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Accurate financial forecasts have a large impact on the Finance team and the business

Today’s forecast is tomorrow’s accounting report. That’s why it’s up to the CFO to work closely with business unit leaders to create a forecast that’s not only accurate, but can actually influence business decisions.

Why is forecasting accuracy important?

An accurate financial forecast ensures your business units have the resources needed to deliver on what the business needs. But while almost every organisation creates a quarterly forecast, new customers, lost clients, an aggressive competitor or an outside event like a major weather event can all significantly impact quarterly forecast accuracy.

As a result, more agile companies are incorporating rolling forecasts to make planning an ongoing process instead of a quarterly event. These companies are able to be more responsive in a fast-moving market while avoiding the surprises of their quarterly-focused brethren.

The difficulty of forecasting with static planning

Static planning makes forecasting and re-forecasting on a regular basis impossible

A static forecasting process that relies on manually-managed spreadsheets makes forecasting demand and expenses difficult.

With static planning, finance teams suffer from:

  • No version control: When your forecasting process depends on spreadsheets and email, something is bound to go wrong. It takes just one person making updates to an outdated spreadsheet to throw everything off
  • No understanding: Because a manual forecasting process is so difficult to manage, the finance team can waste too much time just ensuring accuracy or fixing errors. That leaves little time left over to understand the specific issues impacting each business unit, let alone the entire company
  • No buy-in from business units: With crucial information stuck on separate files across the company, there’s no central repository of information for everyone to work from. This lack of transparency often translates into a lack of trust between business units and finance
Active planning enables smooth, accurate, and efficient forecasting cycles

An active planning process supports accurate, efficient forecasting.

Active planning benefits include:

  • Single source of truth: Automatically collect business information in one central location that everyone can access
  • Accurate data: When data is accurate and transparent, it allows finance and business leaders to easily collaborate as active business partners
  • Drill-through functionality: Spend more time drilling into the data to understand the source and context for the numbers
  • Scenario analysis: Run what-if analysis to explore different business opportunities, and forecast more effectively

Improve your forecasting accuracy with Workday Adaptive Planning

With the ability to integrate driver-based scenarios in real time, Workday Adaptive Planning makes it a snap to conduct a rolling forecast process. As a result, your forecasts are more likely to reflect reality and give your team the resources they need to succeed. Here are just a few of the benefits of moving your forecasting and modelling processes to an active planning process with Workday Adaptive Planning:

Workday Adaptive Planning financial forecasting screenshot
Consolidated information

Connect your financial and non-financial systems together to automatically collect all of your data and KPIs in one place. When everyone has access to the same data set, financial forecasting and re-forecasting become faster, more accurate processes.

Rolling forecasts

Invest your time performing sophisticated forecasting analysis and working through what-if scenarios instead of managing a manual planning and forecasting process. An active planning process enables rolling forecasts with integrated driver-based scenarios that you can edit.

Make your forecasting faster and more predictable.

Improve Your Forecasting Processes