In the essence of a “Dear Abbey” advice column, we at Host Analytics are trying to tackle your biggest financial process questions. This series of blog posts called, Dear Mr. EPM will look to answer questions on some of your challenges. Have a question for us – email us at info@hostanalytics.com.

Dear Mr. EPM,

I’m a VP of Finance at an organization that is about to embark on our yearly budgeting cycle. However, I am frankly dreading the thought of starting the process. Last year I had to chase down my business owners to collect budgeting numbers, then after getting the numbers, my team manually verified and input the data into a consolidated master budget spreadsheet. We have had version issues and even errors in templates that get used across the organization.

Most of the time for the budgeting cycle got lost in these manual processes that my team had little time to analyze the data and make strategic financial decisions. Is it possible for the budgeting process to not be so complicated?

–STUCK IN SPREADSHEETS

Dear STUCK IN SPREADSHEETS,

I feel your pain. The legacy way of filling out an Excel spreadsheet provided by the finance team and emailing it around the organization is filled with pain points. Among those include broken spreadsheet formulas, data security, data integrity, versioning control issues and the collaboration problems that come with exchanging files through email. The ultimate pitfall is that people lose faith in the numbers.

After you’ve spent so much valuable time putting a budget together only to find out that you don’t trust the numbers, it can be demoralizing.

Market-leading EPM systems solve these challenges by supplying built-in structure, security, collaboration, and scalability, all while leveraging a single source of truth so that everyone trusts the final numbers. Unlimited scenario and version capabilities enable users to run any what-if analysis they need, and track who made changes and what underlying assumptions drove those changes. The result is a final budget or forecast that is accurate, trusted, and meaningful to everyone in the organization.

Here to fill the GAAPs in your Finance processes,

p.s. Download our Complete Guide to Modernizing Your Financial Processes – to get all the tips and tricks on how and EPM systems brings planning, budgeting, and forecasting to the digital workplace.

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