Finance Planning technology
The predominant technology for planning since the 1980s has been the spreadsheet. As most finance professionals are painfully aware, spreadsheet-based planning processes come with issues such as static data, version control, input errors, broken formulas, etc. With spreadsheets, FP&A teams spend an inordinate amount of time and effort managing and auditing worksheets, rather than focusing on strategic initiatives. Updating plans becomes an onerous and often error-prone process with iterations being emailed to stakeholders.
With the advent of cloud planning software, the barriers to continuous planning have progressively eroded. Teams across departments such as finance, HR, operations and sales can collaborate on plans, employ workflows to enable seamless reviews and approvals, update budgets and forecasts that are immediately reflected in the plan, and provide self-service reports that enable executive decision-making. All the data resides within the system, not siloed in a spreadsheet on one or several individual’s computers.