Congrats! 2019 planning season is complete. Precious hours, days and weeks were spent generating spreadsheets, gathering information and poring over numbers to budget income and expenses, staffing, capital expenditures and cash flow. You shut yourself away indefinitely with a pot of coffee and endless Excel spreadsheets open on your desktop only to create a plan and budget that is stagnant, inconclusive and lacks visualization for the future.  But, hey, it’s done…right?

92% of companies believe that better planning technology produces better business outcomes. So why are we still using outdated financial planning budgeting software? Your business isn’t the same as it was 20 years ago –if it was even a business at all– so why would the processes you used then work now?

Planning doesn’t have to be a necessary evil that we all dread. It can be easier. When done with the right financial planning budgeting software, planning can provide invaluable business insights and serve as the bridge between idea and execution that allows your business to be agile and prepared the future.

If tracking down broken links and trying to discern which spreadsheet is the most recent is your undeniable reality during planning season, it’s probably time for a change.

So how do you know if you’re ready? Here are a few signs your current planning process could be drastically improved:

1. There’s no single version of the truth

This one is simple. If you’re using multiple spreadsheets, softwares and processes to plan and budget, you’re making your life much harder than it needs to be. It is very difficult to make comprehensive, informed financial decisions while looking at several different sets of data.

2. You have no way to easily visualize your data

Let’s be real. Endless columns and rows of numbers in Excel don’t tell a story and don’t provide a complete view of your organization. The majority of your business consists of non-financial employees, which means trying to maneuver through a cacophony of spreadsheet filled with meager numbers is not an easy or beneficial task for them.

Visualizing financial data allows every viewer to decipher patterns and focus on what truly matters. Instead of presenting your leadership team with several confusing spreadsheets, you can provide strategic insights and foresight so they can make critical decisions.

By using active planning and real-time dashboards, your team can have a dynamic visualization into what is going on in the business. In fact, businesses that use data visualization outperform businesses using legacy techniques and software when it comes to speed and accuracy of forecasting and planning.

3. Your planning process is two-dimensional and doesn’t support collaboration

If your ‘planning process’ involves emailing Excel spreadsheets back and forth, you’re all too familiar with the issues that come along with it like data errors, missing formulas, prolonged response times and wondering who changed that one thing on that one sheet. This process becomes even more difficult when you throw multiple locations, languages or currencies into the mix. Planning and budgeting have long been considered finance-only responsibilities. With the right business planning tools, planning can become a cross-departmental collaboration effort. When all the team members play a part, the result is a well-painted financial picture of your entire business.

4. Figuring out what data is the most recent is impossible

“Who changed the data in column 14, row 35? I’m not sure what was originally there, or if the current or past entry is correct.”

“Is the sheet for Q4 up to date?”

“Which spreadsheet should I be looking at? Financial_Stats_021 or Financial_Stats_030?”

 If these questions are all too familiar, I’ve probably given you PTSD (Post-Traumatic SPREADSHEET Disorder.) You understand the pain of the impossible task of staying on top of spreadsheet changes and trying to track down the most recent versions. If only there was a way to see a full audit trail of changes and real-time data…*wink-wink* 

5. There’s no real insight

Last but certainly not least, you’re performing manual search inquiries, checking all the process boxes, following protocol to get this plan done, but you’re left with nothing but a bunch of numbers in a PDF that provide no real insight. Legacy processes and outdated financial planning software can lead to costly errors, leaving you to fix the spreadsheet mistake, sucking up time gathering data rather than analyzing it and providing valuable insights to decision-makers.

If any or all of these resonated with you, it might be time to make a change before 2020’s planning season rolls around.

Now that you’ve identified your pain points, you’re probably curious as to how much of difference modern financial planning budgeting software can make in your business.

With the Adaptive Insights Business Planning Cloud, companies of all sizes can collaboratively plan and model, easily access real-time analytics, and streamline complex reporting.

With ONE financial planning budgeting software, all the problems stated above are solved instantly.

  1. A single version of the truth: One pool of data that can be viewed in real time
  2. Easily create powerful interactive dashboards, visualizations, and charts of historical data, predictive analytics and more – no tech skills required.
  3. Collaborate seamlessly with integrated workflow and process management for shared insights.
  4. Adaptive improves organization transparency with audit trail and version control. No more wondering who changed what when!
  5. It’s all in the name. Adaptive INSIGHTS.

Those reports that took you three days to create in Excel, can be processed in hours. In fact, planning time is reduced by up to 90% with Adaptive Insights. With all that free time, you can make better and more informed financial decisions using real-time analytics.

Want to know more about what Adaptive Insights can do for you and your company? Download our Planning Data Sheet.

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