OUR BLOG

Hot Finance Topics for Business Leaders

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

The Case for Data Integrations in FP&A Platforms

The Case for Data Integrations in FP&A Platforms, Centage

Business leaders need real-time insight into the business and how it’s performing. Specifically, they need to identify emerging trends — both positive and negative — as early as possible so that they can conduct what-if scenario testing, and make smarter and faster decisions about possible pivots.

Static reports can’t meet this need. To begin, they’re not real time, they’re just snapshots of the business at a previous point in time. And testing multiple scenarios is impossible.

Static reports are also highly manual, and therefore error prone. This leads to a lack of confidence in any decisions based on what they contain. Can numbers compiled manually and memorialized in this spreadsheet be trusted?

Version control adds another layer of complexity when spreadsheets are shared for input. As a result, it’s not a shared version of truth.

More recently, the Great Resignation has prompted people to search for more meaningful work. Talented finance team members want to provide strategic guidance to business leaders, not spend their days entering data. Bogging them down with manual tasks will increase the risk of them leaving.

The Ideal:

In today’s dynamic business environment, executives want “living” budgets that are updated with real-time data and actuals as they occur. At any moment in time they need a clear and up-to-date line of sight into business performance. They also need to plan for a number of scenarios, and to assess the impact of each on the financial statements.

To deliver on that ideal, manual data entry must be eliminated. In its place, all data is ingested and synchronized automatically. They also want hyper fast report creation. Essentially, they want to press a button, and it’s done.

This trifecta — real-time data ingestion, automated scenario planning, and instant and accurate reporting — delivers the insights, shared version of truth and confidence business leaders need.

The Challenge with Data Integrations:

Achieving the FP&A ideal is an enormous data integration undertaking. Every business system formats data differently. Even a standard and universal data point — a date — has myriad formats: 05/10/22, 5/10/2022, 10/5/2022, May 10 22, 10 May 2022, and so on.

Data integrations begins with a data standardization exercise so that all data that is ingested is formatted correctly so that the FP&A platform can be interpreted correctly. It also requires a mechanism, such as an API, to feed data from one system into the other.

The final complexity is flexibility. Every organization has a unique twist on its budgeting and financing, which means they need flexibility in which data is ingested into their FP&A platform, and how it’s processed.

The Solution:

The key to creating living budgets is to partner with an FP&A platform provider that recognizes the strategic advantage of real-time data ingestion into the budget and planning process, and has done the hard work of building integrations.

Data integration — feeding data from one system, such as the GL, directly into the FP&A platform for real-time updating — improves efficiency, reduces manual processing and instills confidence in the numbers.

Centage sees the seamless integration of multiple data sources with Planning Maestro as a strategic imperative. 

To ensure all of our clients benefit from dynamic and real-time planning and budgeting, we’ve pre-built integrations with the leading accounting, GL, ERP and other business systems.

We’ve also built a Professional Services Organization to help our clients integrate their systems and data with Planning Maestro quickly and efficiently.

To Centage, Data Integrations are Table Stakes

The Case for Data Integrations in FP&A Platforms, Centage

Centage sees the seamless integration of multiple data sources with Planning Maestro as a strategic imperative. 

To ensure all of our clients benefit from dynamic and real-time planning and budgeting, we’ve pre-built integrations with the leading accounting, GL, ERP and other business systems.

We’ve also built a Professional Services Organization to help our clients integrate their systems and data with Planning Maestro quickly and efficiently.


A Growing List of Data Integrations: QuickBooks Online Advanced

Recently, Centage and Intuit announced a partnership to offer a new tool, Premium App for QuickBooks Online Advanced. This seamless integration brings QuickBooks Online Advanced data into Planning Maestro where a first-pass budget and key reports can be created quickly and easily. 

Users can run what-if scenarios, collaborate and gather feedback on the budget before exporting it to QuickBooks Online Advanced for approval. Planning Maestro’s powerful reporting capabilities are also available to provide integrated cash flow, balance sheet and income statements and automated, accurate forecasts. 

Are you a QuickBooks Online Advanced user? Sign up here for a free trial of the new integration.

Centage Data Integrator (CDI)

What if your company uses a system not on our list of integrations? Don’t worry, you’re not destined to spend your days manually entering data, or migrating to a system that’s on our list.

Centage’s Data Integrator (CDI) is a standalone application that provides an easy and seamless option to automate the secure transmission of financial information to Planning Maestro. Our engineers designed it to provide quick and simple integration with your GL, ERP and other relevant data sources, whether in the cloud or on-premise. 

Our CDI lets you:

  • Import your chart of accounts and structures while ensuring that all are accurately reflected in Planning Maestro
  • Import actual GL transactions and non-financial activity
  • Perform quick and easy uploads of account summaries to compare to plan, budget, forecast or any other scenario for variance analysis.

Future-Proof Your Business

Organizations across all sectors of the economy have sought to eliminate data silos. The free flow of data is the fuel to spur innovation, competitive advantage, and better customer service.

At Centage, we believe that data silos are equally detrimental to the planning and budgeting processes, which is why we prioritize data integrations.

 

Centage Corporation’s Planning Maestro is a cloud planning & analytics platform that delivers year-round financial intelligence. With Planning Maestro, Centage offers the sophisticated features needed by small and mid-market organizations to integrate budgeting, forecasting, and deep data analysis within one easy-to-use, scalable SaaS solution. For more information on how to modernize your office of finance with intelligent planning, view our product demonstration video, or call 800-366-5111.