The annual corporate financial plans that have long been a business staple seem almost quaint in the context of today’s breakneck business pace. The hottest new concept is corporate performance management, known as CPM, an evolution of business intelligence that gathers data from around the organization in a closed-loop process of continuous adjustment. The intent is to make the company more nimble and responsive to changes in its environment.
Adaptive Insights Inc. was one of the first companies to provide a cloud-based CPM solution and, with more than 3,000 customers, has broken into a market that includes some of the largest software vendors. It has raised $176 million in the process. Its chief competitor, Anaplan Inc., has raised $234 million and recently lured Red Hat Inc. CFO Frank Calderoni to become president and chief executive.
In an interview with SiliconANGLE, Tom Bogan, CEO of Adaptive Insights, said these moves testify to the promise of the CPM market.
When ZAGG missed its guidance estimates of net sales by 33% a few years back, the mobile accessories company turned to Adaptive Insights for a cloud finance solution that enables active planning—planning that’s collaborative, comprehensive, and continuous.
Today, ZAGG has the analytics and insights it needs to understand key business drivers and quickly develop accurate product forecasts. Continue reading →
What’s inefficient, hinders corporate progress, and stifles productivity? You guessed it—the financial budgeting process.
In an era where the modern CFO is steadily emerging as a strategic force—armed with real-time data and game changing insights—it’s clear that old-school, static budgeting procedures just don’t make the cut. An active budgeting process, on the other hand, is collaborative, comprehensive, and continuous—and can increase buy-in and accountability throughout the organization.
There is a burning need for FP&A teams to become more strategic partners to business. When we surveyed more than 300 finance leaders for the Adaptive Insights CFO Indicator Q2 2016 report, 75% said they wanted their teams to have a significant and strong impact on their organization—but only 46% believed they could have that kind of impact by 2017. What was the disconnect? The chief reason cited was a lack of time for strategic planning.
With 2017 now underway, it’s clear that visionary finance leaders need to reimagine the very ways that FP&A teams function and collaborate—and usher in a new shift in culture. Kerman Lau, vice president of finance at Adaptive Insights, and Hitesh Peshavaria, a partner and advisory leader at Deloitte, recently discussed this in a webinar. They offered practical steps that FP&A leaders can take to realize a culture of analytics—where FP&A spends less time on manual and transactional tasks, and more time on analysis and generating strategic insights.
Throughout 2016 we surveyed more than 1,300 CFOs on topics ranging from their relationship with CEOs to multiple scenario planning to hiring plans to the tracking of nonfinancial KPIs. While the topics are varied, one commonality emerged: The expectations for CFOs and their teams continue to rise. As finance increasingly is integrated deeper into the business—no longer just a gatekeeper, but a true partner—CFOs reported on key changes they and their teams are experiencing or expect to experience in the coming years. Continue reading →
One of CMA’s biggest initiatives—the CMA Foundation—is to enhance music education in public schools. Swapping Excel for the Adaptive Suite has allowed the foundation to streamline its budgeting and forecasting processes. This has in turn minimized the operational expenses of its fundraisers so that more revenue can be donated to schools. Continue reading →
It’s no secret that CFOs want to be more strategic. So what’s holding finance back? It’s the old-world tools they’re using for routine tasks, such as the financial close and reporting, which add risk and drain time and resources.
Take financial consolidation as an example. Many companies use spreadsheets to manage intercompany eliminations and allocations, which is time-consuming and error-prone—and this manual work slows down the entire close. According to Ventana Research, only 38% of companies can close their quarterly books in six days or less.
So how can you improve your process to execute faster and provide critical financial information sooner? Here’s a three-step guide.
Who says relationship advice has to be limited to glossy magazines in the newsstand rack? After all, developing healthy relationships between FP&A and business partners is critical to improved collaboration, better decision-making, and stronger performance.
Consider the results of an Ernst & Young study that found companies perform better, have stronger employee engagement, and experience higher degrees of productivity if their chief human resource officer (CHRO) and CFO have a strong relationship. In the report, 80% of CFOs and CHROs say improving their working relationship led to measurable improvements in workforce productivity and even company earnings.
Chances are, you don’t even own a road map anymore. If you do, it’s likely living out the years buried in the glove box of your car, never to be unfolded again.
Of course, GPS has largely put paper maps out of business—and for obvious reasons. Among other benefits, GPS provides real-time information—and can even offer forward-looking guidance for a new and better route when there is roadwork or a traffic delay ahead.
A similar dynamic is at play when it comes to FP&A forecasting. Most companies base their long-range forecasts on static planning processes, rather than more relevant, dynamic plans that reflect the complexities of the business. Relying on a forecast that doesn’t enable continuous monitoring of company performance, instead of upgrading to the GPS of FP&A—the rolling forecast—is like using an old-school road map to guide you on a cross-country trip.
Forget things that go bump in the night. For financial professionals, it’s reporting errors that are the stuff of nightmares. You carefully compile data and crunch formulas, only to find a typo has thrown your findings off. Or a department head has tweaked a formula in one of the team’s many spreadsheets, radically shifting the reports. Or—just as bad—you spend hours double- and triple-checking everything, and all that wasted time means you give short shrift to the actual analysis.
Sound familiar? If so, it’s time to rethink how you prevent reporting errors. These five steps will keep mistakes from weaseling their way into your presentation slides.