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A pivotal time for the Office of Finance

Portfolio Marketing, Performance Management, IBM Analytics, IBM

It’s a crucial time for the Office of Finance, which is looking for ways to become more agile and efficient while continuing to drive the financial performance and success of its organizations.

In many companies, however, the Office of Finance is plagued with inefficient processes largely due to its use of spreadsheets for budgeting, planning and reporting. For businesses both small and large, spreadsheets are valued for their versatility, low cost and ease of use. Still, spreadsheets also pose inherent risks that cannot be ignored:

  • Spreadsheets are highly susceptible to data errors and inaccuracies.
  • They are an insecure data format.
  • Spreadsheet-based processes are difficult to audit and may lead to multiple versions of budgets and plans.
  • These processes are often disconnected from financial planning systems, creating data silos and preventing data from being shared across the organization.

http://www.ibmbigdatahub.com/sites/default/files/pivotaltime_blog.jpgMany Office of Finance teams that use spreadsheet-based processes often find themselves asking questions such as: “Where did this number come from?” “Why is it different from mine?” and “How did you get this number?” As a result, many Finance teams spend more time building their budgets and plans than analyzing them.

Today, Office of Finance leaders can no longer rely on manual spreadsheet-based processes. Instead, they need to automate their planning procedures to better understand the forces that are driving their businesses. This knowledge will enable the Office of Finance team to reduce the number of resources spent on time-consuming tasks—such as data collection—and give them more flexibility to analyze reports and extract actionable insights from the organization’s performance. In a market defined by sustained volatility, information must be available on demand to the right people at the right time for critical business decisions. For many Office of Finance organizations, the main concern is how to accomplish this task.

Events such as the financial planning and analysis (FP&A) Innovation Summit play a valuable role in this process. The FP&A Innovation Summit gives Office of Finance professionals the opportunity to interact and network with industry peers and discuss key issues and problems with leaders in their fields. In sessions with over 30 industry executives, attendees will gain valuable insights into such topics as integrated FP&A, big data and financial analytics, performance benchmarks, reducing financial reporting and the interplay between finance and strategy. With insights from this event, Office of Finance leaders can help their teams become more agile, as well as more-effective drivers of performance across their organizations.

Join IBM and more than 200 senior FP&A professionals in Boston on September 10 and 11 to learn how FP&A innovations can help drive your company’s success.