Businesses rely on finance leaders to provide unique insights into the development of an effective annual plan. The annual planning blueprint determines the course of operations in the coming year, advising stakeholders on where to invest, cut costs, and allocate resources. For most organizations, fiscal planning is supported primarily by Excel® spreadsheets, but given the fast pace of business and the frequency of global disruptions to markets, and supply chains, and the pace of business today it’s time for a more dynamic annual planning process.
Whether a company faces economic, geopolitical, labor-pool, or supply-chain disruptions, static financial forecasts no longer cut it—and neither does using Excel as a primary planning tool. A better option is a dynamic process that enables seamless collaboration, simple results-tracking, and a faster, more reliable planning process. Such a solution ensures that the annual planning process drives more value to the business and is far less siloed and time-consuming.
The annual plan must ultimately bring together elements of all planning processes across an organization—financial, operational, and qualitative—to deliver a complete picture for the coming year. This includes, but is not limited to, practical operational plans external to the finance function but impacting fiscal results, strategic plans defining mid-range institutional objectives, and even long-range planning with a focus on out-years (see figure 1).
Figure 1: Operational, Strategic, and Long-Range Planning Goals
Excel is a powerful tool in the financial toolkit, and it’s understandable that financial analysts may feel as though they have a degree in the “art of Excel.” That said, Excel can present time-wasting hurdles that frustrate users, thereby thwarting the annual-planning process.
The challenges of wrangling a large dataset in Excel and maintaining confidence in the numbers can quickly overwhelm any financial planning process. The consequence of data wrangling often forces finance professionals to spend precious time re-validating and defending numbers during crunch planning periods due to difficult-to-follow or opaque Excel models.
Figure 2: Digging into Excel data to identify hidden formulas can be frustrating and time-consuming
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way.
To avoid these limitations, finance professionals can evolve the annual planning process by migrating away from error-prone and time-consuming spreadsheets to a CPM software solution that aggregates and unifies (figure 3) operational and financial data – immediately delivering value to the planning efforts.
Figure 3: Aggregate and unify operational and financial data for better insights in OneStream
Here are a few key benefits of leveraging purpose-built CPM software for annual planning:
As we know, time is money – and the more time spent on valuable insights instead of wrangling data from disparate systems, the better and more reliable your annual plan will be.
While Excel spreadsheets can be powerful, your team must have confidence in the output of your annual-planning efforts – and there’s no better way to do so than by upgrading from a spreadsheet-heavy process to CPM software. CPM software supports efficient collaboration and reduces time wasted on non-value-added activities, driving more meaningful dialogue on risks and opportunities, and providing a better understanding of cash and capital requirements that drive business value.
Want to learn more about how your organization can quickly and effectively adjust the annual plan as market factors change the fiscal landscape? Download our Financial Signaling solution brief here to understand how Financial Signaling empowers finance teams to leverage the core skillsets of monthly financial planning by blending them with higher velocity financial transactions and operational data from multiple sources.
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When put under strain, human bones have the ability to adapt to stress by rapidly deteriorating in size over time. The same could be said for organizations struggling with legacy performance management tools. Stress brought on by outdated finance applications can be felt not only by Finance teams but enterprise-wide through massive declines in process efficiency.
The leading provider of solutions for orthopedic implant procedures, Orchid Orthopedics needed to recover from the injury caused within their own Finance organization from years of using Infor and Excel®. These fragmented applications were impeding Orchid Orthopedics’ progress toward stronger financial consolidation and planning processes. Luckily, they knew that the earlier a modern finance platform was implemented, the sooner the healing process would begin, and the faster and more efficient their organization would be. Read on to learn about Orchid Orthopedics’ finance transformation journey and the successes they have seen by replacing Infor and Excel® with OneStream.
Delivering Leading Medical Device Services
Headquartered in Mason, MI, Orchid Orthopedic Solutions (Orchid) has been providing solutions for orthopedic implant procedures since 2005. Orchid is now a worldwide leader in orthopedic medical device solutions, delivering design and manufacturing services globally. Specializing in implants, single-use instruments, and innovative technologies within joint reconstruction, hips, knees, spine, trauma, extremities, and dental, Orchid holds the highest quality standards in the industry. Orchid employs approximately 2,000 employees and generating over $350M in annual revenue.
Orchid’s Pain Points
Orchid needed a platform that would provide greater visibility and optimization to support the company’s rapid development. Orchid was utilizing Infor CPM for financial consolidations and Microsoft Excel® for financial planning but was experiencing many limitations and challenges. To consolidate actuals and forecasts in Infor, the Finance team was spending nearly two hours rendering the system which, caused delays in their close and budgeting processes. The Excel® add-in feature of Infor required too much manual effort to perform ad hoc analysis and new report building was highly inefficient. On the FP&A side, the design of their system did not allow Orchid to utilize functionality for improved forecasting such as people planning, CAPEX planning, what-if scenarios, and more.
So, Orchid began their search for a new CPM solution, that was innovative and practical. Orchid was most impressed by the capabilities of OneStream’s Intelligent Finance platform and the company’s well-rounded Gartner Magic Quadrant leadership placement in both financial consolidation and financial planning. OneStream’s customer references helped the Orchid team solidify their decision and they made switch from Infor to OneStream.
Finance Implants a Modern Solution
By converting to OneStream, Orchid is now equipped with a unified platform for financial consolidation, reporting, budgeting, and forecasting. Unlike Infor’s version, OneStream’s Excel® add-in function allows Orchid to easily execute ad-hoc analysis on actual data on a recurrent basis, while Guided Workflows provide enhanced visibility into the closing process.
With OneStream, Orchid is benefitting from faster consolidation times, a streamlined close process, and quicker access to results. In fact, Orchid has shortened the monthly close process by 20%-. The Orchid team now has a better understanding of monthly performance and has reduced the time it takes to compile month-end results for the management team and board by 2-3 days.
Orchid has even extended its OneStream platform to include Account Reconciliations, Task Manager, and People Planning solutions from the OneStream MarketPlace™. The Task Manager feature has provided better visibility into the status of the month-end closing process by updating owners of the process. In addition, People Planning automates the forecasting of labor costs, allowing Orchid to better manage their largest expense.
To learn more about Orchid Orthopedics’ unique OneStream journey, we invite you to read their Customer Success Story. And if your organization is ready to begin your finance transformation journey, contact OneStream today!
A revolutionary product is launched into the market. Are you eager to test it out, or do you wait until it has been widely accepted by society? There are many benefits to jumping on board early, especially when adopting technology. Trendsetting organizations can position themselves at the forefront of a major market movement and evolution. As they say, the early bird gets the worm.
With an eye on innovation, Huisman was willing to adopt new technology for their finance transformation journey which began back in 2018. As one of the first adopters of OneStream in the Netherlands, Huisman took a chance, and it was a good one. Huisman saw the appeal and potential of OneStream because the company’s vision aligned with their own needs and goals. Since then, OneStream has been named a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant reports for Cloud Financial Close and Cloud Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) markets, and recently received a 100% recommendation score in the BARC Planning Survey 21.
Read on to learn about Huisman’s OneStream journey and the successes they have seen by replacing Excel with an intelligent finance platform.
Scattered Landscape of Applications
Founded in 1929, Huisman Equipment is a worldwide operating company with its head office based in Schiedam, the Netherlands. Huisman designs and manufactures heavy construction equipment for the world’s leading companies in the renewable energy, oil and gas, civil, naval and entertainment markets. Huisman’s products range from cranes, pipelay equipment, drilling equipment and winches, to vessel designs and specials. Huisman employs approximately 2,500 people and has an annual turnover of €600M.
With locations around the world, Huisman had 10 regional offices using different local finance systems and Excel for financial consolidation and project reporting. Month-end and quarterly closing numbers would take up to a month to complete, while year-end reporting would take 3-4 months. There was no standard reporting pack for all departments and locations, which led to mismatched data that made reporting difficult.
From Spreadsheets to an Intelligent Finance Platform
Huisman embarked on a digital transformation to improve transparency across the organization and optimize business performance. This included a heavy focus on improving financial consolidation, reporting and project performance management. Although an unknown name in the Netherlands region at the time, OneStream’s cloud platform was selected because of its ability to streamline financial reporting but also support more operational and project performance management. Huisman strongly believed that OneStream would provide confidence in their contracts and less uncertainty in financial data.
Phase 1a of the OneStream implementation focused on project administration for 50 reporting entities. This included processing actuals, sales budgets, revised budgets, and forecasts in OneStream with detailed information about hours and costs per project. Managing intercompany activity is streamlined with project rate currency translations happening in OneStream. Phase 1b focused on implementing the financial consolidation model with P&L, balance sheet, cashflow and equity pick-up produced in OneStream. Future phases will include fiscal reporting, daily cash information, planning and budgeting, and more.
Benefits of Switching to OneStream
OneStream was flexible enough to connect system landscapes across locations, eliminating the need to move data between fragmented systems and providing Huisman with better insight into project performance across each entity and portfolio. By balancing project reporting with financial reporting, Huisman has gained visibility into project performance with more detailed financial data.
With 90% of their project data in OneStream, Huisman is seamlessly reconciling across systems and locations. OneStream is capturing different levels of information across locations, which has dramatically streamlined project and contract management. Users can drill down from summary information on a project, then into employee detail, to better manage the project lifecycle from proposal to delivery. Users can make their own analysis by slicing and dicing the data for their own point of view.
With 50+ reports, Huisman has accelerated from monthly to daily tracking of hours for 600 employees across projects. They now have detailed standard reporting packs for project managers, department heads and the board to review.
To learn more about Huisman’s unique OneStream journey, we invite you to read their Customer Success Story. And if your organization is ready to ditch spreadsheets and start your digital transformation journey, contact OneStream today!
While rapid M&A activity can provide a strategic platform for future growth, it can also introduce operational challenges. For example, an organization will often end up with multiple companies that are different in many ways, from operating models to ERP and other systems. This was the case for Grupo Traxión, a leading logistics and auto transport organization comprised of 32 companies, each with their own ERPs, chart of accounts, and philosophy of work. But by implementing a modern corporate performance management (CPM) platform, Grupo Traxión was able to ditch their manual Excel-based processes with a unified approach for financial consolidation and reporting across the enterprise.
Many Finance teams rely on Excel spreadsheets as a basic solution for budgeting, planning and forecasting. For smaller, less sophisticated organizations, doing so often seems like a reasonable approach. Excel is usually available as part of the default company infrastructure, after all, so it’s familiar to many users. But the truth is, there’s a major issue with using Excel. Why? Well, problems emerge when organizations use Excel as more than a convenient solution for managing basic personal tasks and begin to rely on it to support critical financial processes.
In this situation, Finance teams quickly get bogged down with managing error-prone, tedious spreadsheets and hampered with a tool that lacks workflow capabilities and audit trails. These hidden costs of spreadsheets limit Finance leader’s ability to focus on their true value in supporting decision-making across the enterprise. That creates a major issue at a time when many organizations must rise to the challenge of increasing business complexity and rapid marketplace change. It’s no surprise, then, that Finance leaders seek a better, more modern solution than Excel.
When it comes to budgeting, planning and forecasting in an organization with multiple facilities, consistency across the business is key. But using bulky spreadsheets to manage critical financial information such as capital planning, labor data, COGS and more, can set a complex manufacturing company up for failure. Simply put, spreadsheets create bottlenecks in the availability and accuracy of information. This was an issue all too familiar for Innovations in Nutrition and Wellness (INW) Manufacturing. But luckily they found a forward-thinking corporate performance management (CPM) platform that could handle their needs today, and for the future. Read on to learn more.
Surviving and thriving in today’s volatile business environment requires agile planning and reporting processes, with near real-time insight into business performance. Is your organization being held back due to reliance on static budgets, Excel spreadsheets or legacy applications for planning, budgeting and forecasting? If so, you are not alone.
When engaging in M&A activity, it is imperative that organizations are able to easily adapt to changing business conditions. However, it is common for the office of finance to get derailed while integrating the financial systems and operational process of a newly acquired business. And this is a challenge that was all too familiar for Prince Corporation.
Finance leaders are continually striving for a quicker month-end close. But when organizations use bulky spreadsheets for financial close, consolidation, and reporting they are only creating additional stress on accounting teams. As West Bend Mutual Insurance (WBMI) learned, an Excel-based financial reporting process is tedious to manage, inflexible, and prone to manual errors. That’s why, to keep their finance teams from late nights of reconciling and posting journal entries, WBMI made the switch to a modern and unified corporate performance management (CPM) platform. The result has been a more efficient financial statement preparation process, a shorter month-end close, and a less stressed finance team. Let’s take a look at their unique OneStream story.
As a part-time musician, a few months ago I was thinking about what a song about OneStream, and the problems we solve, would sound like if Bob Dylan were to write and sing it as a folk song. Mr. Dylan is a great American poet who has a knack for taking someone’s pain and turning it into lyrics – think about songs like “Hurricane”, “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall”, “Like a Rolling Stone” and others. So I gave it a shot and what came out was a song and video about a fictitious accountant and his company’s journey from reliance on spreadsheets and legacy applications to OneStream’s modern, unified platform. Here’s a quick synopsis of the story.
Supporting the financial close, consolidation and reporting requirements of a fast-growing company, with lots of M&A activity can be very challenging if you are relying on spreadsheets and manual processes. Microsoft Excel is a great personal productivity tool, but it wasn’t designed to support critical corporate processes, like collecting and consolidating financial data from multiple locations for financial reporting.
Let’s face it. Excel® spreadsheets were not designed to address the complex financial consolidation and reporting requirements of global enterprises. When growing internationally, each new entity in a different country adds an additional currency to translate into the corporate reporting currency. There may also be multiple legal entities, ERP-systems and local reporting requirements under different accounting standards. Consolidating this data with Excel can get messy very quickly as spreadsheets are manually shared and edited by multiple people.