurate, agile planning and forecasting.
What is static planning?
This is something that you will most likely be accustomed to. Most finance teams currently engage in static planning, a process that is not optimised for responding and adapting to change. Static planning is characterised by long planning cycles, short-lived plans, siloed efforts, and lack of time for strategic analysis. Where a static planning process forces a compromise between getting a plan right and getting it done, active financial planning lets you plan and adapt without compromise.
What is active Planning
Active planning gives you the power to better manage your business, by analysing and understanding historical performance to inform and predict future performance. An active planning process is the key to accurate, agile plans that help drive business growth.
Active planning is a process that Is Collaborative, Comprehensive, and Continuous and provides seven key benefits which are:
1: Improved Collaboration
By using a single source of shared data accessible to the entire team through the cloud, collaborative financial planning empowers all stakeholders to easily engage with the numbers.
2: A Comprehensive View of the Business
Unlock new insights with detailed and sophisticated budgeting, analysis, modeling, and forecasting that spans the entire business and understands its complexities and nuances.
3: Faster Forecasting and Analysis for Continuous Planning
Active planning automates data collection to ensure you’re always working with fresh data. This allows you to spend more time on analysis, delivering deeper insights and becoming a better business partner to the entire company. Be Better Prepared for Every Business Opportunity
4: Better Visibility
An active planning process provides the transparency necessary for collaborative budgeting and agile financial forecasting. A full audit trail makes it quick and easy to see who made changes to data or reports and when they made them.
5: Actionable Insights
Self-service reports and dashboards make it easy for finance and even other departments to create reports and pull data without effort. Data visualisation lets non-finance users easily see the story the numbers are telling without getting lost in rows of data, while people across the company become more empowered to present and share key financial and operational metrics. The result across the board is a company that makes decisions driven by data.
6: Better Responsiveness
Active planning allows for continuous budget planning and rolling forecasts no matter how much data you add to the process, allowing you to respond faster to a changing marketplace.
7: Increased Confidence
With a single source of truth based on comprehensive, fresh data, you’ll get fewer discrepancies while knowing everyone is working with the same numbers.
what is required to achieve active planning?
To enable active planning, you need a planning tool that’s easy, powerful, and fast.
Easy: Meaning operations and finance professionals can collaborate on everyday planning and forecasting processes without struggle.
Powerful: Model anything and analyse everything based on a single source of truth for data-driven decision making.
Fast: Model quickly so you can adapt plans in real-time and support business partners with continuous planning.
With all three of these factors in place, finance can plan and adapt without compromise to drive business success and ultimately become a source of strategic value within the company.