Robert Kugel's Analyst Perspectives

Find Out Which Is the Hottest Financial Performance Management Software

Posted by Robert Kugel on Oct 9, 2013 8:56:33 AM

We recently issued our 2013 Value Index on Financial Performance Management. Ventana Research defines financial performance management (FPM) as the process of addressing the often overlapping people, process, information and technology issues that affect how well finance organizations operate and support the activities of the rest of their organization. FPM deals with the full cycle of finance department activities, which includes planning and budgeting, analysis, assessment and review, closing and consolidation, and internal and external financial reporting, as well as the underlying IT systems that support them. Our Value Index is informed by more than a decade of analysis of how well technology suppliers and their products satisfy specific business and IT needs. We perform a detailed evaluation of product functionality and suitability to task in five categories as well as of the effectiveness of vendor support for the buying process and customer assurance. Our resulting index gauges the value offered by each individual vendor and its products in supporting FPM, which is necessary for running an organization efficiently and effectively.

Read More

Topics: Mobile, Planning, Predictive Analytics, Budgeting, closing, Consolidation, contingency planning, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Cloud Computing, Accounting, Business Performance Management (BPM), CFO, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Value Index, Financial Performance Management, spreadsheet

Is Your Vendor Hot in Financial Performance Management Software?

Posted by Robert Kugel on Jul 17, 2012 10:07:14 AM

We recently issued our 2012 Value Index on Financial Performance Management (FPM). Ventana Research defines FPM as the process of addressing the often overlapping people, process, information and technology issues that affect how well finance organizations operate and support the activities of the rest of their organization. FPM deals with the full cycle of finance department activities, which includes planning and budgeting, analysis, assessment and review, closing and consolidation, internal financial reporting and external financial reporting, as well as the underlying information technology systems that support them. We construct the Index through a detailed evaluation of each product’s suitability to task in five categories, as well as the effectiveness of the vendor’s support for the buying process and customer assurance. The resulting index gauges the value offered by a vendor and its products.

Read More

Topics: Mobile, Planning, Predictive Analytics, Budgeting, closing, Consolidation, contingency planning, Analytics, Business Analytics, Accounting, Business Performance Management (BPM), CFO, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Value Index, Financial Performance Management, spreadsheet

Today’s Companies Need Action-Oriented Information Technology Systems

Posted by Robert Kugel on Dec 29, 2011 11:08:57 AM

Management decision-making typically involves a three-step process of inform, analyze and act. In the earliest days of what came to be known as business intelligence, developers created decision support systems that provided information and analytics to help executives and high-level managers choose the best course of action. Working with numbers rather than gut instinct still is viewed as a best practice. After all, a pilot who doesn’t trust his or her instruments is heading for an accident.

Read More

Topics: Big Data, Performance Management, Planning, Modeling, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Budgeting, closed loop, contingency planning, driver-based, driver-based planning, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, In-memory, Business Performance Management (BPM), Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Workforce Performance Management (WPM), Applications, best pracices, business value, cash flow, challenge, financial planning, spreadsheet

Contingency Planning and the Euro’s Collapse

Posted by Robert Kugel on Dec 5, 2011 12:48:36 PM

I thought of writing a note on this topic when multinational corporations started to withdraw their deposits from eurozone banks, but the pessimism that event engendered was short-lived. Now, as the monetary crisis deepens in Europe, it’s perhaps time to ask what your company would do if parts of its financial system implodes. You may think that your company will not be affected because it doesn’t do business with the eurozone. Or you may believe that it’s unlikely to happen and therefore not worth spending the time to consider the implications. I think both assumptions are mistaken.

Read More

Topics: Performance Management, Planning, Social Media, Modeling, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Budgeting, contingency planning, crisis, driver-based, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Business Performance Management (BPM), Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Workforce Performance Management (WPM), Applications, best pracices, business value, cash flow, challenge, financial planning, spreadsheet

Budgeting Is So Unimportant

Posted by Robert Kugel on Jun 8, 2011 1:08:35 PM

I think one of best epigrams attributed to Mark Twain is, “Everyone talks about the weather but nobody ever does something about it.” This also has relevance to the situation with corporate planning and budgeting. Bemoaning its lack of value and calling for some sort of change goes back a long way, but few companies have matured their process. In the 1970s something called “zero-based budgeting” was all the rage in business and accounting periodicals. It was energetically advocated by President Carter to counteract the incremental budgeting that made it so difficult for the U.S. Congress to cut spending. (Of course, nothing changed.) Efforts to reform budgeting gathered steam in the 1990s as software vendors began offering dedicated applications designed for planning and budgeting. Even if one doesn’t fully embrace the idea of going budgetless, the book Beyond Budgeting is full of sensible management approaches (such as using league tables for internal benchmarking or using relative rather than fixed measures of performance). Of course, unlike the weather, people can change company practices. Yet when it comes to budgeting and planning, the same old stuff persists even as people like me continue to point out how using the right software can help transform the process into a valuable business tool. I’ve discussed why it’s important to adopt integrated business planning from my research, in which the budget is an automatically generated end product of the process, not the objective itself. And I’ve explained why driver-based planning produces better results. If it were just me advocating change, I might take its absence personally, but there have been scores of people, libraries of books and years of webinars focused on this topic for decades. Why has so little changed? 

Read More

Topics: Planning, Predictive Analytics, Agility, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Budgeting, contingency planning, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Performance Management (BPM), CFO, finance, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Beyond Budgeting, Financial Performance Management, Integrated Business Planning