Use of tools and technology

Insight report

The importance of investing in PB&F technologies to enhance Finance processes

With continuous advancements in technology, we are seeing an emergence of new tools and technology which organisations can harness, and often harness more easily as a result of cloud-based solutions that are typically more readily accessible.

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.

Based upon discussions with Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) leaders, we are seeing leading organisations:

  • Increasingly invest in cloud-based tools to support the transition to more agile and efficient planning processes e.g. scenario planning;
  • Shifting to forecasting processes that involve people working symbiotically with data-fueled, predictive algorithms; and
  • Embracing self-service and adopting smart agents that learn what kinds of business information an individual needs, and deliver that information proactively.

Furthermore, non-finance functions such as sales, supply chain, and HR are increasing looking towards finance to connect the organisation and provide meaningful insights. This is leading to CFOs and finance leaders investing in innovative tools and technologies. To find out more on the insights from technology advancements, please download our insights report below.

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Key Contact

Martin Jermyn

Global Planning, Budgeting & Forecasting Survey Sponsor