Corporate performance management for every business is rooted in the way it controls and utilises its finances and other resources. This is no easy task, and increasingly complicated for growing companies that have to coordinate across multiple territories, subsidiaries or divisions. Aligning integrated budgets and operational planning through manual processes is no longer a viable option as the dangers that lurk in the rows and columns of unreliable, insecure and inaccurate spreadsheets, can lead to poor reporting and governance.

Insight Consulting Planning Specialist, Shanna Jardim says, “There’s a definite need for the ability to perform quick and easy scenario planning and integrated budgeting in real time across all business divisions. We’ve noticed this through interactions with many clients and that led to the launch of Planalyze, a division within our consultancy that will focus purely on assisting businesses to deal with issues hampering performance, primarily from a financial planning and budget alignment perspective.”

“Formalising and systemising, through the use of tried and tested technology and software-based applications, is key to making the shift away from time-consuming, labour intensive and complicated manual processes. It is staggering that companies still use archaic spreadsheets to plan and compile their budgets,” says Jardim.

A must for businesses, is to streamline their budgetary processes in a manner that allows transparency of inputs from all divisions/subsidiaries with a real-time view, possess an ease-of-use that also caters for non-financial managers, ensure accuracy and accountability across the collaborative budgeting and planning value chain – even if the workforce is dispersed across the Group – and have the ability to clearly indicate the actuals from budgets.

Jardim believes that a well-defined planning system must also subscribe to the essential financial standards, for example the International Business Communications Standards (IBCS).

Jardim says, “A sound system will provide a central location for all relevant personnel to access the company’s financial planning and will ensure that less time is spent on compiling the information, leaving more time for analysing it.

“It must also allow the business to move seamlessly from data entry to financial reporting  – all on the same system – and reduce the month and year end reporting cycles from weeks and months respectively, down to completion in just days,” says Jardim.

Narrowing down a suitable system, understanding its functionality and the ability to customize specifically for the needs of any particular company or industry, will need an experienced partner. One that understands the complexities of disparate multi-pronged financial processes in business, and has the knowledge and demonstrable track record of streamlining, planning and budgetary processes that create long-term business value.

About Insight Consulting
Formed in 2007, Insight Consulting is a strategic consulting firm that operates across Southern and East Africa. It is a data specialist company that finds its enterprise Customers’ raw data, frees it from vertical business silos, understands its relevance, and actions it into business value for them, by using intelligent software and analytical expertise. For more information, go to www.insightconsulting.co.za.

Submitted by DUO Marketing + Communications