Thursday, March 12, 2009

2009 Finance System Resolution #2: The Best Laid Plans

Here are more outtakes from my conversation with Rob Kugel of Ventana Research and the executive team from Star Analytics. The discussion focused on how the economic meltdown is impacting senior executives in corporate finance departments and how technology can help.

If you’re making headway on our previous post about Resolution #1: Focus attention on more strategic activities and less on transactions processing, then this next step may come naturally.

Resolution #2. Improve planning effectiveness.

Kugel points out: “Few companies have achieved a high level of maturity in their planning processes. While some point to the need to reduce the time spent on planning and budgeting, companies need to make their planning and budgeting more effective, not just more efficient. They have to use planning to gain better insight into their performance, achieve greater forecasting accuracy and improving the alignment of strategy and budgets across and within business units. The single biggest factor hindering more effective planning is the use of desktop spreadsheets to drive the process. Dedicated planning applications make it possible to do more effective planning and, in a period of high business volatility, enable companies to revise their plans more rapidly.”

Got an example of where this is working well? Let us know.

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