Skip to main content

Unlock the true value of FP&A in a single ERP suite – A webinar with Unit4 and BARC

An ERP system has many advantages to help optimize operational tasks. 

Yet, when you integrate your ERP with your provider’s FP&A software there are huge strategic benefits to be gained – from better reporting, improved collaboration, and ultimately better decision making by using data from a single source of truth.

In a recent webinar, Oliver Sullivan, Growth Director of Unit4 FP&A, and Michael Lengenfelder, Head of FP&A Product Management, teamed up with analyst firm BARC to discuss why your current ERP provider’s FP&A software will maximize the value you gain from ERP, and vice versa. 

Considering that the focus of financial teams is shifting more to supporting strategic leadership, there is much value to be excavated from improving your organization's ability to plan finances with greater confidence. 

Keep reading to get some highlights from the report, and learn why an ERP suite with FP&A included is key to gaining value from your ERP system

Why integrate FP&A with ERP?

ERP software typically has certain financial management modules for basic accounting needs, but Financial Planning and Analysis helps transform this by enabling smarter planning, budgeting & forecasting, reporting & analytics. 

Some organizations may have individual ERP and FP&A software from separate providers, which will use different data. But when ERP and FP&A are integrated together, ERP data can be used as the basis to ‘plan forward’ and strategize.

Michael Lengenfelder highlights that while ERP “has all the transactions and record of how a organization has performed, the FP&A side [when integrated] takes care of everything that looks to the future.”

When ERP is combined with FP&A from same provider, this is what is known as an ‘ERP suite’, meaning both FP&A and ERP data are consolidated allowing for a single source of truth.

The capabilities of FP&A software are much weaker and have less value when they aren’t integrated within a single ERP suite.

There are huge capabilities that are possible with integrated data that focus on improving collaboration, user experience, and strategic thinking – helping connect operations with finance, such as:

  • Self-service dashboarding
  • Improved business insight and decision-making using trusted data
  • Mitigating and reduce risk with fewer human errors by automating processes and reporting
  • Enhanced efficiency by standardizing best practices and reducing low-value manual tasks
  • Lower operational costs by unifying and integrating systems
  • Scalability means consistent infrastructure allows systemic growth as your organization evolves
  • Similar user interface and experience across the solutions

Click to read FP&A product brochure gated

The priorities for organizations looking to improve planning capabilities

In the webinar, BARC highlights the top 3 technical measures and approaches that organizations are investing in to improve their planning and performance capabilities – they are:

  • Improved technical integration (54%)
  • Stronger automation of data management (50%)
  • Introduction of new software (48%)

Christian Fuchs​, Senior Analyst and Head of Data & Analytics Research at BARC, remarks in the webinar that “many companies are now aware of the importance of planning and performance management for steering the business, but also to gain insights into data.”

He adds “This is why one of the most important measures to improve performance management is the introduction of new software.” But, “it’s not all about software,” Christian tells us, “technical integration is very important. And the most important source there is often the ERP system because all the data is included.”

What’s clear is that software choice is not always the biggest factor, while standalone best-of-breed solutions or sticking with legacy systems may seem attractive, they will not be able to compete with the capabilities of FP&A when integrated with ERP data.

What are users looking for when evaluating FP&A?

In terms of the functional requirements that users want from FP&A, the top three answers from respondents were:

  • Flexibility of the software (51%)
  • Good coverage of planning-specific requirements (37%)
  • Ease of use for planners (34%)

Christian explains that while these top three capabilities don’t directly mention integration, the integration of data will allow flexibility, a planning focus, and ease of use.

In other words, organizations will struggle to find these desirable capabilities without the integration of FP&A data within an ERP suite.

Mid-sized companies tend to place greater emphasis on: 

  • The price-performance ratio of a solution 
  • Predefined data connection to source systems

Larger companies tend to place greater emphasis on: 

  • The high-performance processing of large volumes of data 
  • Serving large numbers of users

What does BARC say about Unit4’s integrated FP&A solution?

BARC recognizes that “choosing a software tool from the portfolio of your ERP supplier can offer advantages, especially in terms of superior technical integration” and Unit4’s ERP suite is no different.

By integrating Unit4’s award-winning FP&A solution with our ERP suite, you gain our ‘triple-value’ that unites Finances, HR, and Projects with a single source of data truth, helping you leverage integrated data for improved planning and performance management.

Unit4 FP&A’s predefined templates include a wide range of KPIs, management reports, dashboards, and charts that allow both all your key functions to quickly create their own reports, simulations, and analyses with flexibility.

To hear more about our ERP, or FP&A products visit our website, or hear what BARC has to say specifically about Unit4’s integrated FP&A capabilities – talk to sales today to see how we can improve your planning capabilities.

Sign up to see more like this