Discover how your FP&A team can improve planning, budgeting and forecasting
IBM Planning Analytics for FP&A Profitability modeling blog
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Financial planning and analysis (FP&A) is a set of activities that supports financial management and improve decision-making

Organizations rely on FP&A to achieve operational, financial and strategic goals. Financial analysts develop forecasts designed to reflect how the business will perform. Source data includes cash flow, Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, business trends, variance analysis, historical data and profitability modeling. With this FP&A data analysts can assess how the budget and forecast compare against actual financial performance and how to best approach efficiency goals and fiscal strategies. 

The future of FP&A: digital transformation

CFOs and senior management need accurate forecasting from their FP&A team to make reliable data-driven decisions. As we enter a new era of financial transformation with organizations looking to integrate, manage and analyze their enterprise data, the FP&A job description will take on a strategic, digital-first approach.

FP&A professionals are moving away from planning and forecasting in Excel spreadsheets, which are too often created in an ad hoc manner and siloed across business units. A digital-first approach to planning means organizations are adopting strategies that are focused on process automation, agility, transparency and data-driven decisions.

FP&A teams are now adopting solutions that allows them to alter plans, reforecast or modify budgets in real time and integrate planning across business units to speed up decision-making, therefore improving the accuracy and reliability of plans and forecasts.

A reliable financial model is needed to create a solid business strategy. This requires solutions designed specifically for FP&A reporting that enhance operational efficiency and generate insights. Selecting the solution is an important decision that may involve the chief financial officer, FP&A manager and other corporate stakeholders.

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Accelerate planning cycles

FP&A solutions that automate manual, labor-intensive processes, such as data collection, can shave days or weeks from planning cycles. Adopt a solution that automates processes and allows you to seamlessly build plans anytime, anywhere, while giving you the flexibility to modify plans to reflect constantly changing business, market conditions and customer preferences.

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Scale to your changing needs

Organizations can quickly outgrow their planning solutions due to increased data volumes, users or increased complexity in planning models. Implement an FP&A solution that can scale to large numbers of users, handle large and complex data volumes and expand into different business domains, without impacting performance.

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Integrate across departments

Integrated planning aligns users across all business units, from finance to sales, to operations. A dynamic, integrated planning solution aligns top down strategies with operational plans on a planning application that is always up to date, creating one source of truth.

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Gain efficiencies

Spend less time manually managing data and more time managing the business, identifying trends and drilling down into data through built-in reporting and analysis capabilities. FP&A solutions with embedded analysis capabilities will not only save time but on licensing costs.

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Improve accuracy

Eliminate errors due to broken links, stale data, improper rollups and missing information. FP&A solutions allow you to trust the data from your solution to make more factual and reliable plans and forecasts. Advanced FP&A solutions will support predictive analytics, enhanced modeling, artificial intelligence and machine learning, facilitating users to create more accurate plans and forecasts.

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