Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A)
Rethink your approach to Planning and Budgeting
Financial planning & analysis (FP&A) systems and processes are often cumbersome and inefficient, consuming vast corporate resources each planning cycle. Newer tools and methods are creating opportunities to reduce effort while providing new value and integration with other planning capabilities. One can’t rely solely on software to solve a planning & budgeting challenge: any solution must also involve business process changes. As advisors with decades of combined experience, BetterVu delivers solutions built on both best practices and leading technology platforms to implement comprehensive and actionable plans and budgets.
Does your budget process accommodate updates in an hour? Most FP&A executives cringe as budget season nears its conclusion, knowing that executive leadership will likely demand last minute changes to the budget and expect that the process and tool deliver the results promptly. The reality, sadly, is that most tools & processes just cannot do that, sometimes requiring overnight processing to deliver updated results.
Bettervu's solution of choice, Anaplan, is constantly live, updating results in seconds and propagating each update throughout the budget model. So if your CFO needs updates in an hour, no problem!
Let us show you how to transform your FP&A function into a value-added business partnership.
Forecasting and budgeting is not solely the responsibility of the FP&A team. In fact, the FP&A team is more like a coach than a player: guiding and shaping each team member to perform a specific role which, combined with other players, delivers a superior result.
The ideal forecasting & budgeting tool thus allows FP & A to provide guidance, parameters, and structure to sales reps, operations managers, and other involved in building budgets, then pulling the results together to present a cohesive plan.
However quick and efficient a forecasting process might be, it still needs to adapt and become more accurate over time. We have found that using innovative techniques, such as statistical predictions with allowance for targetted manual override by users, is an excellent way of combining two approaches to deliver superior forecasts.
For example, this chart shows a system generated 6 month forecast for three different products for one customer. However, the sales rep has recently learned from the customer that Product 2 will be phased out next year while sales of Product 3 are expected to grow substantially, information that history alone cannot predict. Thus, the model incorporates a human override capability.
FP&A Case Study
Our client is a real estate investment trust, operating, developing and expanding residential communities across North America.
In the midst of completing a substantial acquisition and building a new FP&A team, the company faced developing its fiscal 2017 budget, using Anaplan to replace its prior tool. Prior budgets relied on literally hundreds of excel files, many with dozens of sheets, some linked by formula but many manually (i.e. re-entry of data from excel or other systems).
BetterVu worked with our client to build a driver-based model that ultimately delivered location-specific budgets aggregating through the organizational hierarchy. Importantly, the budget can be updated in minutes versus overnight using the prior tool; this allows site and executive management to test scenarios very rapidly.
The budget was built by a combined BetterVu-client team in less than 100 days, including the full transfer of knowledge to the client team, who maintain and update the model independently.
Now that our client's FP&A functions are on Anaplan, field and corporate management teams can access (as authorized) custom dashboards showing:
- P&L by property, region, division, and country/legal entity
- P&L analytics across multiple property attributes, such as size, amenities, age classification, and continuity year-over-year
- Impact of wage increases