Why Invest In A Dedicated Budgeting and Reporting Solution?
Whatever your business size or nature you will need to produce financial planning and analysis for various stakeholders inside and outside the business
Traditionally most business use Excel to produce all their financial planning and analysis. However, has a business grows finance and planning teams find that they are spending more time creating, editing and checking spreadsheets rather than actually looking at the data and understanding what it really means. Common complaints of excel planning models are:
- Slow to Create
- Difficult and time consuming to edit
- Breaks when users add rows
- Poorly structured data
- Have to send and consolidate multiple spreadsheets
- Hard to understand the changes
- Multiple versions
- Different models for budgeting, forecasting and reporting
- Single scenario
- No time series
- Not Multiple User
- Lacks detail
- Only bottom up planning.
- Cannot easily plan with historic data
- Multi currency / mutli company planning almost impossible in excel
- Financial consolidation a nightmare in excel
The biggest reason people use Excel for financial planning and analysis "it's free"
But is it really free? How much time is wasted by accountants producing and distributing monthly management accounts? How long does it take to create spreadsheet models for a budget cycle? Can you even produce forecasts? How do you cope with rapid internal or external changes e.g. structure changes, company acquisitions, shut down due to Covid 19?
One of the the other biggest reasons for Excel, is “everyone knows Excel“. However also one the commonest complaints is that the models are poorly designed and the data badly structured. Often new staff in a company will re-build models they are not handed over.
How much value add to your business would it be if even just your monthly management reports could be automated and users download via a web-browser?
If these sound like common problems what is the solution?
Budgeting and Reporting Software Solutions
Account-Ability, specialize in providing financial planning and analysis software solutions for all financial planning and reporting needs in an organisation. We use the award winning Corporate Planning software. The software is developed in Germany and used by over 4000 organizations world wide. Some of the common planning and reporting issues we use Corporate Planner to Solve are:
Account-Ability has implemented Corporate Planner to cover a wide variety of the business users budgeting and forecasting needs. A business may have single priority or like to implement a complete set of solutions to replace all their Excel planning and reporting issues.
Budgeting and Reporting Software - Benefits
Account-Ability has over 20 years of experience in providing corporate performance management, budgeting and planning solutions. The aim is to replace excel as a tool for business budgeting forecasting and reporting.
Staff should have the key financial and non financial data readily available so that when they have to re forecast make decisions they can easily feedback to management.
Key Benefits of budgeting and reporting solutions are
- Multiple User, users can connect to the database via, client / web browser or via excel
- Multiple Scenarios – Store actuals, budgets forecasts, re-forecasts and compare simultaneously
- Planning tools top down and bottom up plan using historic data profiles
- Single Source of the truth
- Reliable database solution
- Standardized reporting
- Detailed financial planning modelling
- Financial Consolidation
Corporate Planner for All sectors
Corporate Planner has been implemented in over 4000 organisations, across all sectors. The software is generic and is used for all planning and reporting solutions. Some of the sectors we have worked with since 1998 are:
Further Common Beliefs
Other common beliefs people have are:
I can get consultant / excel specialist to rebuild all my models
Yes there are specialist Excel consultants, who will design new planning models for you. Experienced Excel consultants skilled in financial performance and analysis are not cheap. Fundamentally the Excel problems you started trying to escape will remain. This may work for short time, but you may be forced to rely on the consultants to maintain and edit the models as your business changes.
Often for little more investment than a Excel consultant you can get a dedicated Planning system. They are faster to implement and give you the control to maintain the models in house. Integrated financial planning and reporting models can be implemented from as little as 4 days. Delivering multi user, multiple scenario financial reporting in the web.
Why a planning system surely a Business Intelligence System will solve it?
Business Intelligence systems are great for analyzing data and presenting data with charts and dashboards. However Business Intelligence systems do not deliver planning they deliver analysis.
Users cannot enter data into the model. There are no top down planning and other data planning tools. You cannot create planning logic e.g. for planning in multiple currencies, modelling debtors, fixed assets, cash flow, consolidating companies etc. Only a dedicated planning system can deliver this kind of functionality
Fundamentally with BI you still have to collect the planning data (often in Excel spreadsheets) and then use the BI system to analyse it.
I can do this in my finance system....
Some companies try to lever their existing finance systems to deliver planning and reporting.
Sometimes this is just an excel add-in so if you are trying to escape the problems with Excel you will not.
Often you need to integrate data not held within the finance system, this often is impossible.
Finance systems are great for posting transactions raising invoices etc. But like Business Intelligence they lack the planning and reporting functionality and a dedicate planning and analysis software.
Fundamentally Financial Planning and Analysis software is more flexible and far faster to implement. This should ensure a rapid ROI.