Robert Kugel's Analyst Perspectives

Rolling Forecasts Are a Good First Step toward Smarter Financial Planning

Posted by Robert Kugel on Sep 6, 2011 10:00:14 AM

I recently participated in a panel discussion about the rise in the use of rolling forecasts in corporate planning. I’m not surprised by this trend; I have encouraged it. Ever since the financial crisis started three years ago, I’ve been writing that companies should rethink how they plan and budget to respond to increasing business volatility. Rolling forecasts are useful because they continually extend the formal planning horizon out more than a year rather than having it stop abruptly at the end of a company’s fiscal year. They can be the right first step in improving the effectiveness of a company’s budgeting process, but ultimately I believe that organizations need to adopt a better approach to planning – what I refer to as integrated business planning. Moreover, companies that want to adopt a rolling forecast approach must first make important changes to their planning and budgeting processes to make them leaner, more focused and faster. 

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Topics: Performance Management, Planning, Social Media, forecasting, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Budgeting, IBP, rolling forecast, rolling quarters, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Business Performance Management (BPM), CFO, COO, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Workforce Performance Management (WPM), Integrated Business Planning

SAP Advances Enterprise Performance Management in Version 10

Posted by Ventana Research on May 18, 2011 5:09:17 PM

SAP announced the release of version 10 of its SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) Solutions suite, an enhanced and updated set of applications and capabilities for executives and managers. In our Value Index assessment of financial performance management suites and my analysis of it last year, Ventana Research gave SAP’s offering the highest score, and this new release builds on that solid foundation that I already assessed in my blog. It has been several years since SAP began acquiring and assembling its performance management and analytical software assets, and the company has progressed to the point where discussing the integration efforts is becoming irrelevant. This release revamps the user interface of the different components to provide a more consistent look and feel – a crucial factor in facilitating training and improving user productivity. Outside of the suite itself, the current release is designed to integrate better with ERP, SAP NetWeaver BW, risk management and BI. In facts it establishes a foundation for finance analytics that I have researched and is essential for doing what I call and have written about in putting the “A” back in FP&A

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Topics: Planning, SAP, Forecast, Operational Performance Management (OPM), budget, Budgeting, rolling forecast, XBRL, Business Analytics, Business Mobility, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Business Intelligence (BI), Business Performance Management (BPM), CFO, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Information Management (IM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), agile planning, budgeting software, CEO, Corporate Finance, Financial Performance Management, Integrated Business Planning

Alight Does Agile Planning

Posted by Robert Kugel on Apr 22, 2011 6:42:59 AM

Alight Planning sells planning and budgeting software mainly to midsize  companies and stresses its software’s ability to support a more effective approach to corporate planning and budgeting. It calls this “agile planning,” a term used to contrast a traditional, highly deterministic method of drawing up and executing plans with an “agile” mindset that is better able to deal with the high level of economic volatility that most businesses confront today. In many respects Alight’s approach is consistent with what Ventana Research refers to as “integrated business planning,” which I have written about as a business priority and an area that I have extensively researched.

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Topics: Planning, Forecast, Operational Performance Management (OPM), budget, Budgeting, rolling forecast, CFO, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), agile planning, budgeting software, CEO, Integrated Business Planning