Budgeting, Planning & Forecasting

The enterprise planning process – planning, budgeting and forecasting, is a crucial component of financial performance management that contributes to the overall success of the organization. Enterprise planning simply answers the question: What should we be doing? It takes the understanding of current and past performance and sets a forward-looking view of the business that you continuously measure and monitor your performance against, while being flexible enough to leave room for adjustments to reflect shifting goals and external variables along the way. 

Some of the challenges that organizations face with the planning process include:

  • Long planning cycles due to absence of automation and manual effort involved, resulting in poor efficiency and effectiveness
  • Infrequent reports and forecasts
  • Inflexible applications and spreadsheets that do not support a continuously changing environment
  • Silos of information – Inaccurate and inconsistent information due to knowledge embedded into custom formulas and data being pulled at different times by different people
  • Absence of audit-ability

To address these challenges and stay competitive, leading organizations utilize solutions that employ well-established planning, budgeting and forecasting best-practices. For instance, these organizations employ driver-based planning and have shifted from doing traditional budgeting cycles into continuous rolling forecasts to provide visibility and coordination. IBM planning solution addresses the challenges mentioned above and allows you to:

  • Streamline information gathering, aggregation and analysis for continuous planning
  • Centrally manage data, business hierarchies, rules, and calculations. Centralization provides a single version of the truth across the organization
  • Act quickly and confidently with on-demand budgeting, forecasting, analysis and modeling
  • Track performance against strategic objectives and targets
  • Perform ‘what-if’ scenario modeling to determine impact and identify the scenario that will most likely improve the performance
  • Create flexible rolling forecasts
  • Replace rigid budgets with continuous planning having real-time updates – daily, weekly, or monthly
  • Plugin to Excel and leverage Excel interface familiarity and capabilities
  • Create automated workflows
  • Contribute to plans over the web or from the desktop