For many, Excel is their go-to system. It has powerful financial functions, allows for the definition of complex formulas, and can process vast amounts of data. But most importantly…it’s easy to use!
In turn, many organizations are using Excel spreadsheets in their financial processes. However, a recent survey by the Institute of Management Accountants reveals respondents are being asked to improve productivity through automation and streaming processes. They are being hard-pressed for forward thinking and strategic analysis. So, where does the problem lie, and how can it be fixed?
Introducing, Infor d/EPM – a Performance Management (PM) platform designed to improve operational performance.
This blog post will not compare Infor d/EPM with Excel (as it would be like comparing apples vs. oranges). Instead, it will touch upon three areas that address the challenges mentioned above
3. Business Analytics
…and how Infor d/EPM can help!
Here is a simple and clear definition of collaboration from the Information Technology (IT) perspective:
“… two or more people (TEAM) working together (PROCESSES) towards shared goals (PURPOSE). ”
Organizations should look at the business from all angles to create a fully informed financial plan, budget or forecast. Finance departments have little insight into everyday activities that happen outside their scope. In a collaborative environment, information is collected top-down, bottom up or cross department for creating plans, budgets, and forecasts. The result? Better accuracy. Consider the negative impact of being 21 per cent or 26 per cent off for budgeting or revenue forecast as shown in the table below.
|Org. that use planning software||Org. that do not use planning software|
|Variance actual costs and budgeted costs||4%||21%|
|Variance actual revenue and forecasted revenue||3%||26%|
Source Aberdeen report January 2015
According to a Ventana Research report, it took companies that did not have an automation process almost twice as long to complete their close processes. A PM platform gives organizations the ability to automate processes such as extraction, transformation and load (ETL), data consolidation, report dissemination. Imagine the power of allowing C-Level executive access information in real time that would give them a snapshot of the business. This is not only limited financial information but can also be operational information.
Here is another interesting metric from the January 2015 Aberdeen report. The percentage of reports delivered on time for decision making by organizations that use a PM software is 95 per cent in comparison to 67 per cent for organizations that don’t. Can you imagine the impact it makes in a volatile and competitive environment where companies operate? The benefits outweigh the cost of a PM system for this particular scenario.
This is the most important component of a PM system such as Infor d/EPM. Analytics allow organizations to turn information into insights for decision making. With a PM system put in place, organizations have the ability to:
- Identify trends (even before the occur)
- Predict outcomes about financial performance
- Keep the information safe and secure to provide access to the right people
All that is possible because of the increased computing capabilities – such as in-memory processing and implementation of complex statistical algorithms for prediction.
So, there you have it. If your organization is facing the challenges mentioned above or is starting to experience them, it probably needs to transition to a PM platform such as Infor d/EPM.