If you’ve worked through static, spreadsheet-based forecasting processes then you know it can be a time-consuming nightmare. Manual spreadsheet reports are convoluted tasks with multiple links and formulas across several spreadsheets with workbooks from different departments that have to be emailed and imported.
At some point, you might wonder if there’s an easier way to overcome the pains of Excel. Enter: web-based enterprise tools. In addition to automating forecast processes, advanced software eliminates most human error, improves forecast accuracy, enables what-if testing and scenario planning, and lets various users collaborate in real time, regardless of location.
Let’s start with automation and how it increases accuracy and usability so you can focus on the big picture: cash flow and business strategy.
Why automation is needed now in cash flow forecasting
A Deloitte-WSJ study found that 63 percent of those surveyed believe technological advances will primarily change their products and services, while 55 percent think tech advances will change how their industry operates. As information technology marches forward, automation is increasingly prevalent in the minds of C-suite executives, including CFOs and high-level budget managers.
Those in rapidly growing organizations see first hand how the more operations expand, the more there is to manage simply to stay abreast of the health of the firm. This includes how potential changes will affect inventory, sales, budget projections, and more.
This is where automation, and forecast and optimization engines, can streamline or eliminate manual work processes, and inform business strategy with data-based calculations. This is essential to minimizing error in forecasting and risk in planning, be it for sales, operations, finance, or the entire enterprise.
Why cash flow forecasting
Understanding cash flow is vital to running a business. When times are lean, accurately forecasting cash flow is imperative. That’s where forecasting software can help with even the smallest changes. It gives you central control of your data with a thousand times the speed and functionality of Excel.
Benefits of best-of-breed cash flow forecasting include:
- Forecast automation: Eliminate manual labor and ensure that you’re always using the best possible forecast method per data set.
- Single forecast: Maintain a single version of the truth that is accessible to multiple users and updated instantly across the entire organization when changes are made.
- Modeling and simulation: Perform unlimited what-if testing and scenario planning on a scale that is simply not possible using spreadsheets.
- Audit trail: Know which changes were made, when they occurred, by whom, and why.
Your financials don’t have to be a spreadsheet nightmare any longer. Automate financial and cash-flow forecasting so you can focus on what matters: business strategy and growth.