Want to learn how to enhance how you play the Great Game of Business? Open-book management is a powerful tool to grow profitable businesses that benefit all employees and stakeholders. At the core is financial literacy, which includes financial forecasts that are reported in weekly Huddles and presented on white boards, so everyone can follow the action and keep score to know if they are winning or losing The Game. We want to show you how to go beyond traditional desktop tools like Excel for financial forecasting and scoreboards.
We will teach you how to use financial data from accounting and merge it efficiently with weekly forecasts from the departments and teams in your Game. Learn new tips and tools to automate the busy work using technology that is cost effective and you probably already own such as Office365, SharePoint and PowerBI and others to make amazing and insightful financial scoreboards.
Common Financial Forecasting Workflows
In many organizations we see the financial reporting and forecasting working something like the follow. How does it work in your company?
- Actual financial results are reported weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually from the accounting team using the financial management system.
- Export financial statements to Excel for P&L, income statements, and balance sheet
- Staff and teams update and reforecast Critical Numbers in Excel
- Teams review and approve the forecasts
- Huddle – teams post the forecast and actuals on a physical white board scoreboard in a team room
- Everyone follows the action in the weekly and monthly Huddle
- Optional – some teams project the Excel forecast onto a projector screen for the Huddle
Why Automate This Process?
Is your financial forecasting successful and efficient? Is your financial reporting secure? There are many benefits of automation for your business that may include:
- Reduce the necessary level of effort = productivity, efficiency, speed
- Reduce errors = credibility, trust, quality
- Widely distributed information = adoption, empowerment
- Visualization = insight, meaning, trends
- Better results = profit and bigger bonuses
- Cultural fit – mobile, tech-savvy users may prefer digital score boards
Who Benefits from Automation?
There are a number of people and departments groups that can be big beneficiaries of automation tools, that go beyond the business benefits above. We find the following groups have a lot to gain:
- Financial Department – Automation can help with the work associated with weekly financial reporting and distributing that information across the company, in addition to lightening the load often placed on the finance team.
- Forecasters – Employees responsible for forecasting a Critical Number can streamline the time they spend analyzing and updating their forecast if the data and reporting was automated at some level. Additionally, teams and managers that help collaborate to review the forecast can streamline the steps using software automation in many cases.
- Everyone – All employees across the company can using digital score boards to follow the action and carry the information around with them on their devices, or project them on screens around the facility so the data is available everyone, any time, from any location.
Want to learn the details of how to automate your company's financial reporting? Check out our full article for a deeper dive into the concepts above and tips for Office365 for Excel, Office365 SharePoint, BI Score Boards, and Systems Integration.