The FP&A field faces a significant and somewhat hidden challenge—financial professionals spend an astonishing 75% of their time on data collection and administrative tasks. This leaves only a mere 25% for the critical role of providing value-added financial analysis to their organizations. The overwhelming emphasis on data gathering in the financial planning and analysis process indicates a pressing issue. The time-consuming nature of data collection often overshadows the strategic analysis that FP&A professionals are expected to deliver. This imbalance highlights the need for solutions that can streamline data collection, automate routine tasks, and improve data quality, thereby freeing up more valuable time for insightful financial analysis.
Finance Managers' Tougher Role: 68% Agree
The roles of finance managers have undeniably become more demanding, as 68% of them have confirmed. The complexity and volatility of the modern business landscape require finance managers to provide real-time insights, navigate rapidly changing conditions, and make crucial decisions with greater precision. This shift underscores the necessity for advanced tools and methodologies to enhance forecasting accuracy, facilitate scenario analysis, and empower finance managers to make informed decisions even in challenging times. Access to real-time data and the capability to run scenario analyses with ease have become paramount in coping with the evolving demands of the finance manager's role.
CFOs' Top Priority: Predictive Models and Scenario Analysis
For CFOs, the foremost priority is building predictive models and scenario analysis capabilities. Nearly half of them — 47%, to be exact — consider this their primary focus. Predictive modeling and scenario analysis are critical components of financial planning and analysis. They empower CFOs to better understand and navigate an uncertain business environment. Robust predictive models enable organizations to make more informed decisions based on data-driven analyses. CFOs recognize the value of being well-prepared to respond to a range of possible scenarios and fluctuations in market conditions.
FP&A Overload: 65% of Teams Operating at Full Capacity
A substantial 65% of FP&A teams are operating at full or over 100% of their capacity. The high workload and resource constraints faced by these teams can be detrimental. Overloading FP&A teams can lead to burnout, decreased productivity, and potentially significant errors in financial analysis. To alleviate this burden and promote efficient financial planning and analysis, organizations should consider automating manual processes, optimizing resource allocation, and improving data management. Moreover, enabling FP&A teams to focus on strategic tasks rather than drowning in operational activities is vital for producing valuable financial insights and delivering more informed decisions.
FP&A Systems Unfit for the Future: The Concerns Grow
Financial professionals express growing concerns about the fitness of their current financial planning systems. A significant 35% of them don't feel that their current financial planning system meets their needs today, while an even more substantial 44% believe their system won't be able to address their needs in the next three years. This points to a prevalent sense of dissatisfaction and the anticipation of future challenges in their financial planning systems. While organizations evolve and business environments change, it is imperative to adapt and have systems that can scale and align with emerging needs.
AI and ML: Finance Leaders' Reporting Aspiration
Financial leaders have recognized the vast potential of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in revolutionizing financial reporting. A substantial 48% of finance leaders consider the implementation of AI and ML tools as the top opportunity for enhancing their reporting processes. Leveraging AI and ML can lead to more automated, accurate, and real-time financial insights. Such insights are crucial for supporting strategic decision-making, enabling financial teams to react swiftly to emerging trends, and delivering an increased level of transparency and data-driven decision support.
Data Courage offers a solution called Aimplan, which seamlessly integrates with Power BI and utilizes AI-driven forecasting models. This integration aligns well with the constantly evolving field of financial technology. Aimplan has the potential to enhance the capabilities of FP&A teams, financial analysts, and CFOs, making financial planning and analysis more efficient and effective.