Want to learn something new?

Want to learn something new?

Have you ever wanted to know how to build a sales forecast model but don’t know where to start? Or how to combine and aggregate your financial and operational data into an easy-to-read report? Or maybe you just want to learn a little bit more about the different ways you can easily and efficiently plan long term for your organization based on your revenue goals.

Wise Up Wednesdays is your solution.

Wise Up Wednesdays is a series of 30-minute how-to live tutorial sessions presented by top finance practitioners and thought leaders in the EPM space. The series offers an array of speakers and topics to present best practices, tips, and a live demo on a specific topic. No sales pitch, no product-specific demo, just 30 minutes of the thought leadership content you’ve been craving.

Check out the presentations on-demand on topics of your interest. To get a glimpse of the types of topics, check out some of the summaries below.

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How to Manage Patient Enrollment and Inventory

The Blue Line solution for inventory control in the Planful Solution Exchange has helped organizations gain insights to otherwise difficult items to track. In this session, Blue Line will show you how to use the inventory control solution to stay ahead of the curve with real-time decision making related to manufacturing, purchasing and scheduling for appropriate resource levels.

How to Use Business on a Page

At its core, the Business on a Page solution in the Planful Solution Exchange is a reporting process. This solution combines and aggregates financial and operational data so that you have access to all the critical information you need to run your business in one convenient place. In this session, Keen Vision will teach you how and when to use it.

How to Create a Weekly Calendar Planning Model

Many industries need to plan at a more granular level than just months. Any business that needs to adjust forecasts based on the timing of holidays, or weekly calendars can benefit from this model. With a custom ‘Weeks’ dimension that is reusable for any planning year, users can plan in weeks while reporting weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually with correct values at each level of time. In this session, UHY will show you how to create a weekly calendar planning model.

How to Forecast Revenue by Payor, Channel, and Retailer

Blue Line’s Life Sciences Gross to Net Revenue Optimization Solution provides pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device organizations the ability to efficiently manage all aspects of their finances. Learn how to leverage all aspects of gross revenues, rebates, chargebacks, payor discounts, and best price including Medicaid Unit Rebate Amounts to accurately forecast revenues by payor, channel, and retailer.

Have a topic idea you would like to present? Send us an email at webinars@hostanalytics.com.

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How to Create All the Scenarios You Need. Fast, Accurate and Actionable.

Scenario analysis has taken on a whole new meaning these days. COVID-19 pushed companies into chaos, and the continuing uncertainty makes planning especially difficult. In the process, the playbook we’ve all used over the past decade or two has been rendered virtually useless. The impact of the pandemic, along with the transition to working from ....

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The Definitive Guide to Peak Performance with EPM [SlideShare]

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Be a Finance Innovator by Making Everyone Count

Be a Finance Innovator by Making Everyone Count

Technology has, in just the past few years, dramatically altered the way we do nearly everything, from sharing selfies to collaborating with coworkers.  How it has affected the finance profession is no different.

But since most Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) applications were built solely to solve pain points around financial planning and analysis, finance’s counterparts – the budget owners – have been stuck with the same, outdated, manual, inefficient budgeting and planning processes they’ve used for decades.

It’s time for a change, but one that works for everyone.

That’s a challenge, however. You have the finance people who eat, breathe, and live numbers and everything else the finance world entails.  Then you have the rest of the world who may or may not care or know about finance, but are still responsible and accountable for budgets and plans, at least for their domain.

What’s at stake is finance’s ability to not only do their job effectively, but to be a key player in company strategy instead of just the holder of the purse strings. This means innovating the way finance operates, getting more collaborative in all facets of the business, and being more agile and responsive to the budget owners.

Let’s Be Honest About Budgeting and Forecasting Tools and Process

Whether you’re managing a department in a large enterprise or operating a small business, planning, budgeting and forecasting can be a real pain.

Though new technology promised to reform the financial planning and analysis process, for a majority of companies, the budgeting and planning process generates very little value. In fact, less than half of budget owners consider their planning process as done well.  It’s no surprise considering the primary focus of software solutions has been about numbers rather than business objectives. If you’re only looking to solve the challenges faced by finance, that might seem reasonable. But if you’re looking to empower and evolve your entire company, that distinction is critical.

Getting more involvement from the budget owners – those who know what they need, when they need it, why they need it, and more – should seem obvious. Finance can see the big picture totals, but only those budget owners know the details and how they tie into broader goals.  For a true and comprehensive view of the business, finance really needs both.

Another challenge is that finance and budget owners speak different languages.  Budget owners think in terms of “things” such as headcount, equipment, events, and campaigns; not expense lines. Pulling them into the process gives finance more information for better decision-making. It also elevates finance’s role from one focused on pure numbers to one involved with making sure resources are best allocated to help the business reach its goals.

Collaborate, Don’t Dictate or Alienate

Using traditional forecasting and planning tools built explicitly for financial teams is not easy for the rest of the organization.  A non-finance person opens a typical planning and forecasting apps, is overwhelmed with a wall of figures and cryptic terminology, gets lost in a sea of numbers they don’t understand, and ends up disengaged as a result.

So, you want numbers? Then they’ll give you just the numbers. It’s a limiting proposition.

It’s obviously far more productive to collaborate with budget owners as they focus on their business objectives and plan resources required to achieve them. Let technology streamline the budgeting process and translate all the necessary resources into budget line items.

Think of it as a high-end camera versus your smartphone. With a camera designed for professional photographers, there are dozens of settings using strange terminology (I still don’t know what “f-stop” means!), your image files are stuck on a tiny plastic chip, and they probably need further processing in a desktop app. With a smartphone, you tap, the picture turns out perfect nearly every time, and you tap again to share it with your friends.

One of those solutions uses technology to make things more complex, but better in the hands of a few experts. The other is built for the rest of us.

Technology’s real power (and maximum ROI) comes to bear when it’s used to help and simplify, not add complexity and confusion.

Be a Financial Innovator

As organizations progress through their lifecycle, finance teams now have new opportunities to innovate while providing business-wide value and improving business-wide performance.  An example is Planful MyPlan, which was designed to help finance work more closely with the business and make the budgeting process easier, faster, and more adaptable for budget owners.

Learn More

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Our Latest Innovation Makes Financial Reporting in Microsoft Office REAL Easy

Our Latest Innovation Makes Financial Reporting in Microsoft Office REAL Easy

Finance is stressed. It’s challenging to be always working under tight deadlines and monthly reporting crunches while trying to cobble together accurate financial data from across enterprise systems.

What’s more, it’s never enough to submit the ERP-generated report. Executives want to review financials in PowerPoint, read the details in a nicely formatted Word doc, and run their own what-ifs in Excel.

It’s enough to make your already frantic job in finance a tedious and manual copy-and-paste career. And, there’s the constant fear that a simple mistake could have career-limiting consequences.

Well, there’s good news.

Yesterday, we announced one of the biggest advancements yet to Planful Spotlight for Office. Now finance teams can quickly build dynamically refreshed management and financial reports directly within Microsoft Excel, Word, and PowerPoint.

Yes, you read that correctly.

With the click of a mouse, data can be instantly refreshed directly within Microsoft Office applications. No jumping between systems. No manual data entry. No complex configurations or integrations. With Spotlight for Office, data is always accurate and up to date, and eliminates the confusing copy-and-paste dance every time new information arrives or old data is updated.

Best of all, it’s available today!

Faster, Easier Reporting Inside Microsoft Office

You’re already moving financial data into Microsoft Office to create slides and reports, but that causes conflicts and adds stress. You’re never really sure all of the data in a slide or spreadsheet is up to date, even though you have that “one version of the truth” in your enterprise systems.  Why not just plug those systems into Office?

With Spotlight for Office, presentations, spreadsheets, and documents can be built once with live links to the real data. Those live links can be used as often as needed and across files, saving tons of time and eliminating those cut-and-paste errors. Once a report is created in Excel, PowerPoint, or Word it can be accessed anywhere while delivering sensitive data securely and accurately.

Life is good and getting better!

Learn how to make your life easier with Spotlight for Office.

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Motivation Monday = Bert Jacobs

Motivation Monday = Bert Jacobs

At Planful’ annual user conference Perform 2018, we had an inspirational keynote from CEO and co-founder of Life is Good, Bert Jacobs. Walking out of the general session, as I stood in line to buy his book the chatter and elations of feeling motivated and pumped to start their day at Perform 2018 was rampant. Here are some of the key business takeaways that stood out to me.

Rock, Paper, Scissors, SPIN

Before getting into the main takeaways – Bert Jacobs starts us all off with finding the rock, paper, scissors champion in the room. As I have sat through many conference keynotes, this was such a great way to get the audience involved.

Take away #1) Blur the line between business and play

“Part of our objective in business should be to blur the line between business and play. When we’re having fun and connecting with each other, we’re more productive.” ~ Bert Jacobs.

Take away #2) Tell me something good

Starting that meeting with a simple phrase of “tell me something good” – can completely shift the mindset of a group. Obstacles will always be there, but you can begin to see opportunities and focus on the good things in your business.

Take away #3) Business to fix the world

Use business to fix the world and our lives, not our lives to fix the business. Businesses are platforms for people to be able to help solve the world’s problems – we can’t do it without them. Business has the most touchpoints, resources, and smarts. Business owners have the power.

Take away #4) We “Get To”

“We should never say I have to – ‘I have to work late, I have to go grocery shopping, I have to do the laundry’ – we get to. It’s a gift. It’s a privilege.”

Take away #5) Be the person your dog thinks you are

Talk to your customers about the things they like to do and their families – not just the business.

As you start your work week, I hope this is a friendly reminder to stop and think life is good.

Checkout the entire playback of the keynote from Planful’ user conference Perform 2018, and to learn more about Life is Good check out their website.

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