Planning and Forecasting: Where Nirvana is for Enterprises

fp&a

It’s an obvious one, but worth discussing anyway…

To succeed in a highly competitive business landscape, enterprises need a robust financial planning and forecasting strategy. Implementing this strategy successfully requires cooperation across nearly every team across the enterprise.

The end goal is to understand what’s going to happen in the future through the planning, forecasting, and simulation of data and to predict the future using tools like artificial intelligence and machine learning.

This is where Nirvana is for enterprises and it’s something your team should be moving towards—whether you’re in finance, supply chain, or any other role that oversees planning.

Why Planning and Forecasting are Critical for Enterprises

Financial planning and forecasting go far beyond just day-to-day budgeting. Finance teams and leaders advise on key business decisions to keep the enterprise not just running but growing as well.

By analyzing existing financial data, planners are able to create detailed models to predict future performance. This type of financial planning also considers broader social and economic trends and how they will affect the business.

Planning and forecasting analyze past and present data to help your organization make long-term financial decisions and solve problems.

An effective financial planning and forecasting strategy requires everyone at your organization to work together—finance, accounting, sales, marketing, human resources, and operations teams as well as the C-suite.

Why Planning and Forecasting are Crucial for Power BI Users

Planning and forecasting is a crucial component of your Power BI strategy…and it’s one that often gets overlooked. For any organization using data to make decisions (which should be any organization today), understanding the past will bring a greater understanding of the future.

When executed properly, planning tools should be something that your operations team can reference on a regular basis as they work. This helps operations stay in alignment with finance and accounting teams.

In a competitive business landscape, FP&A strategies provide important pieces of guidance for growing organizations. This type of detailed analysis will help you pivot during challenging economic times and/or maximize results during times of growth and prosperity.

Power BI is an incredibly powerful visualization tool for financial data. But it can also be utilized for creating, managing, and collaborating on your planning, budgeting, and forecasting processes. So, rather than using Excel or a wide range of planning tools, you can use Power BI as a comprehensive financial planning and forecasting solution.

How Collectiv Solves Planning and Forecasting Challenges

While many enterprises have FP&A teams in-house, others seek outside support for some or all of their finance initiatives. Collectiv offers a variety of financial planning and forecasting services tailored to the unique needs of your organization.

Here are a few common FP&A challenges we see enterprise teams encounter…

You don’t have the right team in place.

Even if you have a plan in place, you need to have the right team in place as well. This team should understand both the strategies and the systems that are vital players in achieving the organization’s greater vision.

Your executive sponsor and technical support staff need to coordinate with power users to keep planning models accurate. It almost sounds like it’s easy. But, coordinating your planning and forecasting strategy across the enterprise is a significant challenge.

Our FP&A services are designed with enterprise teams in mind. Not only do we support FP&A and finance teams, but we also bring in other departments such as accounting, operations, sales, and HR as needed.

Additionally, we speak FP&A fluently. Our team has extensive industry skills and knowledge…many of our consultants have a decade or more of experience in the finance arena.

Your team is overwhelmed by technology.

We also see many enterprise teams get bogged down by technology, rather than having data models readily accessible when they’re needed. This overwhelming feeling can happen whether you’re using Excel or a proprietary planning tool.

Collectiv specializes in Power BI, but our team also has extensive experience with the entire Microsoft data stack. We also have experienced SQL and API developers.

Collectiv helps enterprises better leverage all of these powerful tools to make their FP&A processes more efficient and automated. This helps your finance team reduce the time and effort they spend managing technology, which frees them up for other important tasks.

You haven’t established the vision.

If you don’t currently have a robust planning and forecasting strategy, we help you build one. For organizations that do have one, we help refine that strategy to improve upon it. We can also provide resources and support wherever needed with our Consulting as a Service (CaaS) and staff augmentation offerings.

Combining industry and technical expertise allows us to provide a helpful outside point of view as you develop your financial planning strategies. Working with a third party like Collectiv can help you gain even more value from your FP&A strategy, whether you’re already working within the Microsoft data stack or if you’re ready to make a big transition with your tech stack.

To get your enterprise where you ultimately want to go—Nirvana, the end goal, or whatever you prefer to call it—we highly recommend starting your journey by crafting a vision first. Here’s more about how our Visioning Program guides the way with planning, forecasting, and analytics.

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