IBP planning and forecasting challenges


- 3 min read

How does Integrated Business Planning overcome the challenges of FP&A?

In the Office of Finance today, CFOs face a multitude of challenges across planning and forecasting. Traditional planning models lack the flexibility to successfully connect strategic, financial, and operational business functions in an integrated approach, hindering the overall output of an organization’s Financial Planning & Analytics (FP&A) processes.  

An innovative approach is needed to transform legacy ways of working in the Office of Finance and empower CFOs to be critical strategic planners within the enterprise. 

The role of the modern CFO 

The role of the CFO has evolved into an interesting and unique position for many forward-looking businesses. Moving beyond the more historical (and outdated) view of being ‘bean-counters’ and guardians of many, many spreadsheets, the modern CFO has more control over the operational side of their company than ever before.  

For this to happen, however, the CFO must have the ability to connect financial and operational planning. This undertaking can be challenging to manage without the right digital platform underpinning it.  

Integrated Business Planning (IBP) is a best-practice approach that makes this challenge highly achievable. With IBP, silos of data are broken down, and strategic, financial, and operational planning is linked together to produce optimal driver- and outcome-based success for the CFO and the business. At the core of this is a Decision-Making Platform, a singular solution that drives unity and integration across the entire enterprise. 

Common FP&A challenges facing the modern CFO 

Disjointed tools form the core of common challenges faced by the CFO and the wider business. Different platforms for Business Intelligence (BI), financial planning, operational planning, predictive analytics, and more create a maelstrom of complexity when building decision-making processes that benefit the organization. 

Other typical issues that impact the Office of Finance include: 

  • inadequate or missing workflow governance 
  • difficulty in measuring and managing performance 
  • lack of flexibility to connect financial models to planning 
  • little to no alignment between finance and sales and operational planning 
  • reliance on gut feeling rather than data-led predictive forecasting 
  • inability to adapt to changing industry conditions, especially at the pace demanded in the modern market. 

Clearly, there are significant obstacles for the CFO to navigate.  

How does IBP overcome these challenges? 

IBP addresses all these challenges. Put in simple terms, IBP connects strategy, finance, and operations. It delivers an integrated approach to planning processes that span sales and operations planning (S&OP), demand planning, and supply planning. Analysis, forecasting, simulation, and planning are more easily integrated into a single solution, along with different planning capabilities, including scenario modeling, impact analysis, rolling planning, and driver-based planning. 

Organizations gain a 360-degree view of their planning and operations led by a powerful and highly flexible approach. Regarded as best-practice, IBP drives decision-making with driver- and outcome-based results. The finance function can see the ‘whole picture,’ benefitting CFOs with a holistic view of the business to focus on the entire process and not just tackle one area at a time.

With technology capabilities being pushed to greater heights in the modern age, IBP can incorporate massive volumes of data at a level of granularity never seen before. Mobile devices also enable planning on the go, a powerful asset for global enterprises with workforces split across various locations. In a similar vein, cloud computing utilizes the advantages of IBP, making it easier for businesses to share a single planning model globally using a standardized data capture method, and eliminating the need for intermediate spreadsheets. 

All in all, IBP empowers more collaborative decision-making. More is now possible. IBP can now offer unprecedented scalability and an end-to-end planning process, from the initial planning phase to a complete global roll-out. 

Learn more about overcoming FP&A challenges with IBP 

Through the unified planning platforms that are now available, CFOs have more control over the fate of their company. Integrated Business Planning brings strategic, financial, and operational planning together, solving many classic planning problems.  

Download the Board eBook to learn more about how IBP can take your finance function to the next level and overcome FP&A challenges facing the Office of Finance.

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Overcoming FP&A challenges with IBP

Learn how Integrated Business Planning can take your finance function to the next level in this exclusive Board eBook