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Quick Tip: Is your finance organization still working with spreadsheets?

[fa icon="calendar"] October 15, 2018 / by Beth Mayhew, Highstreet

Planning and budgeting in most organizations tends to be a collaborative effort typically using spreadsheets. These spreadsheets are exchanged between and within operations, lines of business, and finance teams.

The Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (PBCS) enables organizations to plan, budget, and forecast their financial operations. It facilitates both enterprise level and departmental level planning process by providing both Excel-based and web-based Excel-like modeling, planning and approval capabilities within one collaborative scalable solution. Sales, operational and strategic plans can be linked to long-term and near-term financial plans.

But before you go too far, there are questions you and your organization need to answer before you implement/upgrade to PBCS.

We’ve compiled an Oracle PBCS Scoping Questionnaire that should help you answer core questions that your organization should consider.

Planning Process

  • What are the most important key pain-points with your existing planning budgeting and forecasting processes? (e.g., duration, too many excel spreadsheets, inaccurate data, too much time spent aggregating data instead of analyzing it, performance issues)
  • What degree of planning process changes do you envision with the implementation of a new planning system?
  • How many various business units and areas of responsibility are involved with the planning process?
  • What are the top three benefits you want out of the new system implementation to call this project a success?
  • Are the requirements for the new system clearly documented with examples of existing forms and reports available?
  • What is the current level of integration between strategic high-level scenario planning and more detailed annual financial plans and monthly forecasts?
  • What is your fiscal year start and end, and do any other calendars effect your planning and forecast process?

Planning Focus/Scope

  • Will you expect to use PBCS for Workforce, Capital Planning, Project Financial Planning, or confine the implementation to G&A?
  • How many individual budget owners (people) are involved in the planning process?
  • How many accounts appear in your chart of accounts that are used for planning?
  • How many revisions are kept as part of the preparation of the annual plan or monthly forecast?

Reporting Process

  • How many reports do you use today?
  • What are the key complaints with existing reports?
  • Are the majority of existing reports standard or mostly ad-hoc queries in Excel?
  • Is there an existing process of adding additional reports to the organizational standard set?
  • How much drill-down capability currently exists in the organization’s reports?
  • Are there existing executive level dashboards and KPI reports similar to Balanced Scorecard?

People

  • What level of knowledge related to Hyperion tools exists among the employees of the finance organization?
  • What is the degree of centralization of FP&A organization and how does it interact with other departments?
  • What is the decision making style for FP&A organization (i.e., consensus building vs top-down driving)
  • How geographically dispersed are all of the locations envisioned to use PBCS?
  • Who is currently involved with the preparation of the majority of the reports?
  • What is the organizational skillset around development of ad-hoc queries?

Technology

  • What are the current systems utilized for planning and forecasting?
  • Which systems are currently used for reporting?
  • When is the next planned upgrade?
  • Where does the support structure for financial systems report to in the organization (i.e., CIO vs VP of Finance)?
  • How much historical data for plan and forecast data will need to be converted?

And, make sure to provide any additional details that may be relevant for your current situation:

  • Features and functions that work well
  • Pain points to business operation
  • Goals and growth initiatives

Reports and dashboards that display planning, forecasting and actual data are extremely beneficial to your organization. Don't leave them in shared spreadsheets.

 

Topics: Quick Tip, Oracle Planning & Budgeting, Oracle Cloud

Beth Mayhew, Highstreet

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