Three Pragmatic Steps to Better Budgeting and Rolling Forecasts

If you’re dissatisfied with your company’s planning, budgeting, and forecasting processes, you’re not alone. Two recent studies show that the majority of CFOs and financial executives think their planning and forecasting processes are too slow and costly, their budgets aren’t aligned with strategic objectives, their forecasts aren’t accurate, and that overall they don’t have the visibility they need to predict and adapt to change. These studies revealed that while many financial executives recognize what’s wrong with their planning and forecasting cycles, they see the barriers to change—lack of time, staff, and funds—as too great to overcome. These perceived barriers need not prevent your company from achieving better budgeting. By beginning with the end in mind and selecting a technology solution that enables quick wins early on and sustainable improvement over time, finance executives and their staff can adopt planning best practices that deliver greater value. The basis of the three pragmatic steps to better budgeting and enhanced planning efficiency is data integration. Data integration and system automation eliminate the wasted time and errors associated with a spreadsheet-based planning and forecasting solution. Rolling forecasts play a key role, too, in enhancing efficiency and also in providing future visibility for more effective business management. Ultimately, with greater collaboration and the inclusion of more contextual data, more accurate forecasting and continuous planning will allow your company to adapt to change, manage risk, and exploit opportunity.