Budgeting has never been more challenging. Since things are constantly changing in our world, organisations must be flexible enough to deal with these frequent and often unexpected changes.
Even though dynamic planning is a must, many companies can’t change because they’re stuck with old infrastructure and ways of doing things. As a result, the business could be hurt by assumptions and suggestions made during annual planning cycles that are no longer relevant after just a few months. In addition, excel spreadsheets and handwritten records make it hard to figure out what went wrong before it happened. Fortunately, it is not necessarily the case.
Thanks to cloud-based planning technologies, teams in charge of money now have access to solutions that are based on data. This technology aids in discovering vital insights, such as the primary factors influencing the efficiency of company teams and the market tendencies that will affect profits. As a result, more information is available to businesses now than ever before, and they have the means to put it to good use.
But technology is only part of the answer. A shift in perspective is also required to keep up with today’s fast-paced world. For example, the days of doing your financial planning once a year and then forgetting about it are over. Instead, teams in charge of finances should plan and ensure that those in charge of making calls have the most up-to-date information. This way, they can stay on top of what’s happening and act quickly.
Methods for adopting continuous planning
Workday has found three concrete steps that finance teams can take to add continuous planning to their financial operations:
Think about the long-term goals you want to achieve
The strategic vision that helped you succeed last year might not work well for you this year. However, whether or not your strategic vision still defines where you want to go and outlines the correct roadmap to get there is something you should check on regularly to ensure its continued usefulness.
The information from the business’s financial and operational backends must be accurate and reliable if this approach to change is to work. Data duplication and inconsistencies are common problems with manual systems. If decisions are made based on wrong or out-of-date information, this dynamic process might not work.
You can make your team more productive and effective by using cloud-based, centralised data that serves as a single source of truth, reduces the chance of human error, and gives instant access to the data you need.
Actively prepare for the future
Using real-time data is essential for efficient and applicable planning. On the other hand, using information that is several months old can leave decision-makers in the dark about how to respond to sudden changes in the business environment.
With the help of modern cloud solutions and cutting-edge analytics tools, organisations can feed their models with timely, up-to-date data. This makes it possible for the finance department to quickly learn about how the company works and take action based on that knowledge.
Self-service features made possible by cloud solutions let business partners look at their data without involving the finance department. As a result, the finance department can focus on creating long-term projections instead of answering one-off questions.
Contemplate your project in several time frames
Instead of making exact predictions every year, executives can see how a shift in circumstances could affect results throughout a period with continuous forecasting.
The finance department can plan to see how potential changes in performance might play out. Businesses can use scenario analysis to make projections considering different what-ifs to be ready for what might happen.
When using a rolling forecasting and budgeting method, forecasts are usually more accurate when the cycle length is shorter. This makes it easier for a business to make spending decisions that are both targeted and successful.
In addition, making it easier for teams to ask for resources more often helps the company grow and change independently. When companies have this kind of immediate insight into what their customers want, they can speed up the hiring process and cut down on employee costs.