Other providers will tell you that their business systems, which at their core have been developed to meet the needs of non-finance functions, are able to support the corporate performance reporting needs of the business. We disagree. Here’s our take on why finance teams and the wider business need a dedicated financial planning and analysis solution to meet their specific requirements.

  1. You have growth goals. McKinsey reports that data-driven companies are 23 times more likely to win new customers. Pretty pictures are great for ad hoc analysis, but the real work is done by driving consistent reporting across the business, cycle after cycle, and that’s what a standalone FP&A solution is designed to do. You’ll be able to surface the exceptions of good and bad performance, highlight what contributes to driving both, and provide the operational insight needed to create changes in behaviour that will improve business performance.
  2. Your business is experiencing growing complexity. Congratulations your business is growing but as the rapper Biggie Smalls said ‘Mo’ money, mo’ problems’. Increasing product or service lines, business units, and locations all mean more data to analyze and report on. One of our customers has 30 different operating companies with approximately 20,000 different reporting outputs, making tracking performance at a global and/or regional level challenging. Using Empower – our FP&A solution, they now have one performance and insight reporting application, which means performance can be tracked and compared through various lenses – global, local, sector, etc more easily – with stakeholders all having access to the same information enabling better and quicker decision making.
  3. There’s never enough time to provide the insights the business needs. FP&A tools can automate processes, freeing up the finance team to provide more insight on performance and highlighting areas to enable quick and timely decision-making.
  4. It takes too long to provide the data required for effective decision-making. The growing number of data inputs can make analysis slow. FP&A systems like Empower are built to handle thousands of data inputs reducing the time taken to deliver reports and insights from weeks to days and days to hours.
  5. Your finance team isn’t showcasing their true business value. An FP&A system will free up your finance team so that they can provide valuable business insights vs being bogged down in finance admin and processes. Empower seamlessly connects with ERP, HR, finance, and other business systems so that data sharing can be automated. PwC reports that finance teams in top-performing companies spend less than 30% of their time gathering, collecting, and verifying data, giving them more time – 73% of their time– to spend on analysis.
  6. You haven’t got a handle on your business data. If you're fighting the data rather than analyzing it, then an FP&A software solution can help you facilitate data-driven decision-making and break the cycle of chaos.
  7. You need to introduce effective measures to manage risk. Compliance starts from day 1, no successful business should play catch up with audit & compliance capabilities. If you are still using offline Excel models for forecasts, budgets, or any other form of decision-making analytics you’re introducing risk into your business. A stand-alone solution will help you eliminate risk and stay compliant.
  8. You want to boost employee engagement. You can’t manage what you don’t measure, and to truly manage business performance you need both finance and the wider business to be engaged in business reporting. After all, performance is driven by every member of staff. A dedicated FP&A system will help future-proof your business by ensuring continuity of reporting, analysis, and workflow management. Your underlying ERP systems will grow and change over time but your FP&A application should remain consistent.

Do you agree, do businesses need a stand-alone FP&A solution, we’d love to hear your thoughts? Let us know on LinkedIn.

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Nadine Leighton
Marketing Director