What Kind of Return to Expect from an EPM Investment

What Kind of Return to Expect from an EPM Investment

Investing significant time and money in any new software, tool, or process necessitates an understanding of the potential return on investment (ROI) to ensure that resources are well-spent. What kind of return can finance expect from an investment in financial planning and consolidation software? It goes beyond the financials.

Before we answer that question – it’s important to get a grasp on the current state of your business processes to understand how great your need is. You may want to check out our ebook: Complete Guide to Modernizing Your Financial Processes. In the meantime, here are some important questions to ask yourself and your team before you get started:

  • Are we bogged down with manual processes that take hours out of the day?
  • Are we more likely to react to changes in the business vs. anticipate and proactively prepare for them?
  • Do we spend too much valuable time troubleshooting spreadsheet errors?
  • Are budgets built in a silo in finance without the collaboration of other departmental leadership?

Was the answer to any of those questions an emphatic “Yes!”? If so, you’re ready to consider a better way and understand the economic implications of implementing a financial planning and close solution.

Planful commissioned The Total Economic Impact of Planful Enterprise Performance Management by Forrester Consulting, based on Planful customers. The interviews and data from midsize enterprise customers were aggregated and presented in the study that saw, among other compelling statistics, a 393% ROI in productivity improvement.

The quantifiable financial impact of EPM

The study conducted by Forrester revealed the quantifiable benefits of enterprise performance management (EPM) for finance organizations. A risk-adjusted net present value (NPV) was determined for benefits that were realized with the implementation of Planful. Here are some highlights from the study:

Increased productivity and capability for the financial planning and analysis team

By removing the burden of manual modeling and reporting, the FP&A teams gained a productivity equivalent of five full-time employees. The boost in productivity equated to be worth  $731,630 over a three-year period.

Increased efficiency of line-of-business managers

With Planful, FP&A associates were able to provide more accurate budgets related to sales goals. Line-of-business managers then had more trust in the numbers provided by finance and could easily work with their finance peers instead of building a new budget from scratch. The time on the review process and revisions was also reduced. This increase in efficiency for the line-of-business manager, over three years, has a business value worth $270,016.

The unquantifiable benefits of investing in EPM

Throughout the study, Forrester incorporated real comments from interviewees which outline many of the unquantifiable benefits of EPM. For some organizations, these benefits exceed the quantifiable benefits in value. From closing the books faster to employee retention, the voice of the customer is clearly pointing out the value of an EPM solution like Planful to improve their financial processes.

One quote particularly stands out from the report regarding employee retention, a benefit that is often overlooked in software evaluation:

‘“Planful improves the career pathing with FP&A whenever we can get out and actually work with the different organizations instead of chasing numbers; we are confident and comfortable working with the business leaders as the trusted business advisor.”’ – The Total Economic ImpactTM of Planful Enterprise Performance Management.

Is there a case for an investment in financial planning and consolidation software?

The study ultimately determined, there is a 393% return over a three-year period based on interviews with our customers and considering both quantifiable and unquantifiable data.

Get access to the full study here or check out the infographic.

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