Align planning with your corporate strategy: Here’s how
This post is authored by FinancialForce CFO, Ravi Narula, a growth-minded finance leader with significant experience in scaling organizations. Ravi has a strong record of success in business, finance, and operations across industry verticals including enterprise SaaS, networking, and communications.
Dynamic planning and enterprise-wide collaboration can accelerate strategic decision-making and company growth.
It’s no secret that today’s businesses are operating in a highly dynamic environment. With continued market volatility making planning more and more complex, only businesses with agile planning and flexible forecasting can quickly adapt to changing conditions and accelerate growth.
Translating learnings into strategy
Before any organization can forecast where it’s headed, though, it needs to understand where it has been. What learnings can be gleaned? Where did the business overspend? Underspend? Of course, Finance teams should be at the center of these questions. Yet curiously, those teams don’t always have access to holistic, accurate data.
Why? Two reasons.
- While some financial data may have been automated in the financial planning & analysis process, that data can be limited and/or usable only within the Finance team.
- Silos often exist among Finance teams, with each team relying on different tools, processes, timelines — and data.
These two obstacles can lead to inaccurate information being shared, and an ensuing inability to link financial modeling to corporate strategy. The fact is, businesses need a more efficient way to share data across the organization in order to streamline the planning and forecasting process.
A shift towards enterprise-wide planning
Budgeting, planning, and forecasting should be an integrated process that promotes active engagement, with input coming from all corners of the business and knowledge easily shared across different business units.
To achieve that goal, organizations must move away from disparate systems and minimize their reliance on spreadsheets. What’s required is a single source of truth, with all data residing in and sourced from a single platform by all stakeholders. When that happens, insights can be gained to not only understand historical business performance but also project what’s likely in the future.
Recommend strategic direction and refine
With all data residing on a single platform, with accurate input from all sides of the business, Finance can make and quickly refine assumptions based on up-to-date info. That, in turn, can help drive more agile decision-making and better planning. Finance teams can then better drive business strategy and help set corporate goals, and corporate strategy can be more realistically tied to financial modeling and planning.
Finance as true strategic partners
In a business environment as uncertain as the current one, organizations must have critical insights across the enterprise so operational plans can be built swiftly, adapted nimbly, and executed successfully.
A single-platform planning solution empowers Finance teams to develop more sophisticated modeling and improve predictive planning to guide business decisions. By doing so, they can serve as true strategic partners to the rest of the organization.
Learn about FinancialForce’s single-platform financial planning and analysis solution, which can help your team build plans quickly, implement them effectively, and adapt them with agility.