New Blog
Check out our latest blog: Deep dive into variance analysis
Read now

Every Story Starts Here

July 11, 2019
Thought Leadership
Formula-free FP&A

Eliminate human error, increase confidence, and shave hours (or more) off your FP&A process.

Book a Demo

Basic Principles Common to All Enterprises

I attended the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) annual convention in Las Vegas, NV, where we have several clients who are regular exhibitors. The slogan for this particular event was “Every Story Starts Here”. This conveys the idea that every content and delivery method (radio, television, cable, Internet, and other forms of delivery) starts with the use of technology represented by the over 1,700 vendors at this convention.

The Evolution of NAB and Technology

I’ve been attending this show since the early Eighties, first as an exhibitor of audio processing equipment used in video post-production, then as a member or non-member, and now as a consultant to three companies in this market segment. Over the years, I’ve seen incredible increases in the size of the show, the number of exhibitors and attendees, and the number of news conferences, show podcasts, photos, and videos.

Over the same period, technology advancements helped the product and service offerings transform from simple radio and television over-the-air broadcasts to global distribution of content via cable, satellite, and over IP (Internet Protocol). The volume of content has also increased dramatically as production and distribution technology advanced. This enormous amount of content is now available for traditional viewing or listening devices (radio and TV) and also for computers and mobile devices globally. Every time you touch a button or select something of interest on your phone, tablet, or any other desktop or mobile device, you are relying on these technologies represented at the NAB convention.

Connecting Technology and FP&A

How is this story connected in any way to our usual topic of finance, planning, and analysis (FP&A)? It’s through the NAB slogan, “Every Story Starts Here”, which can be applied to FP&A and many other facets of business in understanding the significant impact technology is making on all business entities.

Organizations of all types and sizes generally have similar goals and require, in addition to vision and adequate funding, solid and constant planning. For planning to take place across all business units of the enterprise, it requires management commitment to engage in such planning, using leadership by example. This means that planning starts at the top and gets executed on all levels of the organization.

The Role of Technology in Planning

For planning to be effective and support management’s commitment to this practice, certain tools must be employed in the process to make it effective, complete, and accurate. These tools are the products of ever-changing, ever-evolving technology, especially computer hardware and software solutions.

In the area of FP&A, there are many software solutions. Some are for large enterprises, with very complex and lengthy setups, constant maintenance, and very high licensing, upkeep, and training costs. Others are very basic, only able to assist the smallest companies in preparing simple budgets, and some are specifically targeted at the SMB (Small & Medium-Sized Business) market.

Trends in FP&A Software

There is a trend today to move all software applications to the web (cloud) and to allow users to perform their tasks without programming and without using formulas and functions within the application. The move is toward an intelligent process and the ability to quickly perform several or even many iterations on the budget to test various scenarios and assumptions. Another trend developing in this software application category is offering a complete set of forecasted financial statements, synchronized with one another and the underlying budget. This is designed to provide management with insight into the future financial health of the organization and the ability to modify the plan and budget at will to achieve forecasted goals, all without manual calculations or resorting to very complex (and often questionable) financial models.

Embracing New Approaches

Progressive managers are beginning to realize that traditional budgets and their preparation processes, and especially the usefulness of the data in performing analytics functions, are of little or no benefit to their organizations. They are starting to embrace a new approach, one that promises true insight and practical and useful information they can use with greater confidence in their decision-making process.

Vision, Planning, and Execution

This reality is only possible thanks to technology that never stops evolving. As such, every company’s story starts here: Vision, planning, and execution, all relying on powerful and intelligent, technology-enabled processes.

By understanding and integrating these principles and technological advancements, businesses can ensure they are not only keeping up with the pace of change but also leveraging it to achieve their strategic goals and maintain a competitive edge in the market.

  • Error message label
  • Error message label
  • Error message label
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Stay in the loop!

Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date with everything Centage.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Latest posts

Keep reading...

Interviews, tips, guides, industry best practices, and news.

View all Resources