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What is Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) software?

You may have heard of terms like Business Performance Management (BPM), Corporate Performance Management (CPM) and Financial Performance Management (FPM). All of these are the various variations of Enterprise Performance Management (EPM). Nevertheless, EPM seems to be used more frequently.

But what is it? What aspects of an enterprise does it encompass? Read on to find out what you might not have known about Enterprise Performance Management solution.

What is EPM? EPM vs FM

As a CFO in today's day and age, it is inevitable that you are sitting on different versions of the truth generated daily from various business systems. How do you solve the data issue and acquire only the most relevant insights for the decision-making process?

This is where EPM solutions come in to save your day. An EPM system consolidates data from a variety of sources, such as your ERP system, front/back-office applications, external data sources, basically the entire organisation on a regular basis. EPM then analyses this data and turns them into actionable insights.

The primary purpose of EPM is to ensure the business' goals and objectives are met according to plans and budgets. A typical EPM cycle comprises of:

  • Strategic modelling
  • Budgeting, planning, and forecasting
  • Consolidation and close
  • Reporting
  • Performance analysis

An EPM solution can significantly benefit not only the Finance department but also other functions, such as Operations, IT, HR, Sales, and Marketing.

For EPM solution to maximise its usefulness, reports and results need periodically revisit and adjustment by both internal and external stakeholders to ensure organisations stay aligned over time. 

It is understandable to get confused EPM with a financial management software as EPM is also capable of assisting businesses with the FB&P processes as well as consolidating and reporting financial results. EPM solutions are primarily used by CFOs, but as mentioned above, EPM can also support other functions in the business, not just finance.

EPM allows you to do forecast and budget up to 5 years in advance, thus, providing a more forward-looking vision to the C-suite.

What's more, next-generation of EPM solutions today are not only cloud-based, user-friendly but also have built-in advanced functionalities, such as predictive analysis which enables you to identify new trends and make accurate decisions leveraging real-time data.

EPM is the perfect alternative to spreadsheets

According to a Finance Priorities Survey on 650 CFOs, forecasting and budgeting are among the top 5 issues. Forward-looking CFOs today have to know not only "What happened?" but also "What would happen next?"

As companies are expanding and starting to adopt innovative enterprise management solutions to help them stand out in the market, an outdated planning and budgeting software should not be a hindrance to success. Unfortunately, many of these companies still use spreadsheets extensively.

Spreadsheets rely heavily on manual input. Once data is rolled up, top executives can hardly drill down the numbers to the detail levels to gain a more in-depth view of the financial history. Not to mention, spreadsheets are susceptible to human errors, rigid, time-consuming and have the potential to create silos.

EPM application is the answer to all of the above issues. EPM provides the right information, at the right time, thus, helping CFOs to make informed decisions that can greatly benefit the business.

Additional values EPM software can bring to the business

Optimise the financial close: EPM enables you to adapt more quickly to changing regulatory requirements, streamline the financial close and reporting, thereby allowing you to make decisions faster based on accurate information.

Streamline account reconciliation: EPM software is designed to assist you in managing and improving global account reconciliation effectively and automatically in addition to addressing security and risk associated with this process.

Drive integrated plans: EPM tightly connects the entire organisation to create a more holistic view of how well the business if performing. The solution ensures the business strategy is aligned with the financial goals, allows you to develop agile forecasts, and helps you to respond faster to changes.

Increase profitability: EPM collects and consolidates data from single or multiple general ledgers and gives you insights into dimensions of cost and profit to determine areas that needed resources most or where to invest your money in.

Align tax reporting with corporate reporting: EPM eliminates headaches originated with keeping up-to-date with tax laws. EPM connects processes, data, and metadata that tax and finance share to support effective tax reporting. And not just tax reporting, EPM also ensures you stay compliant with other reporting standards, and that your data always up-to-date and relevant. Thus, the solution eliminates the need for multiple reporting systems.

Manage enterprise-wide data: EPM also acts as a platform to store and manage data across your business, ensuring data integrity, whether you are migrating systems to the cloud or operating in a hybrid environment.

What is Infor d/EPM? An Overview of Infor d/EPM

Infor d/EPM is an enterprise performance management solution that specially designed to accommodate the various needs and demands of a CFO at the corporate level with tens to hundreds of entities underneath. The solution provides robust capabilities to manage the daily business and financial performance and a centralised data repository so you can get a holistic view of your entire business and gain timely insights whenever necessary.

Infor d/EPM combines two of Infor's most innovative platforms - Infor Business Intelligence and Infor Enterprise Performance Management to address issues revolve around collaboration, mobility, cloud, and big data

The solution is suitable to use in industries like banking, insurance,  manufacturing, healthcare, hospitality, financial services, and many more. It is packed full of industry-specific modules, which are configured to meet the standards of each industry in:

Benefits of Infor d/EPM

Planning

In the Infor d/EPM’s dashboards, the finance personnel will be able to view both financial and sales data. Any alteration to the data will be reflected in the main overview page in real-time. 

Preparing for sales planning can be done on the product level or comparing data with the previous period. Data from ERP can also be used to feed into the sales forecast to increase reliability.

In order for the financial plan to be actionable, it still needs the CFO's approval. On the CFO's side, he/she has the possibility to use predictive analytics to validate the manual and entered forecast against statistical methods.

Budgeting

Infor d/EPM shortens the time spent on budgeting and frees up your time for other mission-critical tasks through various advanced functions like task management, decision packages, workflows, and versioning capabilities. The CFO’s dashboard allows you to utilise predictive analytics to validate the manual and entered forecast against statistical methods. 

Reporting

Infor d/EPM integrates planning, budgeting, and forecasting in one single system. Its in-memory analytics platform provides you with immediate data consolidation as well as user feedback from multiple sources to generate a single report. Not only can you acquire maximum visibility, you can also maintain the integrity of your data. All reports generated by Infor d/EPM can be deployed via any common web browsers.

Consolidation

Infor d/EPM web-based structure helps you to quickly consolidate financial data from multiple subsidiaries or business units around the world and generate a single set of financial statements so you can present the most accurate and relevant data to all stakeholders.

Strategy management

A functioning company needs to have a specific strategy and specific goals to work towards. Infor d/EPM allows you to map out strategic goals, tie them to tactical plans, closely monitor your progress, and take necessary actions

Workforce management

Infor d/EPM enables you to optimise your workforce by predicting future demand and time needed for staff to complete a task. Therefore, you can close the gap between planned and actual and keep minimal headcount to meet scheduling requirements.

Risk and compliance

Combine Infor d/EPM with Infor Risk and Compliance (versatile governance, risk, and compliance software) can help you to promote consistent compliance across the business. With the support from Infor Risk and Compliance, you can rest assured that risks associated with performance and security are kept at bay while remaining compliant with laws, regulations, and industry standards.

Capital planning

This capability allows you to access all of your capital investments and make timely decisions about which project to fund.

Cost allocation

Maintain discipline in your cost management and distribute costs through multi-step, multi-level allocations as part of the overall planning process.

Infor d/EPM is powered by Infor ION, a powerful middleware solution that provides you with an innovative framework to automate business processes and allows you to integrate seamlessly with other Infor and non-Infor enterprise systems, whether they on-premise, in the cloud, or both. 

The software suite is also mobile-ready, which gives you both convenience and mobility. The seamless integration, cloud platform, and mobility allow you to reduce IT investments, but all the security, upgrades, and updates are still well taken care of by the vendor.

As Infor d/EPM collects data in real-time, any silo is eliminated. Furthermore, anytime a change is made (e.g., modifying inventory status), information is updated automatically.

How Infor d/EPM can complement your ERP and other IT systems

Optimised for back-office transaction processing and operational process support, ERP systems lack the agility to support complex financial processes.

That's where enterprise performance management (EPM) software comes in. By replacing spreadsheets or proprietary applications used to support complex financial management processes, EPM solutions can take your ERP system to a whole new level.

With Infor d/EPM, you can access latent data for value-added analysis. Here’s how it works: In addition to handling operational reporting on transactional data, ERP systems support basic financial and management reporting, including top-level financial statements, such as the balance sheet, income statement, and statement of cash flows, as well as back office transaction processing and operational process support. This data is typically summarized in the general ledger (GL).

Despite the breadth of their reach, most ERP systems fall short when it comes to supporting more complex financial processes. That’s where Infor d/EPM comes in, because it is designed to collect and consolidate financial results from single or multiple GLs, and other data sources.

With the reporting and analytics tools in Infor d/EPM supporting your financial consolidation and reporting needs, as well as your budgeting, planning, and forecasting processes, you can:

Consolidate and report financial results from multiple ERP/GL systems.

Infor d/EPM for Hospitality

Infor d/EPM for Hospitality is designed with the advanced functionality to help implement and facilitate analysis. Another great feature is Office Plus which integrates directly with Microsoft Excel.

That’s the reason why there is no surprise that some of Infor d/EPM for Hospitality's famous clients include Wyndham Hotel Group, Kempinski Hotels, Auberge Resorts, Intrawest Resorts and Hard Rock International.

The case study of Kempinski Hotels

Kempinski Hotels - the Europe’s oldest luxury hotel group - currently employs some 24,000 thousand people and operates over 70 five-star hotels and residences across more than 30 countries. And a key to the group’s financial robustness is to ensure accurate financial decisions can be made in any location at any time on any device. To achieve this, Kempinski decided to adopt Infor d/EPM.

The transition to the cloud means Kempinski’s finance specialists now have an extremely easy-to-use tool that is always accessible via the internet. And for a global hotel chain that serves guests around the world 24/7, the ability to use the system at any time and from any location is absolutely crucial to its hotels’ employees.

Over a period of 5 years since implementation, Infor d/EPM has helped Kempinski improve its financial forecast accuracy by 88%. The number of months not in line with forecast has dropped by 60%.

Infor d/EPM for non-profit

World Vision, based in Monrovia, California, is a global relief organisation committed to improving the well-being of people around the world, particularly children. World Vision chose Infor d/EPM so that they can minimise any frictions when connecting and consolidating financial data.

The process of implementing Infor d/EPM at World Vision’s numerous locations has progressed smoothly. The application gathers all key financial information from 70 divisions across the world that make up 5,000 projects and supports the users consolidate the information, analyse and conduct reports and provide them to management. It also helps accumulate the insights for decision-making and improve their overall accountability.

Such a large international humanitarian organisation as World Vision has an array of complex operations. For example, besides their operations in 70 countries, they also raise money in 20 other countries with demands from donors. That is why Infor d/EPM’s comprehensive features - web access, global information, slicing and dicing, and multicurrency accounting – make sure that the decision-making process is well-informed with updated and analysed data.

Infor d/EPM for Healthcare

Dana-Farber is a Boston-based cancer institute that bears the burdens of managing various types of costs, budgets, and expenses across five offices and 35 cost centres. Financial management has always been a critical issue at Dana-Farber.

After an extensive review, Dana-Farber entrusted Infor d/EPM with the mission to create one common automated system for all budget components and provide users with real-time, web-based information (which are easily accessible at any given time).

Within months after implementation, Dana-Farber has successfully cut down the budget cycle from five months to merely three months.

The process of reviewing budgets face-to-face is removed. Budget reports now can be done every 3 or 4 days instead of 2 weeks like before. As a result, an actionable P&L statement can be generated within hours, which enables Dana-Farber to make decisions faster.

Most important of all is the positive feedback from the staff as Infor d/EPM offers an Excel look-and-feel, which minimises the need for training. Employees can get used to the new systems in literally minutes.

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