The Future of Planning, Budgeting & Forecasting

Insight from the FSN Modern Finance Forum on Linkedin



We’ve all seen the rapid emergence of new technologies within the finance department and their ability to deliver unprecedented levels of accuracy, insight and process improvement; but are finance executives actually adopting and embracing this technology or are we seeing many organisations simply falling behind?

The FSN Modern Finance Forum have released a challenging and thought-provoking survey that explores the current state and barriers associated with planning, budgeting and forecasting, as well as where automation and non-financial data fit in to the process. 

Whilst Chief Financial Officers and senior finance executives are beginning to recognize the role that technology plays in achieving forecasting excellence, the FSN survey points out that adoption remains incremental due to heavy reliance on insight-limiting technologies like spreadsheets. 

Are forecasting processes improving?

The number of companies undertaking more than one forecast per year has doubled to 55% since last year’s report indicating that senior finance executives continue to acknowledge the importance of re-forecasting as conditions change.  With over 70% of respondents still relying heavily on spreadsheets, these improvements appear to be driven reactively by the need to forecast more frequency rather than proactively by selecting innovative tools that save time and drive more detailed analysis.

Furthermore, non-financial data is highlighted as a key strategic contributor to effective forecasting with over 75% of those surveyed agreeing that the use of this data will lead to greater accuracy and enhanced insight/analysis.  If a possibility at all, integrating non-financial data with spreadsheet-driven forecasts is a time-consuming process that can lead to inefficiencies and put a strain on resources. 

Staying ahead of the curve with Prophix

Senior finance executives are quickly recognising the importance of automation and standardization in the forecast function, both of which remain virtually unachievable with a spreadsheet-driven forecasting process.  Whilst the slow and steady forecasting approach is currently ‘enough’, as the need for integration and automation increases, businesses must be quick to adopt specialized technology or risk falling behind.

Prophix allows you to drive efficiency in your forecasting process with automated importation of personnel, fixed assets, capital expenses and finance data from any number of source systems providing you with precise consolidated data. Learn more about saving time and resources with Prophix