Overly complicated systems, reliance on spreadsheets and huge volumes of data are some of the main obstacles financial departments are facing in their financial planning. A recent survey by Accountagility, a London-based firm of financial and IT analysts, found that 70 per cent of finance departments would prefer more frequent planning but were held back by the above-named challenges.
According to the survey, most finance departments carry out their key planning on average twice a year, while 28 per cent are planning once a year.
Inefficiencies in financial planning
The survey also picked out the main inefficiencies involved in the planning process:
- 56 per cent of CFOs and finance directors say that too many spreadsheets are used;
- 51 per cent say huge data volumes are a challenge;
- 49 per cent say that the labour intensity needed to collect, validate, analyse and report on data is also an obstacle to financial planning.
CEO and founder of Accountagility, Robert Gothan, said: “CFOs are being asked to play an increasingly strategic role in the business, but this is compromised by the amount of manual work involved within their planning processes. More efficient planning will enable finance departments to spend less time working in the process, and more time working on the business.”
CTMFile take: Implementing more efficient systems is easier said that done. It could mean a substantial overhaul of processes and investment in IT, which most financial departments don't have the time and resources to undertake. That said, using technology to analyse data and plan is the only way we will see a reduction of spreadsheets and labour intensity.
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