Written by Mark Bodger ACMA, Business Development Director, 21st April 2020.

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Why use a cloud-based Corporate Performance Management (CPM) Solution?

Working from home has highlighted many challenges for companies with on premises planning and reporting solutions, mostly reliant upon Excel.  Key challenges have been a lack of collaboration capability, plus the realisation that without one or two key individuals (being well and able to work) the planning and reporting process is put at risk, delayed or stopped altogether.

By adopting a Cloud-based Corporate Performance Management (CPM) solution you are providing the finance team with an “access from anywhere” system, one that no longer depends on a few key workers.

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What are the key benefits of a CPM?

The greatest value that Cloud-based CPM solutions bring to organisations is that they reduce the finance department’s time and effort spent on data collection and manipulation, freeing them up to undertake more value-added activities, such as analysing data and being able to “tell the story” behind the numbers. A summary of some of the key benefits would include the ability to:

  1. Produce timely and accurate information
    The key to unlocking the value of CPM is to have the ability to report using accurate and meaningful information and have clearly structured performance metrics to support your decision-making process.
  2. Increase standardisation and automation of processes
    A CPM solution will streamline the collection, aggregation and reporting of data from multiple sources, with consistency and increased accuracy – providing faster results with shortened period end close.  By integrating data sources (such as general ledgers and payroll systems) with the CPM, the month-end close cycle is automated.
  3. Eliminate reliance on spreadsheets
    The reduction of risk, both in terms of spreadsheet errors and over reliance on the spreadsheet author.  The latter point is often overlooked, with surprisingly few members of the finance team being able to understand the master spreadsheets.
  4. Have more trust in the data
    As CPM utilises information from validated sources it enables greater control, improved data security and trust in the numbers produced from it.  Like currency, without trust, the information is disregarded by decision makers.
  5. Have greater planning agility
    In today’s complex environment, the finance team need to be able to quickly develop cost, revenue or resource modelling to help them react to changing market conditions and to provide timely information to decision makers.  Without the right tools, this becomes too challenging, short cuts are taken and assumptions are not validated.

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Are there any other issues that a CPM can help with?

In addition to the benefits that cloud-based CPM brings to an organisation, it also addresses the following business issues:

  • A single version of the truth
    A CPM solution will align corporate strategy with the execution of operations to bring about improved cash flow and budget control.  With everyone working to the same plan, the business optimises resource allocation and sets the goal to drive success.
  • More efficient financial processes
    CPM software shortens the time required to collect information, consolidate financial data and generate reports.
  • Non-standard and inconsistent financial data
    By using the self-service reporting facilities built into the CPM software, managers can review standardised financial information across the organisation.

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How does a CPM ensure your company is in safe hands?

If you are looking to replace or reduce your organisation’s reliance on spreadsheets and achieve greater visibility of your company’s performance, a cloud-based CPM solution is the answer.  ICit can help you to design and plan the solution to meet your requirements.  We work collaboratively with the finance team to transfer knowledge, share best practice and to deliver a successful project in a matter of weeks.