Spring20 Expands Continuous Planning to the Edges of Your Business

Spring20 Expands Continuous Planning to the Edges of Your Business

We have always been driven—obsessed is a better word—by what our customers want and need. The demands on FP&A, and their experience in using and working with our products, pushes us to create a solution that’s simple, fast, and beautiful. Their requests for new capabilities quickly bubble to the top of our product roadmap so they get the tools they need to drive the most value. Our innovative product teams also strive to think ahead of our customers so we deliver capabilities before they even know they need them. And, we always encourage customers to maximize the use of our solutions to wring out every ounce of value in their Planful investment. 

Which brings us to our latest Spring 20 product release, available to Planful customers on May 22. 

Spring20 has been designed to further help you achieve the vision of Continuous Planning. Every organization, especially now, can benefit from the smarter decision-making, elevated financial IQ, and faster and more efficient FP&A that Continuous Planning delivers. But Continuous Planning also delivers incredible value outside of the finance team, out to the edges of the business. In that spirit, Spring20 expands dynamic collaboration across the business, brings advanced workforce planning capabilities, and adds more automated, real-time data to everything you do.

So let’s unpack Spring20!

The Dawn of Dynamic Collaboration

The data behind a financial decision only tells part of the story. There are assumptions, contextual factors, organizational nuances, recommendations, and many more ingredients that go into any decision. This context is essential to not just understanding past decisions, but in informing leaders as they make follow-on decisions. When that context is there, the resulting decisions can be made faster and with more confidence.

Spring20 adds this context into the decision-making process by adding commentary, threaded conversations within and across teams, assignments, tasks, and more into the data. It allows FP&A and the business to include recommendations, explain extenuating circumstances, and detail the context behind decisions across the Planful platform.

This Dynamic Collaboration allows everyone across the business to work together, in real-time, as data is evaluated and analyzed, as more information becomes available, and as decisions are ultimately made. It captures, records, and makes available the key assumptions behind the decisions so everyone can understand the story behind the numbers. 

A new Comments Manager feature allows users to summarize all comments in a single view to follow the story behind a decision, and determine the degree of accuracy of the decisions that were made.

But this is just the beginning of Dynamic Collaboration in Planful, and 2020 will bring more capabilities to manage the context behind the decisions. And this extension of collaboration from FP&A out to the edges of the business, is an area of innovation where Planful is and will continue to be a leader, so stay tuned.

An Enhanced Workforce Planning Experience

For most companies, their workforce is their most valuable asset. It’s typically the largest expense, but it can also be a key differentiator that you’ve worked long and hard to cultivate. So it’s no surprise that Workforce Planning is not just a top use-case of our customers, but also an area of frequent requests and suggestions.

Spring20 brings a preview of new capabilities, beginning with a new, enhanced user experience for more flexibility, a smoother flow, and a more streamlined experience. It’s more beautiful, for sure, but it also improves how you interact with the platform. Employee rosters are easier to work with, edits and selections are easier and more intuitive, and custom formulas can be easily added for your unique requirements.

This all combines to give Workforce Planning a more beautiful and intuitive experience that offers more visibility into the drivers of what’s likely your company’s largest expense.

Spring20 Brings Something For Everyone

Expanding the value of Planful deeper into FP&A but also more broadly out into the business is what Spring20 is all about. It pushes platform-wide connection and collaboration further out into the edges of the business, and adds unprecedented visibility into the story behind the numbers to improve everyone’s financial IQ for better decisions everywhere.

t’s obviously a challenging time for every organization. But, now more than ever, the value of Continuous Planning is proving to be invaluable in helping organizations regroup and recover from the economic and disruptive impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. Any efforts to gain more insight into every corner of your organization, and quickly reforecast as things change can have an enormous impact on your recovery. Continuous Planning gives you the agility to do all of this and more, even as uncertainty remains the overriding factor.

For current customers, there’s nothing more to do. Spring20 will be automatically available on May 22.

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The Planful Virtual Tour – The Day 3 Recap

The Planful Virtual Tour – The Day 3 Recap

We’ve just wrapped up the Planful Virtual Tour, and what a Tour it was! Today’s third and final day was just as jammed with great customer stories and helpful product sessions as the previous two days. We heard from Bose Corporation and Carta, got a walk through Planful’s new Dynamic Canvas, and saw how Flow Dimension helps you better manage cash flow—especially critical as we all recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19. Finally, we gave a detailed look at Planful Now, our new offering that gets customers live on Planful in less than 30 days. 

Here’s what else Day 3 had in store, and if you missed a session, you can watch the entire Planful Virtual Tour on-demand.

Getting Back on Track with Planful Now

Rowan Tonkin, our SVP, Marketing, explained how FP&A can start their Continuous Planning journey in under a month with Planful Now. It’s designed to help companies regroup and recover, even in the face of continuing uncertainty. This high impact, fast time-to-value offer can be aimed at your most critical FP&A needs. It builds business resiliency, gives you more speed and agility, and helps FP&A and the business make better, smarter decisions, together. 

Rowan explained how companies can choose the use-cases most important to their business, then expand their use of Planful to cover broader swaths of FP&A and push more value out into every corner of the business. To learn more, visit our Planful Now page.

Bose Sounds Great with Workforce Planning

Luis Martinez Luna, Sr. Financial & Business Analyst within the Corporate FP&A group at Bose Corporation, gave an insightful view into how the well-known audio technology company is using Planful Workforce Planning to automate and optimize headcount planning. In an especially timely session, Luis talked about the closure of their huge retail operations due to COVID-19, and how they’re now using Planful to develop reopening plans.

“Being able to re-forecast quickly and efficiently in the next 12 months is going to be hugely helpful for us as we pivot and redirect the ship with COVID-19,” said Luiz.

He also explained how Planful’s fast what-if scenario planning and monthly forecasting are critical in helping the company plan for reopening. Luis also talked about Planful’s pivotal role in the company’s transition from annual to quarterly planning. Next up for Bose is to start using Planful to guide demand and supply planning.

Carta Charts a Course Away from Spreadsheets

Kevin Zell, Head of the Strategic Finance team at Carta, detailed how Planful helped them move away from spreadsheets, even during a period of fast growth. Carta, which helps companies manage their capital investments and equity plans, was experiencing many delays, errors, and a lack of visibility for FP&A and the business—all challenges created by spreadsheets. They needed a new approach, Kevin explained, so they used Planful to bring their Finance, Strategy, and business teams together and off of spreadsheets for good.

Kevin also explained how Carta went live on Planful in just 6 weeks, and how it quickly delivered value in their weekly financial reporting by cutting 10 hours from the process. Now, to help recover from the COVID-19 crisis, they’re rolling Planful Workforce Planning and Sales Planning out to non-finance users.

“The constant business evolutions that we go through have made Planful a huge plus for us,” said Kevin. “A big factor that played into our decision was that it became clear Planful could get us high time-to-value as fast as possible. We were able to start building reports and have them in Planful very quickly. That alone took about 10 hours out of our process.”

More Planful Product Spotlights

Several of our in-house product experts demonstrated how Planful is helping FP&A teams drive more collaboration, better decision-making, and more confidence and certainty out to the edges of the business. Here’s what was covered in Day 3.

Mark Bauer, Senior Vice President of Product Management at Planful, and Rajesh Yennam, our Product Management Director, walked us through Planful’s new Dynamic Canvas, which they described as the future of the user experience in the Planful platform. It provides users with a single experience for data input, analysis, and decision-making, and puts structured and dynamic plans, actual data input templates, and reports and dashboards all in one place, on one screen, and in one experience. It’s an exciting new direction for Planful, and we can’t wait to get it into customers’ hands!

Ben Page, Solutions Consulting Director at Planful, covered Flow Dimension, explaining how it helps FP&A take control of cash flow reporting and forecasting. Ben also gave examples of how FP&A teams are accelerating cash flow reporting with the Flow Dimension, and how other features in Planful are used to automate statements of cash flow, even outside of the Flow Dimension.

ICYMI: Watch the Entire Virtual Tour On-demand

If you missed any portion of the Planful Virtual Tour, you can watch the recordings on-demand here. Hear our CEO, Grant Halloran, announce Planful Now. Watch SmartyPants Vitamins walk you through how they went live on Planful in just 20 days. Hear how the Boston Red Sox used Planful to bench Excel. And watch Planar, Bose, Carta, and other Planful customers explain how Planful helps FP&A compress cycle times, elevate the financial IQ in every corner of the business, and expand connections and collaboration. You can also see what’s in store for Planful’s products in 2020, and get into the details of Dynamic Planning, Dynamic Reports, Workforce Planning, Dynamic Canvas, and many other areas of the Planful platform.

Watch every bit of the Planful Virtual Tour on-demand here.

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The Planful Virtual Tour – The Day 2 Recap

The Planful Virtual Tour – The Day 2 Recap

Yesterday’s Day 1 of the Planful Virtual Tour was tough to top. It started with a bang as our CEO, Grant Halloran, announced Planful Now, Nature’s Sunshine and Planar Systems talked about how they’re putting Continuous Planning to work, and we learned that the Golden Gate Bridge color is officially named “international orange”. Now, Day 2 is behind us and the excitement and engagement shown by the nearly 1,000 attendees continues to amaze and humble us. We saw what’s in store for Planful’s product in 2020, we heard from SmartyPants Vitamins and the Boston Red Sox, and we learned that Chicago was the birthplace of softball. Who knew?

Here’s what else Day 2 had in store, plus a quick look at what Day 3 will bring.

The Planful Product Roadmap

This is always one of the most popular sessions at our annual Tour, and this year proved the same. Planful’s product leadership team was on hand to detail what customers can expect through the end of the year, and there were some delightful surprises. Mark Bauer, our Senior Vice President of Product Management, and Sanjay Vyas, our Chief Technology Officer, also looked back at what our product team has accomplished over the past year, and how that has positioned us to make the Continuous Planning vision come true for so many of our customers.

The team also made several product announcements covering Dynamic Planning, Dynamic Collaboration, Dynamic Canvas, and Predictive Analytics, and explained how these enhancements are already adding agility and collaborative decision-making to FP&A and the business.

SmartyPants Got Planful in 20 Days

Cheryl Chow, a Senior Finance Manager at SmartyPants Vitamins, a preventative health and nutrition start-up, explained how the company was up and running with Planful in just 20 days! That’s less than 3 weeks — and it happened even before we launched Planful Now!

With help from Planful partner Cogenics, SmartyPants was able to realize an incredibly fast time-to-value. As soon as they were live, they didn’t waste a moment, immediately closing Q1 and moving to reforecast sales, advertising, and other areas as they recover from the COVID-19 crisis.

“The conventional wisdom in the industry is that even a fast cloud FP&A software deployment will take months, but with Planful, we were up and running with our Sales and Trade spend forecast templates in three weeks,” said Cheryl Chow, Senior Finance Manager at SmartyPants. “Planful provided amazingly fast time-to-value, enabling the FP&A team to plan their quarterly reforecast following Q1 close, prepare for an upcoming board meeting, and create new forecasts for sales, advertising, and other areas without breaking our stride.”

The Red Sox Benched Excel

Up next was Tim Zue, Executive Vice President / Chief Financial Officer for the Boston Red Sox. He explained how the Major League Baseball organization used Planful to modernize their FP&A by getting out of spreadsheets. Tim led the effort to boost efficiency, improve accuracy, and accelerate decision-making, and it was all built on Planful.

During the session, Tim detailed their transition and how they quickly expanded the use of Planful for reporting, monthly forecasting, and financial close across the organization. He even highlighted how the team’s head groundskeeper uses Planful to plan and manage the entire operations, from staff and supplies to grass seed and the chalk they use to mark the field. 

Finally, Tim explained how the team is regrouping to deal with a curtailed baseball season due to COVID-19, and how Planful is critical to their continued modeling and analysis. 

“Now more than ever we’re relying on Planful to help us think through multiple scenarios to ensure we make the best decisions,” said Tim Zue, Executive Vice President / Chief Financial Officer for the Boston Red Sox. “Planful has been incredibly helpful to our finance team by enabling more robust reporting and simplifying the forecasting and close processes. The platform has created greater transparency and better access to data across the organization. We’re currently using the platform to game out ‘what-if’ scenarios to manage the impact of COVID-19.”

More Planful Product Spotlights

Our product experts showed customers even more ways to use Planful for collaboration, planning, and predictions in FP&A and out to every corner of the business. 

Chris Howard, Product Marketing Manager at Planful, explored the “Top 3 Capabilities that Increase Business-wide Collaboration”. He demonstrated how Planful customers can add essential context to share the meaning behind the numbers, helping everyone increase their financial IQ and make better decisions in the process. He also covered how Planful accelerates that decision-making process to create a more agile and responsive FP&A team.

Andrew Von Eschen,  Senior Solutions Consultant at Planful, covered “The Power of Report Sets and Report Collections in Dynamic Reports”. He demonstrated how to build more beautiful, insightful, and user-friendly Dynamic Reports, and then quickly get them to the right people, in the right format, at the right time. Getting this information out to the business faster not only elevates the financial IQ of the entire business, he explained, it enables everyone, even at the edges of the business, to make better and faster decisions. He also demonstrated Planful’s rapid report creation, advanced formatting, and conditional highlighting, and how those features can be used to build tighter, more collaborative relationships between FP&A and the business. 

Steve Armistead, Sr. Director, Product Management at Planful, and Melissa Dreuth, Senior Vice President of People & Culture at Planful, looked at Planful’s vision for “The Future of Workforce Planning”. They provided a sneak peek into the next evolution of Planful Workforce Planning, including a new user interface for a better user experience. Melissa then talked about how she and her team use Planful every day to Continuously Plan for the organization’s workforce needs, and how it’s especially valuable as the company, like every other, shifts to more work-at-home arrangements and adjusts for changing priorities.

Finally, Sanjay Vyas, Chief Technology Officer at Planful, explained how Planful uses “Predictive Capabilities & Machine Learning”. He demonstrated how these technologies are helping FP&A augment their judgement and make better decisions. But he also looked at how future applications of predictive technologies across the Planful platform will revolutionize plans, models, and forecasts.

Coming Up on Day 3

Day 3 of the Planful Virtual Tour begins with customer stories from Bose and Carta, looks at Dynamic Canvas and Cash Flow Management, and takes a deep dive into our new and exciting Planful Now offering. 

Register now to join us for this third and final day of the Planful Virtual Tour!

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The Planful Virtual Tour is Underway – The Day 1 Recap

The Planful Virtual Tour is Underway – The Day 1 Recap

We are so excited to be bringing you the Planful Virtual Tour this year, and today’s kickoff featured great customers, exciting keynotes, and even more Continuous Planning! Of course, we would have loved to be together with everyone over these three special days. But, the first day of this Virtual Tour proved to be informative and engaging. Here’s a quick recap of Day 1 and a sneak peek at tomorrow’s Day 2

Keynotes and Planful Now

After a fun-filled introduction from our intrepid moderators, Planful’s CEO, Grant Halloran, took to the stage to give the audience a better view of what Planful has been up to over the past few quarters, including our name change and the addition of many new customers and partners. But, quickly getting down to business, Grant discussed our shared global situation through the lens of Finance and FP&A. We are truly in uncharted waters, as Grant said, and the continued uncertainty will force FP&A to course-correct more often and, hopefully, with more speed.

The key to becoming a more agile version of your current company, however, is Continuous Planning, which Grant described as “a framework for faster, smarter, more agile financial decision-making.” Speed and agility were common themes in Grant’s keynote, but doing so with more intelligence and more accuracy is the only way companies can gain more confidence in the decisions they make. 

“Every business must urgently ready themselves to course-correct far more often, and faster, than ever before, because what you expect to happen, in a lot of cases, won’t,” said Grant. “Budgets for 2020 are largely already out the window. The solution isn’t in hoping you’ll get the answers right. The solution is in becoming truly agile as an organization.”

Grant then highlighted Planful customers like Planar, Boston Red Sox, Bose, SmartyPants Vitamins, Carta, and Temple University who are using Continuous Planning to revolutionize how their FP&A teams move to guide the business. 

He also announced an exciting new offering, Planful Now, which gets any organization up and running on the Planful cloud in under 30 days. It’s built to help you tackle your most critical use cases, especially those you’re facing in the near term. There will be a session dedicated to Planful Now on Thursday, so register now!

Shane Hansen, Planful’s CFO, then joined Grant to talk about his strategy for Planful’s finance team and how other teams are reacting to the economic crisis. Shane recommended Continuous Planning as a way to mitigate the effects of the crisis, and highlighted the three elements that make it valuable in the current business environment, which are speed, having a single source of truth, and improved communication and collaboration.  

“What really excites me about Continuous Planning is that it can be used to solve so many of the pain points finance teams experience,” said Shane. “Issues like accuracy, version control, the time it takes to collaborate. These are all must-haves in today’s environment.”

The second keynote of the morning was from R “Ray” Wang of Constellation Research, who dove into the challenges of business continuity amid the crisis. Ray used his experience as an analyst, entrepreneur, and author to share best practices and explain how the revolution that pushed applications to the cloud is now positioning companies to recover faster and with more agility to the current crisis. 

Customers Putting Continuous Planning to Work

The Planful Virtual Tour features several customers across the week, each highlighting how they’ve put Continuous Planning into action to help their organizations recover, plan, and pivot. 

Day 1 featured Randy Brown, Director of FP&A at Nature’s Sunshine, a provider of vitamins and supplements, and Shane Riddle, Director of Sales and Operations Controller at Planar Systems, the digital wall displays and signage solution. They each explained how Continuous Planning is helping their FP&A teams move faster, specifically pointing to the speed and efficiency Planful brought to their planning and reporting processes. But they said fast access to data was the secret sauce that makes Planful invaluable across their organizations.

“Planful helped accelerate our finance team and allowed us to capture financial results at a consolidated level for all business groups within the organization,” said Shane Riddle, Director of Sales and Operations Controller at Planar Systems. “I can’t imagine running a business without Planful’s cloud-based platform, and I’m excited to see how these upcoming platform capabilities help businesses navigate this new-normal we’re all experiencing.”

Deep Dives into Planful Solutions

Hands-on product sessions are always a great way for customers to see how they can wring more value out of their Planful solutions. But these sessions also give prospective customers a deeper understanding of how Planful helps FP&A focus on the more strategic aspects of their role. These “product spotlights” for Day 1 covered use-cases for fast and agile decision cycles, Dynamic Planning, and accelerating month-end close and cycle times. 

Rajesh Yennam, Product Management Director at Planful, and Rafael Farias, Director, Advanced Solutions at KeenVision, a Planful partner, looked at “Top 3 Use-cases that Deliver Fast and Agile Decision Cycles”. The duo demonstrated how Dynamic Planning brings speed and agility to the most critical tasks facing FP&A professionals dealing with the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis. Also very relevant in today’s climate, they showed how FP&A can quickly adjust plans and see the resulting impact instantly, helping teams make better and faster decisions.

Andrew Von Eschen, Senior Solutions Consultant at Planful, showed the audience how to “Plan at the Speed of Business with Dynamic Planning”. It was a deep-dive session that demonstrated rapid what-if scenario planning and how FP&A teams can ease the learning curve by leveraging Excel and Excel syntax in Planful.

Pamela Theriault, Senior Solution Consultant at Planful, then showed how FP&A teams are “Accelerating the Month-End Close & Compressing Cycle Times with Planful.” Pamela detailed how teams can quickly finalize actual results and distribute them across the organization. She also showed how Accelerated Actuals makes for faster month-end close and lets you immediately incorporate actual data into your next planning and decision-making cycle.

Coming Up on Day 2

Day 2 of the Planful Virtual Tour kicks off tomorrow with a trip down the Planful Product Roadmap. Planful’s product team will highlight new enhancements in Dynamic Planning and Dynamic Collaboration, and brand new innovations in the form of Dynamic Canvas and Predictive Analytics. That will be followed by two customer sessions, with SmartyPants Vitamins covering how they went live on Planful in just 20 days and the Boston Red Sox explaining how they used Planful to bring a vision of Continuous Planning to their organization.

More Product Spotlights are on the agenda as well, with business-wide collaboration, Dynamic Reports, and Workforce Planning taking center stage. And, the day closes with a look at the predictive and machine learning capabilities in Planful.

Register now to join us for Days 2 and 3!

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Solve Your Most Urgent FP&A Needs in Under 30 Days with Planful Now

Solve Your Most Urgent FP&A Needs in Under 30 Days with Planful Now

Getting your business back on track will require a team effort. With uncertainty as the only constant, every corner of your business is looking to FP&A for guidance, revised forecasts, and a spectrum of what-if models to help determine what to do next. There’s a lot to do, and it needs to be done now. For those folks out there who just had to live through this crisis using spreadsheets and spotty VPN connections, now is a really good time to learn about a better way, so you can be ready for the next big market surprise.

We want to help with a new offering, Planful Now, which puts Planful to work for your business in under 30 days.

Now’s not the time to be bogged down in a quarters-long effort or a resource-intensive software project. You don’t have that kind of time to waste. You need to recognize immediate value from any investment, use it to tackle your most urgent business challenges and which have the highest impact, and get the results into the hands of the business and decision-makers immediately. 

Planful Now delivers on all of those points, and more. 

Planful Now is a high impact, fast time-to-value offering that solves your most critical FP&A needs in under 30 days. It shortens FP&A cycle times, opens collaboration channels across the business, and enables the agility you need to respond to unpredictable market shocks. And, to deliver your business the most value in the shortest amount of time, Planful Now gives you the flexibility to choose the path that is right for you.

Planful Now allows you to choose from a set of six use cases, each of which can be live in 30 days. This includes cash flow forecasting, annual operating planning, workforce planning, monthly close & consolidation, financial reporting, and multi-dimensional ad-hoc analysis.

As your recovery takes hold, or if you prefer to add more capabilities from the start, Planful Now offers even more use cases for you to choose from, each of which can be live within 60 days. This includes things like long-range planning, monthly rolling forecasts, driver-based revenue planning, SaaS bookings waterfall, project planning, and customer profitability planning.

Then, with a strong Continuous Planning foundation in place, you can select from an even broader set of solutions to extend the Planful platform out the edges of the business. In under 3 months, you can be using Planful to drive sales & ops planning, or demand planning, or trade promotion planning, or SKU-level revenue planning, or territory and quota management, or account segmentation and scoring. And this list is just the beginning. As you progress on your Continuous Planning journey, the list of planning use cases supported by the Planful platform goes on and on. 

Planful Now is the perfect way to get started on your Continuous Planning journey. Continuous Planning is the modern framework for financial decision-making in business. It’s an always-on, collaborative approach to company-wide planning, reporting, and decision-making to match the continuous nature of your business. Planful Now enables you to take the first step, and then expand the Continuous Planning framework across your company from there, producing faster cycle times, more accurate planning, and more collaborative execution.

  1. Planful compresses FP&A cycle times so you have more time to focus on strategy, pressing projects, and helping the business get back on track. 
  2. Planful extends a planning and decision-making platform across every corner of the business, providing more accurate information and up-to-the-minute plans, forecasts, and reports so everyone can act faster and with a higher financial IQ. 
  3. Planful keeps you connected and collaborating across your company so everyone is working together, quickly and efficiently.

We’ve seen many customers achieve success with this approach. It makes it easy for you to start with the use cases that are most important to you, achieve quick wins and high value, and then expand your use of the platform across a wide array of planning use cases when you’re ready

Planful Now is built for today. It’s our way of helping you regroup and recover, faster and with more success. We’ve done it before, and we can do it for you too. Customers like Carta, SmartyPants Vitamins, Temple University, and more have all put Planful to work in under one month—some as quickly as just 20 days! 

Learn more by visiting the Planful Now website, or attending the Planful Virtual Tour on May 19-21. At the Tour, check out the Planful Now session on Thursday, May 21 at 10:30 a.m. PST. You’ll also have the opportunity to hear directly from SmartyPants, Carta, and Bose, to learn how Planful Now helped transform the way they work and the strategic role they play in their organizations.

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The Planful Virtual Tour 2020 Kicks Off May 19th: 3 Days of Continuous Planning Success

The Planful Virtual Tour 2020 Kicks Off May 19th: 3 Days of Continuous Planning Success

We are so very excited to bring together leaders and practitioners in finance and FP&A to celebrate the vision of Continuous Planning with the Planful Virtual Tour 2020! 

Starting this Tuesday, May 19 and continuing for three days, the Virtual Tour will feature something for everyone. Planful customers such as Bose, Carta and the Boston Red Sox will be detailing their success with Continuous Planning. Planful team members will be announcing new and exciting offerings to maximize productivity and increase the impact of FP&A. And, we’ll have a  keynote address from noted author, analyst, and advisor, R “Ray” Wang, founder of Constellation Research.

Visit the Planful Virtual Tour website to register for this free online event.

Each day of the Planful Virtual Tour will feature a dynamic combination of customer stories, keynotes, and Planful solution overviews and deep dives. Here’s what you can expect.

Fantastic Customers

Planful customers are always the highlight of our events. Those joining us on the Planful Virtual Tour are Bose, Boston Red Sox, Carta, Nature’s Sunshine, Planar, and SmartyPants. Their sessions will be spread across the three days, so please view the detailed agenda for specific times and dates.

FP&A professionals from each of these organizations will take the virtual stage to showcase how Planful has helped them achieve a vision of Continuous Planning. They’ll show how they’re accelerating consolidation and close times and accelerating planning and decision-making through company-wide financial collaboration and connection. They’ll also detail how they’re using Continuous Planning to regroup and recover from the COVID-19 crisis. 

Compelling Keynotes

Two very special keynote speakers will kick off the Planful Virtual Tour. To kickoff the event on Tuesday, May 19, Planful CEO Grant Halloran will talk about the current crisis and its impact on FP&A teams. He’ll also dive into Continuous Planning and how it can better equip entire companies with more agility and collaboration as they work to preserve jobs and conserve cash. Finally, he’ll be joined by Planful CFO Shane Hansen to look at both Continuous Planning and the current crisis through the lens of the CFO.

Following Grant’s session will be a special keynote from R “Ray” Wang, Principal Analyst, Founder, and Chairman of Constellation Research. He’s also a best-selling author and prolific blogger, and will use his deep expertise and research experience to explore business continuity best practices and the importance of cloud and Continuous Planning in today’s increasingly unpredictable world. It’s a session you won’t want to miss!

Expanded Solutions

We’ll have nearly two dozen Planful executives, technologists, and product experts on hand to showcase what’s new and what’s coming in 2020 for Planful’s long list of products, solutions, and offerings.

Our full agenda will cover a variety of product capabilities, use-cases, and customer stories – all designed to show you how Planful delivers fast and agile decision cycles, rapid what-if scenario planning and analysis, and accelerated month-end close and FP&A cycle times.

We’ll also have our product team lay out their roadmap for 2020, and showcase some of the newest features in Planful that increase collaboration, enable more insightful reporting and analysis, modernize workforce planning, and put to work new predictive capabilities. 

See the detailed agenda for specific times and dates

Virtual Fun

Obviously, we would have much rather been spending three days traveling across our planned host cities of Chicago, New York, and the Bay Area. But we will be offering prizes and special nods to each of the cities during the Virtual Tour. Pay attention for our fun trivia questions throughout the event. If you answer correctly, you’ll be entered into a raffle to  win one of the great prizes we have available.

We can’t wait to (virtually) see you there!

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Helpful FP&A Resources to Navigate an Uncertain World

More CFO’s are talking about how they’re approaching recovery as widespread reopening of the economy looms large. Most expect there to be serious and significant business pain in the short-term, obviously, but silver linings are starting to appear. The benefits from moving at least some workers to remote offices is becoming more apparent, as is using limited resources to double-down on strategic initiatives. But, it’s also becoming much more clear that the only hedge against continued uncertainty is in continuously planning for multiple scenarios.


Here are a few expert opinions we’ve found helpful in the past week, and we hope you do, too. We’d love to hear from you, so please join our FP&A Slack Community and share your thoughts and suggestions. It is publicly available to everyone to discuss ideas related to the current crisis as seen from the FP&A perspective.

What the Experts are Saying on FP&A

McKinsey: CEO’s guide to COVID-19: Restarting after the crisis

McKinsey offers eight key actions executives can take after COVID-19 to ensure a better chance of a successful relaunch. “Their eagerness to restart and rebuild is understandably large, but so are the questions that a return to business raises. What is the financial health—and state of mind—of suppliers and consumers? How can employees be motivated to return to work and reassured about their safety? How quickly will demand return?”

CFO Dive: Study: COVID-19 cost cuts may damage CFOs’ long-term growth prospects

Everyone is looking to cut costs, but smart CFO’s are looking far into the future to use this opportunity to support key strategies, make long overdue cuts, and reshape competitive standing over the long-term. “The most successful CFOs, Gartner said, will appreciate the few initiatives that drive outsized advantage. They not only protect these select projects from cost reductions, but scale up the areas supporting these bets.”

ZDNet: CFOs plan to spend more on virtual business tools, automation, says Deloitte

Many businesses are allowing employees to work remotely even after stay-at-home restrictions are lifted, or are keeping offices closed as far as through the end of 2020. But turning temporarily remote workers into permanent ones comes with both costs and benefits. “The findings, based on a poll of 166 CFOs, ties into a spate of executives saying that work may stay remote since companies can cut real estate costs and maintain productivity.”

AFP: COVID-19: FP&A Professionals Expect a Painful, Slow Recovery

Of surveyed finance professionals, 85% predict earnings to be significantly below plan, according to a new study from the Association for Financial Professionals. But finance must prepare for multiple eventualities, since no one yet knows how this will play out. “Creating financial and operating models is critical to creating alignment across the enterprise, and FP&A professionals are making numerous scenarios to understand actions, impacts and options.”

Forbes: COVID-19 Crisis Emphasizing CFO’s Responsibilities Beyond Financial Says New Report

The crisis is positioning FP&A as the key resource for information and analysis as business units look to regroup and recover. That’s requiring finance professionals to expand their skillsets while organizational alignment and overall business strategy take precedent. “‘If the CEO is becoming more externally facing, CFOs need to elevate and become an enterprise leader. If the CEO is a functional leader, CFOs need to be a strategic leader…,’ recommends Korn Ferry Financial Officers Practice North American Leader Barry Toren.”CFO: What COVID-19 Has Revealed About Working Remotely

Stay Tuned for More Useful FP&A Content

We’ve launched a recurring FP&A Live Roundtable for business executives, practitioners, and industry thought-leaders to engage in a thoughtful discussion about all things FP&A, which happens each Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Until next week, follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook for more news and information. 

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More companies are now regrouping as they move beyond calendar Q1 and look to preserve cash flow and create newly revised plans for Q2 and beyond. With Q1 earnings season in full swing, public companies are also adding signals as to the impact of widespread shutdowns, while CFO’s are tentatively forecasting how the next few months and quarters might play out. And, the work-from-home situation seems like it might have some staying power, much to the delight of many CFO’s.


Here are a few expert opinions we’ve found helpful in the past week, and we hope you do, too. We’d love to hear from you, so please join our FP&A Slack Community and share your thoughts and suggestions. It is publicly available to everyone to discuss ideas related to the current crisis as seen from the FP&A perspective.

What the Experts are Saying on FP&A

Wall Street Journal: Financial Forecasting for Extreme Uncertainties

This unprecedented situation has rendered most forecasts and plans irrelevant. But CFO’s can’t just reforecast, they need to refine how they forecast by bringing in more collaborators, incorporating more data, and making the process highly iterative. “Faced with so many known unknowns as well as unknown unknowns, it’s imperative that CFO’s refine their forecasting capabilities to help their organizations prepare for future impacts and opportunities, including deciding when to accelerate recovery spending and investing.”

CFO Dive: Switching FP&A focus from growth to survival

Watching cash flow and cutting costs is the name of the game. But there needs to be a strategy behind the cost cutting, rather than an indiscriminate approach, and any strategy must consider the fallout from even seemingly benign cuts. “By aligning cuts with your goals, rather than making across-the-board cuts, you’re better able to bring others in the organization along. ‘That helps you get buy-in, because, otherwise, you’re just pushing a target down on people.”

Forbes: Two New COVID-19 Studies Reveal CFO’s Focus On Workplace Reboot, Revenue, And Cost Cutting

Two studies released last week, the PwC COVID-19 CFO Pulse and Gartner’s CFO survey, found that slightly more than half (52%) of CFO’s say their companies will be back to “business as usual” within three months. 42% of CFO’s are not incorporating the potential of a “second wave” outbreak of COVID-19 in their financial planning for 2020.

CFO Dive: Survey: 42% of CFOs lack contingency plans for a 2nd COVID-19 wave

More details on the Gartner study referenced above, specifically suggesting CFO’s should at least consider a second wave of COVID-19 as they plan for the remainder of 2020. But while many CFO’s aren’t planning for a second wave, it seems many expect it. “Despite the lack of contingency planning for a possible second wave, CFOs have become increasingly concerned about the risks associated with the pandemic broadly, citing ‘macro-pandemic concerns’ as their top concern at over twice the rate they did in early April.”

Deloitte / The Wall Street Journal: IR Strategies to Help Manage COVID-19 Uncertainty

Among the many business challenges exacerbated by COVID-19 is how best to talk to investors about near- and longer-term performance and strategy issues. Deloitte says, “the COVID-19 pandemic likely demands a new IR playbook that presents a company’s best-case, worst-case, and holding pattern.”

CFO: What COVID-19 Has Revealed About Working Remotely

Many of us are living the work-from-home reality and finding that things do, in fact, still get done. In a survey of large companies, two-thirds of CFO’s said less than 10% of workers are at less than half capacity. But where cloud technology was instantly rolled out to fill the gaps, many organizations are seeing long-term benefits. “As many organizations discovered, technology isn’t just about providing the infrastructure for remote work. It is really about enabling the very future of work itself.”

Forbes: Is Working From Home The Future Of Work?

Recent estimates in an MIT study say nearly half of the office-based U.S. workforce is currently working from home. This “massive experiment in telecommuting” is giving both employers and workers an opportunity to evaluate how they might want to work once the stay-at-home regulations are eased. FP&A teams should plan now for potential budget impacts, including what’s already been invested to keep workers productive from home. “‘Once businesses and individuals invest in the fixed costs of remote work,’ the MIT researchers wrote in their recent report, ‘they may decide to stay with the new methods.’”

Stay Tuned for More Useful FP&A Content

We’ve launched a recurring FP&A Live Roundtable for business executives, practitioners, and industry thought-leaders to engage in a thoughtful discussion about all things FP&A, which happens each Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Until next week, follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook for more news and information. 

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