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A path to automated financial forecasting
The future of financial forecasting
Automated financial forecasting means faster time to insights and decisions, which is critical to leading your organization through today’s complexities and into the future. Achieving it, however, requires an end-to-end strategy. Discover a framework that can guide you on the path to making that future a reality today.
- A path to financial forecasting
- What does it look like in practice?
- What does the path to execution look like?
- What’s the value?
- Critical success factors
A path to automated financial forecasting
The future of digital products, experiences, and services is upon us. Companies' commercial organizations are rapidly digitizing and creating an immense amount of data that’s available to support planning, reporting, and analytics. The future of forecasting is being transformed through technology to create an environment in which people work symbiotically with data-fueled predictive algorithms to deliver forecasts, discover insights, and act with more confidence and speed.
CFOs and organizational leaders alike are adopting next-generation planning capabilities to capitalize on data availability, drive strategic decision-making in real time, and support everyday business decisions.
What does automated financial forecasting look like in practice?
Quarterly forecasts and annual planning submissions are all too familiar for both financial analysts and senior leaders. Imagine an organization where the churn and extensive hours behind these forecast submissions do not exist. The reason for this is not because the CFO has a crystal ball, but because there is a continuous, real-time forecast that incorporates continuous data feeds of financial, operational, and third-party data:
- Movements in key drivers trigger updates to forecasts in real time.
- Automated data flows capture these movements to update algorithmic models forecasting each financial statement.
- Real-time variance analysis and driver analytics allow leaders to understand the why of an evolving forecast.
- Connected planning environments ensure affected drivers are linked and modeled consistently across functions and financial statements.
- Business partners and finance alike are promptly notified and operate within an integrated framework to quickly take strategic and operational action.
This may seem far-fetched, but the combination of cloud infrastructure, modern APIs, digital data generation, and redefined talent models can help bring your organization to an automated financial forecasting future.
What does the path to execution look like?
Achieving a state of automated financial forecasting does not occur overnight. It is important to take an end-to-end approach to data management, process design, and talent. The thoughtful design of integration across each of these is critical to enabling automated financial forecasting and delivering real and sustainable value to your organization. That’s why we’ve developed a step-by-step framework to guide your organization along the way.
What’s the value of automated financial forecasting?
Automated financial forecasting puts data, reporting, and analytics at the fingertips of business leaders to effectively operate in demanding business environments. For CFOs, this means faster time to insights and decisions that drive earnings, reduce costs, and create controls over financial outcomes. For business leaders, this means more transparency into forecasts and assumptions to execute better pricing, predict customer demands, and reduce working capital.
Across the organization, both analysts and senior management will have access to real-time analytics and scenario models to inform everyday decisions. Processes will become more efficient through enabling technology and digital capabilities to keep organizations focused on delivering future value versus reconciling data and reporting on what has already happened.
Realizing the future of financial forecasting
Automated financial forecasting requires an end-to-end strategy across data management, process design, and workforce and talent. The future of forecasting will be enabled by humans and machines working together cohesively with continuous, reliable data feeds to deliver timely insights that drive valuable, data-driven decisions for organizations to quickly and efficiently navigate complex environments. Talent and workforce models across industries are already adapting to these future ways of working.
For CFOs, automated financial forecasting means real-time analytics and real-time decision-making. This is especially important as companies navigate unprecedented times and complex competitive environments.