The lowest performance is achieved by companies who only rely on spreadsheets for end-to-end financial planning, budgeting and forecasting processes, including collecting information, data storage, and data analysis such as “what if” scenarios.
The highest level of performance in terms of budget accuracy and profit improvement comes with the specialised functionality available in standalone applications, which offers a more robust analysis.
It is not surprising companies gain in performance when they move beyond spreadsheets. Besides the visibility and control provided by these applications, there are certain approaches that are simply not adequately supported by distributing spreadsheets to those responsible for doing the budget, namely the top-down and bottom-up approach towards budgeting.
Leading companies are most likely to use a coordinated system of top-down and bottom-up planning and budgeting that aligns performance with corporate strategy. Lower performing companies are most likely to only take a top-down approach, mainly because, without appropriate technology, they lack the ability to manage a coordinated top-down and bottom-up approach.
Here are some recommendations to help boost corporate performance now and into the future:
- Invest in forecasting applications that provide flexibility in changing business conditions
- Employ both top-down and bottom-up approaches in planning and budgeting
- Implement processes that provide better insight into future financial indicators and shift reliance away from historical-based budgeting
- Improve visibility with analytical tools
For more statistics and illustrations, read the whitepaper “How Best-in-Class Plan, Budget and Forecast in Today’s Dynamic World”.