Spreadsheets still dominate for planning, budgeting and forecasting but their use is declining. The spreadsheet continues to provide ultimate flexibility to finance professionals but as organisations look to standardise, collaborate, and connect finance to non-finance functions other tools and technologies are proving more suitable.
The increasing use of scenario planning, real-time reporting, and a move to predictive planning are also driving the adoption of more sophisticated tools and technology.
Larger organisations are now also more likely to make use of multiple tools. Historically most organisations have had a single tool that predominantly met the needs of those at group and met very few of the needs of those in the divisions. As a result the divisions continued to use spreadsheets with the final “answer” being submitted into the group tool. We are increasingly seeing the divisions make use of their own more sophisticated tools – often enabled by the cloud.