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5 Ways Financial Forecasting Future-Proofs Your Annual Budget

January 3, 2024
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As we ring in a new year and brace for all of the opportunities and challenges it will bring, one resolution should be near the top of the list for finance professionals: embracing flexible financial forecasting to future-proof your annual budget.

Financial forecasting gives businesses the agility to adapt to changing conditions. Depending on how insulated your industry is from change, such agility in the financial forecasting process might be an advantage, or it might be an absolute necessity.

Centage’s FP&A software lets you move beyond traditional budgeting and accounting by delivering a flexible forecasting solution tailored to meet the demands of today’s business environment. Here’s how our dedicated FP&A software for flexible forecasting can make your annual budget more resilient and your finance team more responsive.

The need for flexibility in financial forecasting

The conventional approach to annual budgeting often involves rigid plans that struggle to accommodate unforeseen changes. Setting flexible forecasting as a goal at the beginning of the year is a solid strategic move to counterbalance this rigidity. It's about embracing dynamic financial forecasting methods that adjust seamlessly to market shifts, unexpected expenses, and sudden opportunities.

Here's how Centage can help you turn this resolution into a reality.

1. Agile scenario planning

Navigate uncertainty with confidence

Centage empowers finance teams to navigate uncertainties by offering agile scenario planning. Our FP&A software lets you quickly and easily test assumptions, simulate potential market fluctuations, and explore different business scenarios. This feature allows you to make well-informed decisions based on a comprehensive understanding of how your budget will respond to diverse conditions, ensuring your financial forecasts are resilient and adaptable.

2. Real-time data insights

Stay ahead of the curve

Outdated information can lead to missed opportunities and misinformed decisions. Centage provides real-time data insights, offering a snapshot of your organization's financial health at your fingertips. Stay ahead of the curve by updating your forecasts with up-to-the-minute information, enabling you to respond promptly to emerging trends and run agile reforecasts as needed.

3. Streamlined financial statements

Boost efficiency

Efficiency is the cornerstone of successful financial management. Centage streamlines the financial reporting process by generating precise, integrated, and synchronized cash flow, balance sheet, and P&L statements. Say goodbye to manual data entry errors and tedious, duplicated efforts. With a few clicks, you can drill down from summary to detailed data, gaining valuable insights into risks, opportunities, and variances effortlessly.

4. Year-round forecasting

Spot changes quickly and adapt on the fly

Annual budgets often fall short in the face of evolving business conditions. Centage empowers year-round forecasting capabilities, allowing you to run detailed forecasts throughout the year without sacrificing time spent on other elements of your financial planning and analysis process. Our FP&A software’s built-in capabilities and seamless GL/ERP integrations facilitate a continuous forecasting cycle, ensuring that your budget remains aligned with your strategic goals despite market fluctuations.

5. Proactive course correction

Effectively mitigate risk

Centage not only identifies discrepancies, but also equips you with the tools for proactive course correction throughout the fiscal year. Identify potential risks and forecast errors early, understand the reasons behind variations in actuals versus plans, and take corrective actions swiftly. This proactive approach ensures that your organization can effectively mitigate risk, making your budget a dynamic tool rather than a fixed guidepost that can’t roll with changing conditions.


Supercharge your forecasting with dedicated FP&A software


Financial forecasting with Centage: Case studies

Many of our customers already utilize Centage’s financial forecasting capabilities in their day-to-day operations.

Mountain View Hospital in Idaho Falls, for example, was able to eliminate a 2-3 data entry process for their forecasting, making their FP&A process much faster and nimbler. The budgeting and forecasting process at Mountain View reflects the hands-on nature of their business, with several department heads routinely entering volume and expense expectations directly into the system. After switching to Centage, Mountain View’s individual cost center managers were trained to understand how drivers, sales volume, and financial data interact to create more accurate forecast reports. This enabled them to recognize how a seemingly independent cost item would vary with a known metric, unlocking new ways to model and compare scenarios.

Moving from Excel to Centage’s FP&A software also enhanced detailed forecasting for Houston-based energy company M3 Midstream (aka Momentum). Their Controller, Gina Cole, views flexible forecasting across entities as an essential component of her function: “For each of six operating companies on separate SAGE general ledgers, we need to provide an annual budget and series of quarterly forecast revisions including projecting cash flow requirements over the course of the year. We were spending far too much time chasing down broken links and double-checking formulas for errors.”

M3 Midstream now creates their annual budget twice as fast than they could using spreadsheets, and managers from across the organization now gather in virtual forecast planning sessions to watch how discussed strategy changes would impact their budgets. With each change to assumptions, they can verify the projected effect in real time.

“When we started looking at solutions to help manage our process, we knew we needed one that had very detailed cash forecasting capabilities, and that led us to Centage. We also liked the fact that the solution has user-defined drivers to create and revise our budget and forecasts automatically as we adjust these key volume and rate metrics.”

Gina Cole, Controller, M3 Midstream LLC (aka Momentum)

A resolution that’s easy to keep: Flexible forecasting with dedicated FP&A software

As you set your resolutions for the new fiscal year, consider making flexible forecasting a top priority. Centage lets you embrace a flexible and agile approach to budgeting while also empowering your organization to thrive in the face of change.

Future-proof your new annual budget and improve your company's financial resilience with the industry-leading capabilities of Centage’s FP&A software. Make flexibility in financial forecasting your mantra to thrive in the new year.

Book a demo to see Centage’s financial forecasting capabilities in action.

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