Ten Minute Overview
Budget management is a painstaking task often executed with limited transparency into assumptions, or even broad collaborative buy-in to the underlying process. What follows is an overview of what is possible with latest technologies and explores some of the options available for you to start freeing your team’s time from transactional processes to financial management, leveraging real time commissions to maximise operational outcomes, not to mention providing you with increased confidence into your ongoing and final budget pack submissions.
Designed at the lowest granular level our scalable solution is an agile purpose built end user driven platform optimised for accounting system management. It is designed to leverage the best of what you use today x-subsystem, remove shortcomings in your current pervasive use of spreadsheets, or remove them altogether from the financial management process, and can handle specific complex budgeting tasks undertaken by a few focused specialists, as well as the main broader budget processes for SME’s and large corporate enterprises. As a testament to its granular transformational power this scalable solution comes from the same family as our Consolidation solution that enables the automation of the entire transformational consolidation process, including notes to the accounts, for SME’s and large diverse multinational conglomerates.
- Solution can be used by domain end users with reduced IT involvement across subsystems from multiple vendors for line of business (LOB), regional, and global budgeting needs, including any remote shared service centres or even for constantly moving date M&A scenario planning; management accounting optimisation helps on budgeting for Operations, Financial Management, Expenses, HR Workforce Planning, Capex Planning, Procurement Planning, Balance Sheet Management, Projects, Financial Close, Treasury, Risk Reviews and all executed with the required compliant flows. Supports rolling budgets, zero based budgeting, use of spreadsheets or fully removing them, and USALI
- Provides a systematic and transparent approach i.e. you can produce standard operating procedures (SOP). Solves versioning and data integrity issues with fully auditable and repeatable financial management processes, as well as ensuring that latest forms are always being used for submission. For clarity removes shortcomings associated with the use of spreadsheets whist retaining their familiar look n’ feel or removing them altogether over time
- Optimised for domain end-users to define and automate budget processes x-systems from 1) data collection 2) through all required transformational flows to 3) reporting @anywhere with optionally integrated capabilities for Continual Monitoring and Business Simulations, noting that all of these discrete stages can be tackled by your teams sequentially, or in parallel. In fact specific accounting system process functionality can be reused as needed as a means to speed up the development for other areas that would separately reutilise the same or similar steps
- Budgeting processes are fully auditable for trace back to original source data and are repeatable on-demand with full segregation of duties
- Ease of use is simplified further through a simple UX to access the required latest budget forms for completion that is simple with no clutter. Process owner(s) use Smart Spaces and can collaborate with other team members for iterative overall behind the scene operational improvements
- Processes are not constrained meaning that in more complex areas, for example Capex Planning, instructions for users can be more extensive to reduce initial errors caused through misunderstandings or ambiguity, plus any connected dependencies can be handled eg a need to change fit out to accommodate a larger asset or a specific part replacement within existing equipment etc
- Provides for highly flexible ultra-granular data handling for both complex tasks and complex budgeting processes; examples of the former might be lease management, data mappings, allocations, closed loop intercompany transactions, or inventory valuations etc at local and consolidated level, all handled by a few staff with the latter complex processes being the more pervasive budget flows and their related management across departments and entities
- Enables detailed tags to be added @anytime to help with tracing the source and calculation method behind data. For example in allocations, to aid with subsequent reviews as to how a budget number was originally calculated or indeed where a number originated from in the first place in a consolidated financial management process
- Work’s with today’s diverse data types allowing you to bring relevant data together for additional validations across the enterprise
- On an ongoing basis supports both contextual actionable workflows that also are presented with supporting information and self-service analytics, that can be directed to relevant users based on ranked on the fly outcomes @anytime within an ongoing process
- For larger deployments management can also be kept fully informed as to the progress against the budget timetable, or non-progress as the case might be. In fact collection of initial numbers etc can be done with optional auto-chase & auto pre-validation capabilities, the latter that might be used for example for checking adherence to any top down driven key KPI’s at the HQ level
- For ongoing budget management supports the creation of secure Employee Self Service (ESS) and Management Self Service (MSS) applications for relevant departmental solutions, together with controls to ensure that expenditure is always in line with corporate policy ie within budget limits and executed against tiered approval levels for procurement or expenses
- Process management for budgets and actuals can use the same methodology to squeeze out profit rather than using high level estimations during the initial and ongoing planning exercises. This is particularly useful for a) constantly changing and evolving scenarios eg cost planning related to HR resource management, including compensation calculation scenarios or b) extending processes deeper into an organisation to release value eg automate the building of the report pack sent to HQ and at HQ automate processes once packs received noting that local requirements can also be handled as part of this exercise at entity level
- Budgets can be more inclusive to more stakeholders, thereby allowing broader collaborative involvement from more domain owners for increased accuracy
- What If scenarios capabilities can be deployed that leverage the current state of latest technologies for simultaneous rankings of goals based on the variables in play
- As processes become better integrated from start to end more focus can be placed on value creation initiatives. For example in retail for front facing operational management staff to proactively motivate in-store staff through the use of latest relevant data points.
The above serves as an introduction to some of the options available within our scalable budgeting and FP&A platform in the financial management system that enables you to drive value creation across the enterprise to release time for further innovation.
FlexSystem is a business software vendor to 1 in 10 Forbes Global 2000 (May 2020) and 1 in 5 Global Fortune 500 (August 2020), operating at the intersection of new process and payment technologies to provide you with iterative opportunities for value creation with or without AI at both gross and net margin levels.