CFOs and finance leaders have never worked harder given the constant business challenges forcing them to steer their organisations through these difficult times.
It’s when we’re challenged, however, that innovation, fresh perspectives, and a heavy reliance on data separates those who merely survive from those who thrive.
At the recent Constellation Research Connected Enterprise innovation summit, Planful’s CEO Grant Halloran discussed how resilient businesses are striding ahead.
Resilience, for the CFO, is being able to navigate with more speed and more efficiency through the current economic “fog” every company is experiencing. That fog is the combination of uncertainty, which is always present, added to today’s volatility, which makes it more difficult to act. CFOs are then charged with telling the story of a highly complex business while navigating uncertainty, volatility, and change.
“CFOs need models that help them understand the drivers of the business and how that connects to financial performance, and then they need to constantly feed those models with new data,” Grant said. “When things change, you need to be able to answer questions within minutes. Automation eliminates a lot of that friction.”
CloudMargin, which created the world’s first cloud-based collateral management tool for banks and buy-side institutions, uses Planful as its single source of data truth. This eliminates much of the manual effort required to find and organise necessary financial and operational information. CloudMargin’s finance teams then free up days or weeks per month that can be used to better understand what the numbers actually mean. That’s especially valuable as they seek to peer through ongoing economic fog.
In a recent webinar, Steven Marconi, CloudMargin’s Chief Operations Officer, discussed how the team increased consistency and clarity across the business
“It seems clear that volatility and uncertainty are only going to increase into 2023 and beyond,” said Steven. “Having the ability to quickly model different business scenarios, collaborate with the business to determine what might happen, and then change assumptions in an instant will be crucial to success.”
He also outlined how CloudMargin achieved frictionless scenario-based planning across the team.
“One of the things that really drew us to Planful was the ability to do the scenario planning,” added Steven. “We've got multiple scenarios going at any one time, and when the CEO or the board asks, ‘What does this look like?,’ we can turn that around in a matter of minutes. If you don't understand the key drivers and the variables of your business and you aren't able to understand the impact of things on those, it's going to be really challenging over the next 12- to 24-months.”
Ultimately, finance teams want to shift their focus from data processing to adding value. That lets them do the strategic work they want to do rather than the mundane, tactical work most finance teams want to eliminate. This was achieved at CloudMargin, as their Financial Controller Ben Blake explains in their client success story.
By eliminating the manual data collection and consolidation effort, Planful opened up at least one day per month for CloudMargin to spend on analysis and modelling. It also removed much of the tactical frustration from Ben’s plate, helping him shift to a more value-add role.
“Collecting and processing the data for monthly close would take hours, but now it’s done in minutes with Planful,” said Ben. “It saves us about a day per month. That’s time we’re now using to analyse trends, inform our decision-makers, and provide more value to the business.”
Planful helps finance teams pivot from being data processors to becoming partners who can help the business better reach their financial targets.
Download our tips sheet and discover 8 ways to improve your resilience in 2023, and why using technology to turn data into answers is critical.
Planful is the pioneer of financial performance management cloud software. The Planful platform is used around the globe to streamline business-wide planning, budgeting, consolidations, reporting, and analytics. Planful empowers finance, accounting, and business users to plan confidently, close faster, and report accurately. More than 1,300 customers, including 23andMe, Bose, Boston Red Sox, Five Guys, and Zappos, rely on Planful to accelerate cycle times, increase productivity, and improve accuracy. Planful is a private company backed by Vector Capital, a leading global private equity firm.
Learn more at www.planful.com
A proud Community Partner on the GENCFO Tech 100. Planful is a leading financial planning and analysis cloud platform. Planful delivers Continuous Planning by accelerating the end-to-end FP&A process and fostering business-wide participation in agile planning and decision-making.