Budgeting, planning, and forecasting in today’s volatile business environment is a challenging task.  Trying to manage these processes using spreadsheets in a dynamic and growing enterprise makes the process even harder. 

Organizations that adopt packaged applications for these tasks are able to streamline FP&A processes and improve accuracy.  But a recent survey and report by Aberdeen Research found that organizations that adopt cloud-based FP&A applications are able to achieve even more gains than those using on-premises applications.

Download the Research Report

Meeting Today’s Planning Challenges

In the February 2016 Aberdeen Research Report titled “Deploy Your FP&A Solution in the Cloud to Keep Your Budgets and Forecasts Grounded in Reality,” the #1 planning challenge cited by respondents was market volatility – 49% of respondents cited this, which creates the need to dynamically account for change.  The next highest response (29%) was poor communication, coordination, and collaboration.

The volatility challenge cited in the survey highlights the need for instant access to relevant data in the planning and forecasting process.  Without access to timely data, plans and forecasts can quickly become irrelevant.  Improved communication and collaboration are necessary because of the differing views of the business that exist in corporate functions vs. departments and lines of business.  In order to reconcile these views, collaboration must be improved.

Leaders Are Adopting Cloud-Based FP&A Solutions

Cloud-Accounting.jpgIn its research report, Aberdeen groups respondents into two classes.  This includes Leaders, which are the top 35% based on their performance, and Followers, which are the bottom 65%.  What Aberdeen found is that Leaders are 61% more likely to have deployed packaged CPM/EPM solutions for budgeting, planning, and forecasting.  Moreover, Leaders are 53% more likely to have adopted cloud-based CPM/EPM applications for budgeting, planning, and forecasting. 

Those respondents who adopted cloud-based solutions were able to achieve additional benefits vs. those using on-premises solutions:

  • Real-time updates to financial metrics
  • Improved monitoring of business milestone achievement
  • Self-service reporting by business users
  • Enterprise-wide collaboration across departments
  • Improved communication with stakeholders and more accountability

Real-World Business Results

In conclusion, Aberdeen Research found that organizations that adopted cloud-based solutions for FP&A achieved significant business benefits over those with on-premises solutions.  These include more accurately informed and faster decisions, faster budgeting and forecasting cycles, and more accurate plans and forecasts.

To dig into the details and learn more about these survey results, download the free Aberdeen Research report titled “Deploy Your FP&A Solution in the Cloud to Keep Your Budgets and Forecasts Grounded in Reality.” 

Download the Research Report

11 responses to “What Are the Advantages of Moving FP&A to the Cloud?”

  1. Kate says:

    “need for instant access to relevant data in the planning and forecasting process. Without access to timely data, plans and forecasts can quickly become irrelevant.” We went from quarterly to monthly and now they are talking about weekly forecasts. This couldn’t be more true.

  2. Jarrod says:

    Market volatility increases the demand for updated forecasts. Having FP&A in the cloud allows you to leverage information quicker, which allows you to meet that demand.

  3. Han Shih says:

    Cloud based FP&A solutions help Finance streamline reporting and budgeting processes and steer away from complex spreadsheet consolidations across all finance functions.

  4. Jean Dane says:

    Cloud based solutions add agility and flexibility to our process, helping to streamline data and communication while granting integrity to our data versus spreadsheets.

  5. Megan says:

    Totally agree with your point here!

  6. Lee Burton says:

    Cloud based application addressed so many issues for us – notably ease of distributed data gathering. You don’t have the “on-prem” issues on security that have to be weighed against functionality gained. In terms of functionality, if there is an issue on a Data template easy to update/fix and get the database updated (rather than updating spreadsheet, emailing out spreadsheet, receiving email with spreadsheet back, etc.). Tremendous speed and flexibility gained.

  7. Derek Hazelwood says:

    Data-driven decision making is no longer a buzz word….it is a reality and necessary to compete in 21st century business.

  8. Ali Daneshmand says:

    Moving from spreadsheets to a cloud system where all the information is centralized and accessible by the organization with a touch of a button is a must have in today’s ever changing demand for information. The cloud allows the individuals to access the data from anywhere at any time.

  9. Jamie says:

    Cloud based systems help Finance streamline reporting and budgeting processes while allowing for collaboration with business partners

  10. andrea says:

    It’s hard to believe that I started my career in FP&A using massive offline spreadsheets that had to be emailed back and forth for collaboration. I couldn’t imagine going back!

  11. Rick Odom says:

    For us, one of the great features of a cloud based solution is the ease of updates. New features appear almost by magic without all the down time that comes with upgrade testing associated with on-premise solutions.

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