Corporate Planning – Budgeting and Rolling Forecasting
Infocube provides enterprise-wide performance management solutions designed to improve how you run your company by the use of efficient planning and strategic decision-making methodologies. Whether you are budgeting, updating a forecast or using rolling forecasts, as accountants that specialise in business analytics we are able to help you dramatically improve your corporate planning.
Budgeting, forecasting for the remainder of the year or using rolling forecasts are all designed to help you focus on what is important over the ensuing months, to allocate resources and test different scenarios.
We work with you to design and implement great corporate planning solutions that allow you to:
- eliminate spreadsheet error
- have an always up to date consolidation of your plans throughout the organisation instantly
- use drivers for planning so you can test different scenarios
- load data on demand from your ERP and reforecast as often as required
- align your strategic objectives with operational plans
- use the same, reconciled data for both management reporting and budgeting
- have all relevant contributors working on the plan simultaneously
- work via the web or excel
- use what-if analysis
- allow direct comparison of different versions – budget vs mid year review vs August rolling forecast vs actual etc.
Traditional budgeting usually involves creating a detailed plan, often zero based, that is then used as a base line for the coming financial year. It usually involves managers from all over the organisation to prepare, submit and refine their plans. Often this has been done using error prone spreadsheets that are consolidated by your finance team.
Your new budget will be presented over your intranet for your management team to work on live. You will see what they have submitted instantly. As the months roll by (yes, we’d all like to finish budgeting in a couple of weeks, but!), you update the actuals automatically. Your budget will all be linked, allocations could be automatically distributed to target cost centres, sales, gross profit, labour, capex and opex all dynamically updating your P&L, balance sheet and cash flow. Meanwhile your finance team will have access to exactly the same information live into the familiar excel environment they love – no need to stop using spreadsheets – we just use them smart!
Finally, we lock down that version of your plan with no formulae so it can be used for comparison purposes in the new financial year.
Once the budget is complete, most companies then embark on a series of regular updates to their budget. We take that budget, with all the formulae live and load actuals year to date. We then open the model up to managers to update their plans based on what has been happening in the business, with a view to the year end. Often we will forecast quarterly or half yearly, but there should be no impediment to doing a one off reforecast if market conditions change. The forecast is likely to be the same as your budget – but doesn’t have to be. Importantly though, it is all in the same model, so you can always compare different versions side by side.
In addition traditional budgeting and forecasting, our team can build rolling forecasts for you as well. These involve planning out for the horizon that matters for your business – be it 6, 15, 18 months or whatever. We load the most up to date financials automatically and roll over so you can then update your plans as frequently as conditions require.
Importantly, we always build rolling forecasts so you can take a snapshot at a point in time so you can have a “budget” version or a “mid year review” version for comparative analysis.
Infocube use IBM’s TM1 and Planning Analytics (cloud based TM1) to build planning systems for our clients.
Further insights into planning can be found in the Infocube Death of Budgeting white paper – contact us for your copy.
To find out more about planning solutions see our range to the right or contact us to discuss your individual requirements.