in: General Business, Company News, Sage
Business budgeting, planning, and forecasting may seem like a specific set of action steps that never vary. In truth, there are trends in this area of accounting and finance just as there are trends and new approaches in other business disciplines.
The Sage Global Planning, Budgeting, Forecasting, and Reporting survey explores these trends and shares best practices from the world’s leading CFOs. Below is a summary of these trends. Perhaps one or more resonates and may inspire new approaches to business budgeting, planning, and forecasting in your company.
Business Budgeting, Planning, and Forecasting Responsibilities Expand Beyond Finance
The automation of planning, budgeting, and forecasting is now shared responsibility between technology and finance. However, technology itself is no longer the sole purview of the IT department. Instead, CFOs are becoming increasingly tech savvy—and with that knowledge comes the responsibility over financial systems that help with the budgeting and forecasting cycles.
In the Sage survey, 33% of respondents state that they have made significant changes to their business budgeting, planning, and forecasting cycle this year. Technology drove many of these changes.
- 79% of the survey respondents believe automation is important, particularly for data capture
- 78% say that they would like to invest more heavily in IT and form closer relationships with their IT departments
- 75% believe they should standardize processes throughout their organizations
One way in which CFOs can accomplish many of these tasks, as well as streamline automation, is through the adoption of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform. An ERP improves and standardizes data capture and automation, making it a natural part of the business workflow.
CFOs Collaborate with IT
Unlike previous decades when the IT department evaluated all software and was the sole judge of what the company adopted, today’s companies are more likely to find the IT department consulting with the business owner for the future software and collaborating to ensure they purchase the best fit for the company’s needs. In the case of ERP projects, the CFO may even be the driver of the adoption process. As the key stakeholder, the CFO understands the business processes behind the need for ERP adoption and can steer the process.
Quick Turnaround for Finance Transformations
One of the most eye-opening facts from the survey was the rapid turnaround for financial transformation projects. Although respondents would like more time, ERP evaluation and adoption projects typically have only 1-3 months to move through a company. Much of this is due to the finance team’s constrained resources but may also be dictated by company mandates to prove the value of any software investment quickly. Few companies have the tolerance for longer adoption cycles; time to value is of utmost importance.
Forecasting, Risk Assessment, and Reporting
A whopping 90% of the respondents to the Sage survey would like to spend more time on forecasting. Approximately 73% state that budget reporting requires an increased investment, and 70% would like to invest more in compliance and risk assessment and reporting.
One way in which these goals can be accomplished is through the adoption of the right ERP system. ERP systems streamline the entire reporting process and can automate reporting. This automation saves considerable time and ensures that timely and useful data is presented to key stakeholders for budgeting, forecasting, risk assessment, and more.
Sage ERP and Mindover Software
Financial professionals are increasingly adopting digital transformation solutions to enhance budgeting, forecasting, and reporting. If you’re interested in exploring Sage ERP as an option for your finance and accounting management needs, Mindover can help. Contact us or call 512-990-3994