Three ways financial planners can create precise and accurate forecasts

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

In my first post in the top tips for financial planners series, I explored why a budgeting and planning solution is key to financial planning success in 2016 and looked at the three benefits to implementing a modern planning solution.

Article-5-cartoon-2

By Serb Jodha

In this post I focus on the three capabilities financial planners need to create precise and accurate forecasts: Agility, Mobility & Analytics.

In today’s world, business environments are changing rapidly – particularly in fast growing Asian economies where it is becoming increasingly difficult for companies to predict financial performance and the needs and trajectories of their budgeting cycles. To avoid surprises, it is essential not to set unrealistic or illusionary budgets which make it difficult or impossible to achieve strategic goals. The solution? Deploy tools that are built upon requirements and assumptions valid at the time of planning, with the ability to adapt to the changing needs through the budget cycle.

How can financial planners create precise and accurate forecasts?

  1. Make Planning More Agile

Having the ability to make real-time changes during budget planning is essential for building plans that are relevant and current. Normally, traditional budgeting is time-consuming and costly. Information required for reforecasting departmental needs is often held in offline models or multiple spreadsheets. This can be resolved by merging business planning and financial planning in a driver-based integrated platform that allows us to see real-time impact that could change future revenue or expense projections. Adopting an integrated planning approach on an agile platform allows reforecasting to become a continuous, light-touch process and allows the planner to gain predictive awareness of future variances, helping their organisation become more responsive.

  1. Mobility for Timely Forecasts

Article-5-quoteFinancial plans in a dynamic and growing market like Asia need to be more accessible to the financial planner.   A planning solution that is easily accessible and available in a timely manner can have increasing impacts on performance of the planning cycle and will facilitate collaboration that shortens the budgeting process. Mobility allows one to overcome the fact that reforecasting requires timely inputs such as updates on how sales opportunities are progressing – from both field-based and operational staff. With mobile solutions, employees on the road that require access to business planning and budgeting can, for example, receive automated alerts, self-guided analysis and amend and approve budget submissions and reforecasts.   A solution that integrates all popular mobile platforms will provide a competitive edge to organisations that have budget cycles requiring a coordinated and collaborative effort across business units, countries and regions in an increasingly mobile world but still retain the speed and accuracy of their forecasts.

  1. Analytics for actionable Insights

Delivering secure, on-demand access to reports, dashboards, and “what-if” analyses across plans, budgets, forecasts, and actuals both on- and offline allows you to take insight into action. Financial Planners need to spend less time creating and more time empowering with connected plans and reports— in a single complete system. Throughout the planning process stakeholders need to be empowered to make decisions with the data they need at the moment they need it using on-demand management reports or dashboards. Flexible systems will enable planning and reporting to be viewed side by side to understand current positions and make real-time changes to assess impacts.

Article-5-infograph
(Click to enlarge)

In summary, the second tip in this blog series is about enabling agility, mobility and analytics to allow organisations to formulate agile and collaborative plans driven by the data to forecast a path to success with a strong degree of accuracy and certainty whilst allowing quick responses to unpredictable economic drivers.

Want to learn more about speeding up your business planning processes? Sign up for a webinar at Anaplan to get a better understanding of how cloud-based business planning works.

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In my first post in the top tips for financial planners series, I explored why a budgeting and planning solution is key to financial planning success in 2016 and looked at the three benefits to implementing a modern planning solution. By Serb Jodha In this post I focus on the three capabilities financial planners need to create precise and accurate forecasts: Agility, Mobility & Analytics. In today’s world, business environments are changing rapidly – particularly in fast growing Asian economies where it is becoming increasingly difficult for companies to predict financial performance and the needs and trajectories of their budgeting...

Reading Time: 3 minutes

In my first post in the top tips for financial planners series, I explored why a budgeting and planning solution is key to financial planning success in 2016 and looked at the three benefits to implementing a modern planning solution.

Article-5-cartoon-2

By Serb Jodha

In this post I focus on the three capabilities financial planners need to create precise and accurate forecasts: Agility, Mobility & Analytics.

In today’s world, business environments are changing rapidly – particularly in fast growing Asian economies where it is becoming increasingly difficult for companies to predict financial performance and the needs and trajectories of their budgeting cycles. To avoid surprises, it is essential not to set unrealistic or illusionary budgets which make it difficult or impossible to achieve strategic goals. The solution? Deploy tools that are built upon requirements and assumptions valid at the time of planning, with the ability to adapt to the changing needs through the budget cycle.

How can financial planners create precise and accurate forecasts?

  1. Make Planning More Agile

Having the ability to make real-time changes during budget planning is essential for building plans that are relevant and current. Normally, traditional budgeting is time-consuming and costly. Information required for reforecasting departmental needs is often held in offline models or multiple spreadsheets. This can be resolved by merging business planning and financial planning in a driver-based integrated platform that allows us to see real-time impact that could change future revenue or expense projections. Adopting an integrated planning approach on an agile platform allows reforecasting to become a continuous, light-touch process and allows the planner to gain predictive awareness of future variances, helping their organisation become more responsive.

  1. Mobility for Timely Forecasts

Article-5-quoteFinancial plans in a dynamic and growing market like Asia need to be more accessible to the financial planner.   A planning solution that is easily accessible and available in a timely manner can have increasing impacts on performance of the planning cycle and will facilitate collaboration that shortens the budgeting process. Mobility allows one to overcome the fact that reforecasting requires timely inputs such as updates on how sales opportunities are progressing – from both field-based and operational staff. With mobile solutions, employees on the road that require access to business planning and budgeting can, for example, receive automated alerts, self-guided analysis and amend and approve budget submissions and reforecasts.   A solution that integrates all popular mobile platforms will provide a competitive edge to organisations that have budget cycles requiring a coordinated and collaborative effort across business units, countries and regions in an increasingly mobile world but still retain the speed and accuracy of their forecasts.

  1. Analytics for actionable Insights

Delivering secure, on-demand access to reports, dashboards, and “what-if” analyses across plans, budgets, forecasts, and actuals both on- and offline allows you to take insight into action. Financial Planners need to spend less time creating and more time empowering with connected plans and reports— in a single complete system. Throughout the planning process stakeholders need to be empowered to make decisions with the data they need at the moment they need it using on-demand management reports or dashboards. Flexible systems will enable planning and reporting to be viewed side by side to understand current positions and make real-time changes to assess impacts.

Article-5-infograph
(Click to enlarge)

In summary, the second tip in this blog series is about enabling agility, mobility and analytics to allow organisations to formulate agile and collaborative plans driven by the data to forecast a path to success with a strong degree of accuracy and certainty whilst allowing quick responses to unpredictable economic drivers.

Want to learn more about speeding up your business planning processes? Sign up for a webinar at Anaplan to get a better understanding of how cloud-based business planning works.

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