Before we implemented Adaptive Insights, all this was significantly more difficult. We used Excel to develop our budget and forecasts. This meant we spent 70% of our time entering and verifying data, and 30% viewing interpreting it.
Today, the reverse is true. We now can spend seven out of every 10 hours gleaning insight from our data and from the models we’ve built. One major improvement: We can model what-if scenarios to anticipate the impact that changes in charge-out rates will have on our recovery rate (or the percentage of total billed revenue we’re able to collect and retain). Changing the levers to compare various models and scenarios is easy. Before, it was nearly impossible.
It’s also infinitely easier to model cash flow forecasts. These can be particularly complicated for a law firm because employees must be paid on a consistent basis, but revenues are often delayed due to sometimes lengthy invoicing and remittance timelines. Reconciling cash in and cash out was a headache in our spreadsheet days; today, it’s largely automatic.
In fact, our P&L model is based on a departmental view, but we model cash flow on a geographic basis. And we can flexibly incorporate exchange rates across currencies, which is particularly important in the UK as we try to navigate currency exchange variations with the Euro and currencies based on the US dollar. A modern planning environment like Adaptive Insights makes these once laborious tasks much simpler and largely automatic.
All this leads to insights that help us identify the true drivers of our business—insights that help us make faster, more informed business decisions. Our workforce plan, integrated with our budget, revenue forecasts, and corporate financial plan, helps us determine where to expand next and when, how to staff new locations, what practice areas to grow, and more. And, key to our success, was the UK Adaptive Insights partner Clear Plan, which acted as a trusted advisor to ensure a seamless implementation.
Moving forward, I see even greater possibilities for the future. We may even tie our workforce planning to specific skills—either those we’re strong in or some we lack. As we see our business scaling around the world, I see our workforce planning environment scaling along with it.
A version of this article first appeared on the blog of Adaptive Insights, a Workday company.