According to a 2015 report from KPMG and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants titled “Planning, Budgeting and Forecasting: An eye on the future,” over three-quarters of finance professionals agreed that collaboration between finance and the rest of the business is imperative in planning, budgeting, and forecasting. This makes sense given how interconnected every piece of the business is.
However, effective collaboration is easier said than done. Finance is often spending more time on manually collecting data and reporting, rather than partnering across the organization to understand where the business stands and how market or business needs might impact financial performance. A big reason for this is that many finance organizations are working with multiple, disparate systems, and their planning system is disconnected from their general ledger. This results in the manual replication of metadata structures like cost centers, legal entities, and employee information from one system to another, or requires complicated integrations in order to ensure data accuracy. By the time this is all said and done, data is no longer current, making it difficult to collaboratively and continuously plan as the business evolves. This approach is ineffective, creating silos and security risks in the planning process.
The good news is that advancements in technology and planning systems are making it possible to knock down these barriers and promote true collaboration. Here are three things that finance can do to set the stage for effective, collaborative, and continuous planning.