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Date Posted
17 July 2021
Industry
Charity
07_BlindVets-1

"During the pandemic, something changes every day because of government advice. We were able to go in and change our forecast and report it quickly. We could have done it in Excel, but it would have been really hard work."

Nupur Patel
Head of Finance
Blind Veterans

Creating a Flexible and Integrated Forecasting Strategy for Blind Veterans

Blind Veterans was founded in 1915 to help soldiers blinded during the First World War. To this day, the charity still supports thousands of former service personnel rebuild their lives after sight loss, no matter the cause or how long they served. 

Rehabilitation and training are the primary services provided to ensure veterans can have a good quality of life and live independently.

With over five hundred staff and double that in volunteers, it was vital for Blind Veterans to scale up and improve their financial planning and analysis, including their budgeting and forecasting.

The Challenges

The quality of care provided by Blind Veterans is crucial to their beneficiaries, and their financial systems needed levelling up to match that incredible standard.

Their existing financial software and complicated Excel Spreadsheets just weren’t up to scratch. A shared workbook with over ninety budget holders wasn’t practical, and the risk of unsanctioned changes to formulas was causing countless problems.

Forecasting cash flow and financial planning became a headache, with Excel Spreadsheets holding the charity back at every turn. Blind Veterans needed a flexible and integrated approach, incorporating HR and finance.

With such a diverse income and investments managed by external managers, getting the user interface right was a critical piece of the puzzle. It also needed to be simple enough to suit budget holders who aren’t financially savvy.

The solution had to be something that could deal with the various income streams, fundraising and events. Blind Veterans needed to manage budgets by individual projects while completing analysis at all levels to ensure they could accommodate their forecasting and budgeting strategy.

"We wanted something that would replicate Excel, but without the clunkiness or crashes when five or more people wanted to access a spreadsheet. We wanted the new software to be able to consolidate at the press of a button, with layers of security and access built-in."

Nupur Patel
Head of Finance
Blind Veterans

How Formulate Helped

Blind Veterans required a solution to help quickly implement an agile approach to budgeting and forecasting. To introduce such a solution is highly important when fulfilling these tasks isn’t the main priority for budget holders who are either providing assistance or trying to raise funds.

Workday Adaptive Planning was the perfect fit for the remit, and Formulate had two consultants on hand to visit the charity. Richard Morgan and Chris Holbrook met with Blind Veterans to understand their business’s needs.

In a short space of time, Richard and Chris helped the Blind Veterans team devise a clear plan for each module, along with a timeline for implementation, testing, and training based around all business activity. All the backend work was completed for Blind Veterans and carried out remotely. 

Blind Veterans budget holders welcomed the intuitive interface and collaborative approach. Their finance team has benefited from having a tool that allows them to pull information together efficiently.

As a result, Blind Veterans now have additional time to conduct further analysis. The reporting tools allowed the team to replicate management reports easily and with less user input too. Blind Veterans can now manipulate and dissect data exactly as they aimed to do.

By replacing the complex spreadsheets with Workday Adaptive Planning software, the team can create rolling forecasts and budgets quickly and easily. During the height of the pandemic, Workday Adaptive Planning and Formulate’s expertise enabled Blind Veterans to minimise the flux and uncertainty whilst remaining flexible and agile. 

The Benefits & Outcomes

  • Increased productivity by 20% and reduced time spent budgeting and consolidating by 50% 
  • Blind Veterans can update forecasts and report quickly without making costly errors.
  • Increased functionality and a clear, simple user interface make it easier for less finance-savvy budget holders to complete their work.
  • Tighter security giving different levels of access to the right people.
  • A simple way to extract and design bespoke reports to suit individual needs
  • A quick way to conduct cash flow planning without any additional input required.

Formulate’s ability to develop all-inclusive solutions like this differentiates them as a company. Their clients can be confident that they’ll work hard to deliver the outcomes that they most desire. 

If you’d like to improve your financial analysis and planning with the help of our Workday Adaptive Planning software and Formulate’s expertise, get in touch. Our team are here to provide honest advice and intelligent answers to all your burning questions. 

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