Can you see all those invisible key performance indicators (KPIs) that can grow or kill your company’s growth, progress, and ultimate success? When you don’t have a clear target, those KPIs can seem like little gremlins just waiting to undermine and destroy any progress you’ve made. You simply can’t afford to allow anything to distract you from your focus on achieving success, starting with your financial planning and analysis (FP&A).
Financial planning and analysis (FP&A) is the only function capable of delivering the comprehensive view you need across all your departments. However, those job roles are extremely complicated and time-consuming, made even more so with their siloed data repositories and divergent KPIs.
To mitigate these fundamental issues, your FP&A staff needs to work smarter. They also need to understand how to sync up with key C-level execs to better forecast an accurate, holistic, actionable view of a company’s financial future. As you begin to build a complete mission-critical financial understanding of your trajectory, you can follow these key steps to achieve success.
Getting buy-in from key C-level execs is not always easy. They may have varying priorities for budgetary considerations. They may lack understanding and appreciation for how developing a financial understanding is so crucial.
Take a strategic approach as you explain to your stakeholders how a holistic understanding and unification of data across the entire organization will:
- Generate greater collaboration
- Improve employee satisfaction
- Streamline your workflow
- Maximize your performance potential
- Help you achieve success
Even if you have a cloud-based system that breaks down data silos across your organization, you still need to check in with each department regularly. It’s about more than just making a connection and showing you want to hear what they have to say. You’re also encouraging your teams and employees to invest in your company’s growth and improvement process.
You may think of that walk-around approach as the olden days. Who does that anymore? There’s a reason that the hands-on approach worked in the past, and that’s why you should revisit the habit and begin to see how valuable it is to your company’s success now. Listen to your employees to discover how you can improve their work lives while supporting every effort to work smarter in ever-more effective and streamlined ways.
What are the KPIs? To build trust for your FP&A forecasts, you need to include the relevant KPIs that different departments track. You need to ensure that you are all looking at the same KPIs and the most relevant ones for each department.
Some departments may be driven by issues that don’t show up in spreadsheets, like supply chain delays that are not mentioned in many dashboards but have an outsized impact on the entire operation.
Watch out for inefficient processes and procedures. They may seem innocuous enough until you dig deeper and discover that those layers of nonsensical work obscure a lack of understanding and knowledge.
These are perfect opportunities to implement more realistic and actionable procedures across your organization, but it may be time for more in-depth (verified) training as well.
Just because you think you understand how the departments operate doesn’t mean that you haven’t missed something. So, document the process and optimize it as you go along, but also check in with your team to ensure you understand that your documented process and result synch up with what the team is trying to accomplish.
As you check your perceptions and listen to your team, you demonstrate that it’s a team effort and a collaborative space with all hands on deck. You’re also fundamentally changing how your employees see you and your company. That’s the insight that you and your teams can turn into action, progress, and growth.
After all, those FP&A forecasts are a bit like GPS. They should be a guide, showing you where you want to go. If you don’t understand the true essence of the process or the target you’re aiming for, your forecasts won’t deliver the key details you need. That means wasted time and energy as you retrace your steps to determine where you went wrong and how to fix your forecast.
Contact Next Quarter if your company needs support or guidance as you turn your company-wide data into actionable insights for your revenue forecasting efforts. If you don’t know where to start, we can help. We’re also here if you’ve been doing forecasting for years and you just need a fresh perspective and insights to get you to the next level with your business. Next Quarter offers proven solutions that will turn your database into an accurate forecasting engine. Schedule a demo with us today to see what we can do for you.