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Why do you need a Budget Management, Planning and Reporting Solution?

Recently BPM CEO, Craig Schiff spoke to Unit4’s Oliver Sullivin and Richard Ludlow about recent BPM research looking at why more organizations than ever are looking to change their finance tools during the biggest economic shift in a century.

Speaking to 336 finance leaders from across all industries in April and May 2020, BPM wanted to understand whether better budget management, planning, and reporting solutions could make the difference in responding to challenges many industries face today.

The challenges ahead for budget management, planning and reporting

Many organizations still face the same challenges despite the pandemic. However, the need to respond and adapt to them has sped up. So how do you deploy these solutions across a now fragmented workforce? For finance teams, many are finding that spreadsheets can’t keep up.

So challenges like:

  • Slow budgeting processes
  • Disparate and unconnected data sources
  • Inability to determine actual profitability
  • Struggling to achieve strategic alignment

were all still prevalent across nearly every industry. Only now, organizations couldn’t rely on time and the predictability of external conditions to manage these.

So many were left facing a tough decision on how best to approach these challenges. They could either try and find ad-hoc and temporary solutions. Or they could take a more forward-thinking approach with complete finance transformation. Of those finance leaders interviewed, a number had opted to take the more comprehensive approach as this offered a bedrock to build on for the future.

But what did that look like, and what were the risks of such a large transformation project during a crisis?

Finance transformation vs. difficult economy

Why would a finance team need to change their budget management, planning, and reporting solution during a crisis? Well, the new solution would offer two things:

  1. It would create a more agile and comprehensive solution for the business, delivering more accuracy and insights and making decisions faster and smarter
  2. Replacing the technology and processes would make the organization more connected, more streamlined, and able to adapt to any crisis affecting their industries now and in the future.

These deliver better adoption and better results across entire organizations, which is exciting but comes with a cost. And right now, taking on that cost can seem more precarious than ever before. Or at least that’s what you might think?

BPM’s study found the opposite to be true. With 62% increasing their focus on change transformation due to the impact of the crisis.

Solution requirements and results

The easiest way to judge the project’s success is to measure live performance against initial solution requirements.

For many organizations undertaking finance transformation in 2020, there were several key drivers for change. BPM found that the impact of the economy was driving organizations to focus on strategic planning, more frequent forecasting, and scenario modeling.

These results show a distinct shift in the current circumstances towards focusing on better planning.

So how did the organizations who undertook this change get on? In our latest webinar, Craig, Oliver, and Richard discuss:

  • Is finance transformation real?
  • Areas for focus of finance transformation
  • How far have organizations got with finance transformation?
  • Was it worth it?
  • Is it the end of the road for spreadsheets?
  • What should a new solution include?
  • How to measure success?
  • Can better planning bring more predictability?
  • What does better modeling look like?