Welcome to the Strafford Blog

Welcome to the Strafford Blog

Roadmap to Finance Planning and Budgeting Efficiency

Posted by Jamie Carpentier

Apr 26, 2017 11:26:38 AM

RoadMap to PB Efficiency Image (002).jpg 

What does the roadmap look like for your finance organization? Based on our experience working alongside finance teams and talking to clients, the roadmap below may sound familiar.

  • You Are Here. Finance has to focus on margin and earnings performance, while preparing for economic and organizational challenges. There are lots of issues that prevent Finance from efficiently organizing and securing the vast amounts of data required for metrics that are used in strategic decision-making.
  • A Bumpy Road. Management wants to use the budget and forecast as tools to track strategic initiatives. The length of budget cycles, the difficulty of manual consolidation, an inability to confirm that data is up to date, and inefficient reporting and access to data, are all challenges to the mandate that Finance faces by relying on spreadsheets. You’re stuck in the process of spreadsheets, data collection, and collating, and you’re concerned about your organization’s ability to maneuver past unforeseen business obstacles. You spend way too much time every year in the annual budgeting process, only to find that the forecast and budget are outdated as soon as they are published. You need to modernize your current environment.
  • Spare Tire. What are the costs of repeating the existing budgeting and planning cycle going forward? What is driving stakeholder decisions and the business? How can we bring more efficient business processes to our financial planning and analysis?

    Strafford has helped hundreds of finance teams slap on the spare by simply upgrading their Hyperion applications. Simply using the latest versions of your existing tools is the best way to collect and deliver information more quickly and accurately. It is also the best way to leverage functionality that addresses your current financial reporting challenges. 
  • Fork in the Road. You can maintain the status quo. Or you can use technology to automate manual tasks like budgeting, forecasting, and data consolidation. You could have a common data repository for planners and managers to retrieve reliable, updated data. This could provide high-level top-down budgeting and what-if scenarios based on base-level budgets and data that allow management to react quickly.

    Focus on finance, not your finance systems. You know the benefits to the cloud but perhaps you are wondering how to get there. We have helped businesses like yours pave the way by performing a cloud-readiness assessment to determine your suitability and readiness for cloud services. Migrating to the cloud may be the best direction. 
  • Roadside Assistance. Help is available from Finance consulting firms. When considering budgeting and forecasting, and consolidatin and reporting solutions that will meet current and future needs, you must look for the best fit – what users, what data, what time. And as finance applications grow over time, you’ll have to review for similar features and redundancies, while ensuring there are ways to access data across the organization. How do you choose the right consultants for your organization? Here are some questions to consider:
  1. Where are we in the process?
  2. Do we need help with diagnosis or implementation?
  3. Is the project approach an iterative approach that is centered on the business user?
  4. Are we meeting today’s needs and also planning for the future?
  5. Can we move to the Cloud and secure our data?
  6. Do your consultants have experience and expertise in the financial sector?



  • Dealership. There is no better way to implement business process or systems change than by ensuring significant business user participation. It is important to have business users involved before, during and after any engagement. New processes must ensure that your staff get the right knowledge, perspective and hands-on work to be 100% proficient with the new tool.  The project should be designed to ensure significant knowledge transfer and mentoring throughout the process, to facilitate ongoing active administration of any process or system once the engagement is over.

    At Strafford, we distinguish ourselves by offering our clients direct guidance throughout technology selection, scoping, and implementation road mapping to ensure success. We take an exceptional approach to all our projects by focusing on the business user’s process and productivity. Our successful Front-to-Back approach is multi-phased with incremental releases of functionality. This helps business users participate actively and leverage their acquired knowledge of the tool. This leads to faster productivity and decreasing risk of budget/timeline overruns.

Strafford provides EPM, BI, ERP and Advisory consulting services to finance organizations looking to improve their budgeting, planning, consolidation and reporting cycles. We are an Oracle Platinum Partner who specializes in Hyperion application environments, and we also provide consulting and advisory services to SAP BPC users. We are ready to help you get you out of your legacy “clunker” and into a new, sleek, efficient model that will last you well into the future.

Contact us to learn more >



Topics: Consolidation and Close, Budgeting and Forecasting, Financial Reporting, Cloud Hosting, Cloud EPM