Three critical signs you need a better planning solution than spreadsheets

Is it time to update your traditional financial planning processes? 

Many organisations - even the smartest and most agile – have obsolescent planning systems that were simply not designed for the pace of change that economies operate at today.  

This can result in disastrous consequences when finance teams and their stakeholders engage in critical planning, budgeting, and forecasting. Processes based on outdated spreadsheets can lead to costly errors, leaving the finance team manipulating those spreadsheets and their data rather than analysing and providing valuable insights to decision-makers.

So how do you know if it’s time to update your traditional, static, spreadsheet-based planning processes? Below we have identified three of the most telling signs:

1. Limited cross-departmental collaboration within your business.

The most innovative and forward thinking organisations use modern FP&A technology because it promotes cross-departmental collaboration. This technology allows processes that have long been considered finance-only responsibilities, such as financial planning and consolidation, to become a team activity where departmental leaders across the organisation participate.  

By having leaders from the entire organisation engage, it allows a deeper and more meaningful financial picture of your whole organisation to emerge, coloured by input from all stakeholders.

2. Finance teams cannot efficiently and accurately plan, budget, and forecast across multiple dimensions.

Whether it be multi-location, multi-national or multi-language, the complexity of organisations is increasing. With static spreadsheet-based budget models, such multi-dimensional planning is difficult, if not impossible. In addition, spreadsheets are often exchanged back and forth via email – a sure-fire recipe  for simple version errors to creep in that can lead to disastrous results . This is particularly true when those same spreadsheets include multiple currencies and/or are updated by multiple contributors.

Agile, easily accessible, powerful cloud-based planning software is an essential tool in meeting these growing challenges.

3. No visual analytics to help business leaders better understand the most impactful business drivers.

Most of your organisation consists of non-financial employees. Having visual analytics that are easy to understand is vital to any organisation looking to take the FP&A process beyond finance and into other departments. Having visible and interactive dashboards and reports encourages departmental managers to participate in the process.

How significant a difference can modern financial planning technology make to an organisation? Find out how some of today’s most successful organisations are using Clear Plan to report better, plan smarter and analyse their financials faster.

Experience how Clear Plan can add value to your organisation by booking our free trial.