Financial and operational KPIs across 90 countries and multiple currencies help inform decision-making
The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) is the U.K.’s largest music education body, one of the largest music publishers, and the world’s leading provider of music exams. ABRSM’s mission is to inspire achievement in music. In partnership with the Royal Schools of Music, it supports high-quality music-making and learning around the world.
The finance team’s role is to ensure its mission is financially viable by providing timely and value-added information and analysis to support decision-making. Dominic Nastri, head of financial management, manages a team of business partners who work closely with budget holders to produce and monitor financial plans and to support change management to further ABRSM’s mission.
Creating a collaborative budgeting and planning model
In order to fulfill this business partnering role, the finance team needs timely and accurate reporting against the organization’s most influential business drivers. Trying to accomplish this with a linked spreadsheet-based system was becoming unmanageable across a large, complicated organization, so the decision was made to modernize the planning and reporting process. ABRSM approached Clear Plan, Workday Adaptive Planning’ U.K. partner, for the first step in this process—the adoption of a cloud-based planning, reporting, and analysis solution for automating a collaborative FP&A process.
“Workday Adaptive Planning provided us with a structured and flexible set of tools to develop a driver-based approach to financial planning along with a suite of integrated financial statements,” said Nastri. “Time saved producing plans has been reallocated to producing additional analysis supporting our decision-making.”
With a more transparent model in Workday Adaptive Planning, budget holders have a far greater understanding of how the numbers are calculated and how the organization is performing against them. The finance team reports monthly, and all stakeholders are now also able to self-serve using a suite of reports to evaluate plans and monitor performance themselves. As a result, finance and budget holders work more collaboratively than ever before.
Using what-if scenarios to inform operational decisions
Using Adaptive OfficeConnect, ABRSM has developed presentation-quality reporting for the leadership team and board in Microsoft Excel that is completely connected to Workday Adaptive Planning for dynamic reports always based on the latest data, refreshed with just a click. As a result, the team can quickly report on financial and operational KPIs across 90 countries and multiple currencies, including gross contribution, contribution per candidate, and number of candidate entries. Also, using drivers with Workday Adaptive Planning has reduced the time required to produce the five-year plan and what-if scenarios.
“While finance championed the implementation of Workday Adaptive Planning, budget holders are now equal partners in deciding how we use it,” said Nastri. “The flexibility allows us to evolve and add new use cases and data to our model.”