Tools that help CFOs build speed and flexibility into their forecasting, reporting and analytics

Many organisations have scrambled in recent months to adopt digital tools that support remote work and new ways of doing business. Most of these organisations are now investing in automated solutions to adapt to the permanently changed global business environment.

This has had a flow-on effect of speeding up the rate of competition among businesses, both small and large enterprise alike. The overall result is that, in the new business environment, organisations that don’t adopt a culture of speed-to-results and flexible planning will not survive.

This new market has put intense pressure on CFOs and their teams to contain new expenditure and recoup pandemic-related costs, drive process efficiencies, support speed-to-market and build business agility. At the same time, CFOs need to maintain business-as-usual functions.

Achieving this monumental task is simply not possible using Excel spreadsheets to conduct business planning and forecasting, as spreadsheets do not have the capacity to deliver the collaboration and scalability required in the digitised business environment.

Organisations have accepted the fact that business operations may never return to pre-pandemic levels. Instead, the pace of business will continue to escalate rapidly as companies realise the efficiency and competitive gains that can be achieved through automation, and this starts with the office of finance.

There are three cost-effective tools that can arm CFOs with the automated and flexible capabilities required for future competitiveness:

1. Budgeting and planning

Cloud-based corporate performance management solutions let organisations more efficiently and continuously budget, plan, report and analyse with timely data insights.

These secure tools can help cut budgeting and planning cycle times down from potentially months or weeks to just a few days, which frees up the finance team’s time to focus on strategic business activities. These solutions also let the finance team do rolling forecasts and higher-frequency planning, which builds resilience and agility into the organisation.

2. Financial and management reporting

One of the biggest issues for organisations when it comes to financial and management reporting is consolidating and reconciling data in a timely manner.

While Excel spreadsheets are suitable for small, start-up businesses, spreadsheets are limited in that they cannot scale as the business grows and changes. Data is often segregated across several systems, making it difficult to integrate and consolidate for reporting purposes.

3. Business intelligence and analytics

Cloud-based business intelligence and analytics solutions deliver timely insights across sales, marketing, operations and HR, which are overlayed with detailed plans for variance analysis. This lets finance teams access trusted, accurate data within minutes and gives the management team the information they need to drive intelligent, forward-looking decisions.

For more information about which automated tools are the best fit for your organisation, contact the QMetrix team today.

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