In order for businesses to create detailed, accurate financial forecasts, the forecasts need to be based on current and fully integrated financial and operational data.
A recent whitepaper entitled, “Cloud-Based Modeling Helps Operations to Manage Performance and Plan its Future,” delves into the need for advanced modeling capabilities and talks about the ways cloud-based EPM modeling software can facilitate greater accuracy and attention to detail.
Governance and Organization
The cloud enables more accurate and efficient modeling.
While spreadsheets have always been popular for modeling, many businesses are now turning away from them. In addition to being tedious, spreadsheets are also difficult to manage and prone to inaccuracy. This makes it difficult for companies to have confidence in their financial forecasts and models, resulting in a weakened ability to inform business decisions.
A cloud-based modeling platform is easier to organize and manage than spreadsheets, while providing greater governance and control over the numerous modeling scenarios that a business creates. The cloud also makes it easy to integrate operational and financial data, which increases accuracy and ensures forecasts are aligned with company goals.
Each department requires varying levels of detail in their financial models, and the dimensions will differ between departments. Sales, manufacturing, marketing, and capital planning will all require different dimensions, and therefore, the modeling tactics utilized will also differ. Creating models at a granular level will allow businesses to maintain an agile plan that can be altered quickly, giving dynamic businesses the versatility they need from their modeling.
How Can the Cloud Help?
With a cloud-based platform, company data can be accessed from anywhere.
Operational and financial data integration is essential for successful modeling, but it relies on the use of capable software. The cloud can eliminate the need for on-premises software and decrease the cost of ownership, while providing a consolidated platform to integrate all data and attain a single source of truth for the company. Cloud-based enterprise performance management (EPM) platforms offer:
- A finance-blessed repository: The software draws from data that’s stored in a centrally maintained repository, and each department can build from that data to create models that rely directly on the most up-to-date financial and operational information. This results in greater cohesion and collaboration among departments, resulting in enhanced financial planning.
- Collaboration: The cloud can be accessed from anywhere, and with a cloud-based data repository, every department in an organization can constantly stay up to date with new data trends, while sharing information across departments. Cloud-based modeling software also offers additional collaborative features. Users can leave comments for other users, to increase communication between departments. The software also retains all previous versions of a model, so employees can refer back to prior models as needed.
- Save time: Managing models in the cloud is easier and more efficient than managing numerous spreadsheets. With the enhanced collaboration of the cloud, businesses can reduce the time spent in meetings and improve office workflow.
- Scalability: The cloud makes it easier to scale models by enabling multi-dimensional modeling. It also accommodates the scaling needs of businesses by seamlessly accommodating an increased number of users without technical errors or added licensing difficulties. The cloud can handle large volumes of data easily, so as your data needs grow, your storage capacity grows with it.
- Deployment: With the cloud, deployment is much easier and cheaper than with on-premises software. It eliminates installation and software updates, offers spreadsheet functions for a painless transition, and makes it easy to upload and consolidate company data.
Cloud-based EPM software can help to improve efficiency and increase the accuracy of budgeting and planning. With cloud-based EPM modeling applications, companies can enjoy advanced modeling capabilities, increased collaboration, lower cost of ownership, and fast deployment. The platform is highly scalable, so businesses can increase their usage requirements without the need to purchase new software.
By Janette Kosior, from: http://blog.hostanalytics.com/using-the-cloud-to-enhance-modeling-and-forecasting?utm_content=25144426&utm_medium=social&utm_source=linkedin