7 Megatrends in Modern Finance: Excel Isn’t Going Away

7 Megatrends in Modern Finance: Excel Isn’t Going Away

Trend #7: Excel isn’t going anywhere

Earlier this year, we polled 252 financial and accounting decision makers to determine what major trends they see emerging that will affect the corporate finance function.  In this seven-part blog series, we’ll examine each of these developments.

Mark Twain once said in a cable, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated,” when his obituary was accidently published in the US press. The same can be said for Excel’s death. EPM applications have been claiming they are set to replace Excel and “Excel hell,” but the reality is it isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

7-Role-of-Excel-in-EPM-processes.png

This is true no matter the size of the company. Notably, medium-sized companies feel the strongest that Excel will be around for quite some time.

Read the Blog post on Trend #1

That’s it  — all  of the seven trends.  Thanks for reading!

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Enterprise Risk Management and EPM – Separate or Joined at the Hip?

Enterprise Risk Management and EPM – Separate or Joined at the Hip?

Enterprise risk management (ERM) and enterprise performance management (EPM) are often discussed as separate topics.  But when you think about ERM in the broader, operational context, the linkages between the two become more evident. 

I recently attended the Argyle CFO Leadership Forum in Dallas as a speaker and attendee.  Among the many great topics on the agenda was a session titled “Managing and Minimizing Enterprise Risk.”  The session was moderated by Bona Allen, Sr. VP and CFO of Kajima Building and Design, Inc.  The panelists included Hari Avula, CFO of Frito-Lay North America; Erik Charles, VP of Product Marketing at Xactly; Amath Fall, CFO of Fleetpride; and Scott Frisch, COO at AARP.  Here are the highlights of the panel discussion.

What are some of the key risks to your business?

Given the diversity of companies represented on the panel, the range of risks they face is varied.  For one panelist, this includes weighing the risk vs. return of new business opportunities, as well as ensuring safety in their distribution and logistics system.  For another, their biggest risk is ensuring safety on the job sites, but they also face fluctuating demand in the construction industry and the risk this puts on their P&L.  Another panelist highlighted their investment in inventory, as well as managing growth in the business.

How do you balance the core responsibilities of Finance with risk management?

All of the panelists agreed that having your core financial processes in order is critical to having the time and credibility to advise the CEO and other executives on strategic initiatives and risk management strategies.  One panelist highlighted how transforming Finance and driving efficiency in transaction processing and reporting allows the CFO and Finance to focus more time on strategy and ensuring LOB executives are aligned to corporate goals and objectives.

Another mentioned that having the core financial processes running efficiently allows the CFO to be a strategic advisor, analyzing and evaluating the risks vs. benefits of M&A opportunities.  Others agreed that core financial processes must be solid, but also cited the need for accurate data as being key to the CFO advising the CEO and other executives on strategic initiatives.  The takeaway?  Making timely, relevant, and accurate data available across the business is critical to effective decision-making and risk management. 

How does incentive compensation play into risk management?

A few of the panelists commented on this.  Erik Charles from Xactly highlighted that incentives drive behavior in management.  He cited the recent example at Wells Fargo with associates opening up new accounts for clients and collecting millions in fees for the bank due to its incentive compensation plan.  Another example he cited was D&B (one of my former employers) and the over-selling of credit services back in the 1980s. 

He also commented that analytics and KPI (key performance indicator) monitoring are critical to managing performance and identifying key risk factors.  One of the other panelists also commented on this, highlighting that one of his areas of focus is ensuring that incentive compensation drives the sales team to balance its focus between servicing existing customers and acquiring new customers. 

How can Finance minimize and mitigate risk in the business?

enterprise_risk_management.jpgHere, the panelists agreed that minimizing risk is not a valid objective.  Instead, the focus should be on identifying the risks associated with various business operations and initiatives, then managing the risks vs. returns and ensuring effective communications when risks start to heat up.  One recommendation was to establish baselines for the business based on prior experience, or to use external benchmarking information to evaluate performance and risk.  One example used here was a new product launch, which is risky for any business and must be planned and monitored carefully, so comparing a new launch to prior launches can be an effective technique. 

Culture and tone at the top is also critical to managing risk – with one of the panelists citing the problems that occurred at Enron and eventually caused the implosion of the company.   The mission and vision of the company should set the tone for how the business will operate. 

Linking risk management and performance management

As I listened to this panel discussion, I was reminded of the strong linkage between enterprise performance management and risk management.  Managing corporate risk starts with having a clear mission and vision for the company, then setting goals and objectives that are cascaded down from senior management, to line management, and to the overall employee population. 

CRAMP_cycle.pngCore to this process is aligning financial and operating plans to the goals and objectives of the business, and identifying the right KPIs to monitor and manage in order to track performance.  This is also the time to call out and identify key risk indicators (KRIs) that should be tracked to raise red flags as risk situations heat up.  (Think about customer satisfaction as an early indicator of potential churn, or employee satisfaction as an early warning sign of possible staff turnover.)

I think the panel was spot on in their comments – that having solid core financial processes is essential for the CFO and Finance to have both the time and credibility to be a strategic advisor to the CEO and other executives.  If you can’t close the books efficiently and accurately, and deliver the basic financial reports each month or quarter, how can a CFO be taken seriously when it comes to evaluating and executing on an acquisition or major new business initiative?  If you can’t effectively establish an annual budget, report actual performance vs. budget, and support the business with regular forecasts, how can you advise LOB executives on the impacts of introducing new products or services, or the impacts of entering new markets?

Learn More

Risk management is a broad topic that can include many specialized activities – e.g., corporate insurance, environmental and occupational safety, governance and compliance, currency hedging, commodity trading, and others.  But risk management is also a key component of effective enterprise performance management.  And as such, it should be considered as part of corporate goal setting, strategic planning, and financial and operational planning and reporting.

To learn how the modeling capabilities of a cloud-based EPM platform can help organizations evaluate new opportunities and assess risk, check out this free white paper.

Download the Free White Paper

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7 Megatrends in Modern Finance: Big Data

7 Megatrends in Modern Finance: Big Data

Trend #6: Finance hasn’t embraced big data… yet

Earlier this year, we polled 252 financial and accounting decision makers to determine what major trends they see emerging that will affect the corporate finance function.  In this seven-part blog series, we’ll examine each of these developments.

Big data is all the rage. The vast majority of companies, though, are not using it as part of their financial processes. At least not yet. Most have the aspirational goal of using it in the next 12 months. Past usage rates, however, suggest it will likely move more slowly.

Continue reading “7 Megatrends in Modern Finance: Big Data”

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Finance Is Moving to the Cloud – How and Why?

Finance Is Moving to the Cloud – How and Why?

Have we arrived at the tipping point in the adoption of cloud applications in Finance?  By all indications, it appears we have. This was further validated in a recent Gartner research report titled “Finance Moving to the Cloud: The Steps to Take and the Benefits You Can Expect.” 

This is encouraging news and correlates with recent surveys of Finance executives on the adoption of and interest in cloud-based applications.  Adoption appears to be accelerating as Finance departments are becoming more confident in the security of cloud applications and more aware of the benefits.

Gartner Sees the Tipping Point

So what did the Gartner research note say?  Gartner clients can access the report on Gartner’s website, but here’s a quick synopsis.  The report – authored by Gartner analysts Nigel Rayner, Chris Iervolino, and John Van Decker – stated that, “After years of lagging behind other domains in cloud adoption, cloud is hot in all areas of financial applications. CFOs and IT leaders need to understand how to capitalize on the opportunities of transitioning finance systems and processes to the cloud without being caught out by the challenges.”

The Gartner report goes on to recognize that, while financial management applications have been slower to move to the cloud than other domains, such as human resources and procurement, the market is at a tipping point.  Gartner expects that spending on cloud or SaaS-based applications will increase from 30% of the total market spend in 2015 to 47% by 2020 – and that cloud will become the dominant deployment model across all areas of financial management applications by 2025.

Why Is This Happening? 

There are a number of reasons for the accelerated adoption of cloud-based financial applications. 

  • Maturity – One reason is the increasing maturity of cloud-based core financial management applications for medium and large enterprises. In fact, most of the vendors in this market are now focusing their efforts on cloud vs. on-premises applications.
  • Replacement Cycle – Another factor is the replacement cycle. Many organizations have had their current core financial management applications in place for 10 or 15 years, so it’s time for an upgrade or replacement.  And many organizations are now adopting a cloud-first strategy for new applications, favoring them over on-premises solutions.
  • Confidence – We’ve been seeing this ourselves in recent years, that CFOs and other Finance leaders are less concerned about the potential security risks of cloud-based applications. The increasing maturity of cloud solutions and proven track record on security is making CFOs more confident in the cloud option.
  • Transformation – Maybe most importantly, many Finance executives see the opportunity to replace legacy applications with new, cloud-based solutions that can truly improve or transform key Finance processes. This is especially true in corporate performance management (CPM, a.k.a. EPM), where Finance leaders are replacing spreadsheets and manual processes that are being used for budgeting, planning, and reporting processes.

What Are the Benefits?

While acknowledging the challenges of transitioning well-established Finance processes and systems to the cloud, Gartner cited a number of potential benefits, which are similar to the ones we have cited in other blog articles.  Here’s some of those benefits:

  • Cost Savings – on subscriptions vs. license and maintenance, as well as reduced infrastructure and upgrade costs.
  • Faster Adoption of New Functionality – quarterly feature releases with automatic upgrades
  • Improved Usability – including reporting, analytics and mobile support
  • Opportunities for Process Improvement and Agility – e.g., faster reporting, shorter planning cycles
  • Enabling Growth – the ability to start small and expand over time, grow big
  • Supporting Business Transformation – upgrading finance systems and processes
Cloud-and-Finance-1.jpg

On the last point above about Business Transformation, Gartner suggests that organizations group their financial applications into two segments – Mode 1 and Mode 2.  Mode 1 consists of core financial applications, and Mode 2 consists of add-on applications, such as budgeting & planning, financial consolidation & reporting, account reconciliations, and travel and expense management.  Gartner recommends taking a structured approach to migrating Mode 1 applications.  But if an organization is not quite ready to move its Mode 1 applications to the cloud, moving Mode 2 applications to the cloud can provide rapid process improvement benefits, with lower risk.

Recommendations and More Information

The Gartner report goes on to provide a number of recommendations to organizations considering the move to cloud-based financial applications.  Gartner clients can learn more about these by accessing the report directly.

The findings of this report align well to what we are seeing in the market through other surveys and customer interactions.  This was highlighted in the recently announced results of a survey run by Radius Global Research.  Here, we saw that cloud-based EPM interest and adoption continues to grow as 41% of respondents currently have a cloud-based EPM solution, 29% are evaluating them, and 23% plan to move to the cloud in the next few years.  Only 2% reportedly have no intentions to move to the cloud.

Learn about the maturity of financial management solutions, the full benefits of moving to the cloud, and the best practices to select and implement cloud solutions by watching this on-demand webinar. 

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How the Revised Revenue Recognition Rules Impact Budgeting & Planning

How the Revised Revenue Recognition Rules Impact Budgeting & Planning

In many organizations, the accounting and finance departments are still trying to process the news about upcoming changes to the revenue recognition guidelines announced by the FASB and IASB earlier this year.

Of all the metrics used by investors to evaluate the performance of a business, revenue is perhaps the most important. Yet the revenue recognition guidelines under IFRS were different from those under US GAAP, a problem which needed to be addressed. The new guidelines are based on cooperation between the IASB and the FASB. The result was ASC 606 and IFRS 15, issued in May 2014 and effective for fiscal years ending after December 2017.

Most of the fuss has been over the impact of the new guidelines in terms of transactional accounting practices. However, according to many experts an equal impact will be seen in the areas of budgeting and planning. Planful recently sponsored an insightful webinar discussing the matter, featuring Robert Kugel, SVP and Research Director for Ventana Research.

 

What the Changes Are and Why They Are Being Made

Mr. Kugel opened the webinar explaining that the new regulations are designed to both streamline unwieldy processes and drive more consistency in reporting revenue around the world. The new guidelines are principles-based, as opposed to the old rules-based guidelines. Companies should do more than simply examine their accounting practices, but will need to examine the structure and wording of their contracts in order to limit delays in revenue recognition. The new rules eliminate most of the industry-specific guidance, allowing auditors to rely instead on their professional judgment.

All companies that enter into contracts are covered under these regulations, with very few exceptions, stressed Mr. Kugel. The main thing companies need to focus on immediately is getting sales teams, legal teams, and finance teams on the same page, redrafting contracts for faster and easier revenue recognition, and setting up better processes for reviewing terms and conditions of their contracts.

 

How to Determine Which Contracts are Impacted

Next, Planful’ VP of Product Marketing John O’Rourke presented the Planful point of view. Mr. O’Rourke has previously posted blog articles on the issue, helping finance professionals to understand how the new guidelines stand to affect the budgeting and planning aspects of their jobs. According to O’Rourke, US GAAP’s guidelines before the recent changes were made were quite complicated, very detailed, and somewhat disparate. Different industries, therefore use differing accounting practices for transactions that are actually quite similar. According to the FASB, the new guidelines:

  • Eliminate inconsistencies and shortcomings of the existing revenue requirements
  • Deliver a heartier framework to address issues relative to revenue
  • Make revenue recognition practices more cohesive across various organizations, industries, jurisdictions, and markets
  • Give users a more useful body of information with better disclosure requirements
  • Make financial statement preparation easier and simpler by lowering the number of requirements to which each organization has to refer

The new revenue recognition guidelines impact every organization that either contracts with customers in order to transfer goods or services or those organizations that contract for the transfer of assets that are not financial. The only exception is for contracts that are covered under other accounting standards (such as contracts for insurance products or leases). Companies that are publicly held must apply the new guidelines to their annual reporting periods that start after December 15, 2017. Non-public companies must apply the new guidelines to annual reporting periods that start after December 15, 2018.

The FASB has released a five-step process for determining whether revenue from a customer contract must be recognized under the new guidelines.

  • Step 1 — Identify a contract with the customer.
  • Step 2 — Identify the obligations relative to performance in the contract.
  • Step 3 — Determine the price of the transaction.
  • Step 4 — Specify the price of the transaction to the specific obligations of performance detailed in the contract.
  • Step 5 — Recognize revenue if the entity satisfies the obligation for performance.

Experts recommend that organizations affected by these new guidelines and currently using spreadsheets for budgeting and planning purposes consider switching to a budgeting and planning software system that is capable of effectively handling the additional complexity of the new guidelines.

The webinar wrapped up with comments from a Planful’ customer’s perspective. Derek Hazelwood, financial analyst for Interactive Intelligence, explained how having Planful‘ cloud-based EPM platform is helping them adapt to the new revenue recognition guidelines. Interactive Intelligence is a software company with global operations, yet they have been able to quickly and easily adopt the system across finance, sales, marketing, and among the LOB managers, without relying on the IT department.

According to Hazelwood, Planful is helping the teams at Interactive Intelligence to analyze their contracts in order to make the necessary changes according to the new regulations. The system has made it much easier to examine the contracts one by one, and has also enabled a new level of collaboration among the various teams, including legal, sales and marketing, and finance. Since their software business is heavily contract-based, this has been a tremendous help to their teams, as well as a great time saver.

You can view the full webinar replay here: How the New Revenue Recognition Guidelines Impact Budgeting and Planning.

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What’s Your EPM Maturity Level, and How Do You Improve it?

What’s Your EPM Maturity Level, and How Do You Improve it?

What type of software tools is your organization using for enterprise performance management (EPM) processes such as budgeting, forecasting, financial and management reporting, and business modeling? 

Are your EPM processes confined to Finance, or do they extend into line of business operations?  The answers to these questions could reveal your EPM IQ, including how your organization compares to others in terms of EPM maturity and what steps you can take to improve.

Why an EPM Maturity Model?

Maturity models are often used in business and information technology (IT) to help organizations identify how well they’re performing and what their opportunities are for improvement and transformation.  In the world of Finance and EPM, it’s hard to transform when you’re hindered by any number of things:

  • Undocumented business processes
  • No common Chart of Accounts (COA) across the business
  • Numerous standalone planning, reporting systems
  • Little standardization
  • Lots of users and departments with conflicting needs
  • Too many spreadsheets

The ultimate goal is to help your organization increase agility to better navigate change, move Finance from counting and scorekeeping to considering the possibilities, and help everyone meet their business goals.

Maturity is not always a factor of time.  It’s more about experience and learning from mistakes.  A maturity model can help you understand your organization’s current position, how you compare to your peers, and what your roadmap is to improvement.

Try the Planful EPM Maturity Test

Planful recently introduced an EPM Maturity survey, which is available on our website.  This 5-minute survey will provide an immediate score and will let respondents know where they stand on the EPM Maturity Model.  Our EPM Maturity model includes 4 steps:

  • Level 1 – Beginner: Drowning in Spreadsheets
  • Level 2 – Opportunistic: Some Initial Success
  • Level 3 – Enterprise: See the Light, Want More
  • Level 4 – Transformative: Driving the Business

If you would like to get a quick reading on where your organization stands on the EPM Maturity Model – and what steps you can take to move to the next level or beyond – take 5 minutes to respond to the survey.  You’ll find the survey at this link, and we’ll provide immediate and actionable feedback.

Once we collect responses from 50+ companies, we’ll compile the results into a report and will distribute it back to everyone for you to benchmark your position vs. other respondents.

Thanks, and best of luck on your EPM journey! 

Take the EPM Maturity Test

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7 Megatrends in Modern Finance: Enterprise Modeling

7 Megatrends in Modern Finance: Enterprise Modeling

Trend #4: Modeling is the top initiative

Earlier this year, we polled 252 financial and accounting decision makers to determine what major trends they see emerging that will affect the corporate finance function.  In this seven-part blog series, we’ll examine each of these developments.

Big changes in where finance focuses are being driven by the data and functionality now available via newer technologies. In the past, finance initiatives were more focused on improving processes or new approaches to planning. These have given way to modeling and predictive analytics for nearly half of the respondents in this survey.

4-Top-initiatives-for-finance.png

Again, responses varied by company size. Larger companies are focused on modeling, score carding, and zero-based budgeting, while medium-sized companies focus more on predictive analytics, transforming finance, and big data.

Read the Blog post on Trend #7

Read the Blog post on Trend #6

Read the Blog post on Trend #5

Read the Blog post on Trend #4

Read the Blog post on Trend #3

Read the Blog post on Trend #2

Read the Blog post on Trend #1

Check back next week for the next of the seven trends.

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The Evolving Role of the CFO: From Scorekeeper to Business Partner

The Evolving Role of the CFO: From Scorekeeper to Business Partner

Over the past few years, the position of CFO has evolved quickly from one that simply deals with keeping track of the numbers to a valuable executive team member who contributes to the overall business strategy.

As companies and their leaders learn capitalize on new opportunities for growth in highly competitive markets, the role of the CFO is ever-more charged with preparing the company to meet these new growth challenges.

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In a recent Argyle CFO Virtual Event, John O’Rourke of Planful and two CFOs with thriving companies met for a panel discussion on this very topic. Most of what was discussed directly supported the recent survey conducted by Argyle and Planful, entitled, “The Modern CFO as a Business Partner”.

The panelists included Justin Markle, the CFO for Comcast Corporation’s Platform Services, which provides enterprise-level services on a global scale. Their offerings include media distribution services and advertising technologies. 

The panel also included Sas Mukherjee, the CFO and CSO (chief strategy officer) for York Risk Services Group. York is the third largest CPA firm in the nation, offering administrative services and cost containment services to healthcare organizations. Mr. Mukherjee has also acted as CEO with other organizations, giving him a background and insight into both the financial side and the business side of the enterprise.  Here are some notable insights from the panel discussion.

What are the Key Priorities of Today’s CFOs in Such Uncertain Times for Business?

John O’Rourke, VP of Product Marketing for Planful, served as moderator for this Argyle Virtual event. He asked the panelists how today’s CFOs are prioritizing their efforts in such an uncertain business climate. Mr. Markle answered that CFOs are having to find ways to drive profitable growth. This means continually adapting to technical changes and new business models. He feels the CFO’s job is to find the best ways to capitalize on these technologies and business models.

Mr. Mukherjee believes that there are basically three roles the CFO must play:

  1. Gathering and analyzing the data to support fact-based strategies
  2. Continually handling transformations within the economy and technology
  3. Proving finance as an enabler of growth, not simply “counting the beans,” but learning where to find new “beans” and how to capitalize on those “beans”

Both of these answers support findings in the Planful/Argyle study. Of the 125 respondents, some 44 percent said the relationship between the business and their CFO has become more of a collaborative effort. Twenty-eight percent stated that there is less focus on details involving the finance department, and the relationship has become more strategic in nature. Fourteen percent said their CFO was more focused on driving innovation.

What are the New Responsibilities CFOs are Challenged to Take On?

Next, Mr. O’Rourke asked panelists what new responsibilities CFOs are taking on, in addition to their traditional responsibilities. Mr. Markle responded that CFOs are being pulled into new areas of the business, serving as a direct link for their CEOs. Finance is in a unique position to see the business and all its various pieces holistically, which serves as a single point of contact for the CEO looking for answers. Markle says the CFO is now involved in hiring, real estate, infrastructure, product rollouts, acquisitions, and other areas of the business they’d never been involved with before.

Mr. Mukherjee said the greatest challenges are in the realm of managing internal transformation. The CFO is becoming more involved as a validator of financial APIs and in delivering the data necessary for decision making. For example, businesses need the right hiring metrics in order to employ the right HR practices. CFOs are continually called upon to validate the data used to make these kinds of decisions. He has also seen, in his previous positions with other companies, the CFO directly involved in advising external clients. While this isn’t typical, it is an example of how the CFO’s role is evolving within the overall marketplace.

Again, these statements directly backed the findings of the Planful/Argyle survey, in which well over half said the CFO’s relationship with the CEO had improved. Sixteen percent indicated that the CFO’s relationship with the CIO had become more important, while 15 percent indicated a stronger collaborative relationship between their CFO and the Chief Revenue Officer or the head of their sales departments. About four percent said the collaborative efforts were stronger between their CFO and the CHRO or head of the human resources department.

You can watch the entire webinar to hear more from these insightful industry insiders and learn more about the survey and how today’s CFO is becoming a vital partner to the business. Watch the webinar now: The Modern CFO as a Business Partner.

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Matching EPM Product Capabilities to Customer Use Cases

Matching EPM Product Capabilities to Customer Use Cases

Evaluating and selecting enterprise software solutions can be a challenging process.  An important part of this process is documenting functional requirements and then assessing well how various vendors support those requirements. 

As part of its ongoing EPM/CPM market research, Gartner recently published two new reports that match capabilities of EPM/CPM solutions to use cases.  The two reports are Gartner Critical Capabilities for Strategic and Financial Corporate Performance Management Solutions.

Download the Gartner Reports

 These reports are another deliverable from Gartner’s overall Magic Quadrant research process in which Gartner uses customer survey data to assess each vendor’s ability to deliver critical CPM capabilities matched to four specific use cases.  The two critical capabilities reports align to the recent splitting of the CPM Magic Quadrants into Strategic CPM and Financial CPM.  You can learn about the rationale for this split view of the market in a prior blog article.  Here are the requirements that are covered in each report. 

The critical capabilities Strategic CPM include:

  • Financial Budgets and Plans
  • Complex Financial Budgets and Plans
  • Integrated Financial Planning, Modeling and Analytics
  • Ease of Implementation and Use
  • Ease of Maintenance/Upgrade
  • Support and Vendor Satisfaction
  • Enterprise Scalability

The critical capabilities for Financial CPM include:

  • Medium Complexity Financial CPM
  • Complex Financial CPM
  • Process Analytics
  • Cloud Capability
  • Ease of Implementation and Use
  • Ease of Maintenance/Upgrade
  • Support and Vendor Satisfaction
  • Enterprise Scalability

In the two reports, Gartner accurately states that the degree to which each of the above capabilities is important varies by use case. The use cases described in these research reports are for the following market segments:

  • Small – Organizations with less than $250 million in annual revenue
  • Midsize – Organizations with $250 million to $1 billion in annual revenue
  • Midsize/Large – Organizations with $1 billion to $3 billion in annual revenue
  • Large – Organizations with more than $3 billion in annual revenue
  • Individual business units within large organizations

So how did Planful stack up in these reports? Among the key use cases in the “Critical Capabilities for Strategic CPMreport, Planful received:

  • Highest score for Midsize Organizations, 4.03 out of 5
  • Highest score for Business Units of Large Organizations, 3.94 out of 5
  • 3rd highest score for Small Organizations, 4.12 out of 5
  • 3rd highest score for Midsize/Large Organizations 3.88 out of 5

According to the Gartner report, “Planful received high scores for all ease-of-use capabilities. It also received strong scores for financial budgets and plans, as well as corporate planning and modeling. This combination of ratings is important for small and midsize businesses, but also benefits individual business units within larger organizations.”

In the “Critical Capabilities for Financial CPM” report, Planful received:

  • 3rd highest score for Midsize Organizations, 3.95 out of 5
  • 4th highest score for Midsize/Large Organizations, 3.73 out of 5
  • 3rd highest score for Business Units of Large Organizations, 3.85 out of 5

accounting_books.jpgThe Financial CPM report includes some vendors who don’t provide any core financial consolidation and reporting capabilities – such as Blackline and Workiva.  These vendors provide strong functionality for areas such as account reconciliations and financial close workflow and were ranked highly in the report.  However, when you look past these vendors at the highest-ranked vendors who provide financial consolidation and reporting capabilities, Planful is the highest-ranked pure cloud-EPM vendor in several use cases as noted above. 

According to the Gartner report, “Planful is one of the Visionaries in Gartner’s “Magic Quadrant for Financial Corporate Performance Management Solutions.” This is due to the vendor’s level of cloud experience, customer satisfaction and its products’ abilities to support the more complex use cases.”

In a recent press release highlighting the report, Planful CEO Dave Kellogg said, “The latest reports from Gartner provide buyers with a deeper understanding of how vendors match up to a range of use cases while proving that cloud-based solutions can address the needs of small, mid-sized and larger organizations.  Planful is unique in its ability to address both strategic and financial CPM requirements, as evidenced by our ability to scale across a broad range of use cases.”

For complimentary access to the two Gartner reports, “Critical Capabilities for Strategic Corporate Performance Management Solutions” and “Critical Capabilities for Financial Corporate Performance Management Solutions,” click here.

Download the Gartner Reports

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