2017 was a busy year for the Adaptive Insights blog. From the latest news, trends, and best practices to lessons learned from everyday FP&A people, we covered a lot of ground in our goal to provide unique perspectives on the modern finance function.
But before we open our arms to welcome 2018, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on the past year. Here are the top 10 most popular blog posts from 2017 (in no particular order). Think of it as your cheat sheet to success in the months ahead.
Gone are the days when number crunching dominated a financial controller’s calendar. Increasingly, more controllers are stepping into the role of financial operating officer: strategically searching for ways to improve productivity and reduce costs, while scaling processes for high growth.
If “improve financial reporting” keeps slipping down your to-do list because of competing priorities, you’re hardly alone. But Kerman Lau, vice president of finance at Adaptive Insights, shares four dead-simple steps you can do right now, to move along the path of better reporting.
Faster, more accurate, more nimble forecasts? Sign us up, said readers, who made this post on best practices one of the most popular of 2017—despite a late-in-the-year publication date. (Ready to get rolling in 2018? Hint: Lose the spreadsheets and embrace the drivers.)
To transform its financial planning, forecasting, and reporting—from the corporate level down to individual restaurants—the global restaurant chain had to first ditch the manual processes and data silos in favor of cloud-based finance. After making the leap, “our teams swear you can eat a lettuce wrap in the time it takes to create a budget—now that’s easy and fast!” says P. F. Chang’s CFO Jim Bell.
Revenue recognition isn’t as straightforward when customers are buying a subscription. And finance teams at SaaS companies know all too well that the added complexity can create both headaches and extra hours of tedious work. Tony Acosta, manager of FP&A at Adaptive Insights, offers tips to both beat back the time demands and increase forecast accuracy. Win, win!
Unlike old-school, static plans, driver-based budgets make it easier to get everyone laser focused on the metrics that matter. And with more transparency and focus comes greater buy-in from budget owners and business stakeholders.
Only 1% of organizations achieve 90% forecast accuracy 30 days out. Want to best the status quo? Stop blaming the competitive climate and instead take a closer look at everything from your company’s forecast cycle and finance tools to the finance team’s alignment with the C-suite.
FP&A pros tend to be creatures of habit—and with reason. But as the business world changes, FP&A teams must change as well. And, as this post details, it is possible to break free from the inertia of doing things as they’ve always been done.
Inefficient. Obsolete. Out of sync. At a time when modern CFOs are emerging as a strategic force—armed with real-time data and game-changing insights—the old-school, static budgets just aren’t cutting it.
If you manually download reports from an ERP into an Excel spreadsheet, or spend hours ticking and tying numbers and reformatting data, or devote days each month to integrating comments from various governance layers into a report, well, put down the giant bottle of aspirin and read these tips.
As the pace of change continues to accelerate, and the role of finance leader evolves, sticking to the same old way of doing things won’t keep companies competitive. The questions now are: Where are you headed in 2018? Are you ready to make a change?