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Frequent Rolling Forecasts Drive Precise Decision-Making Throughout Organization

Investment Firm Easily Identifies Trends, Measures Key Performance Indicators With Intuitive Financial Dashboards

In an ever-changing financial landscape, is it possible to predict what’s coming beyond the horizon? Investment firm AGF knows that’s achievable with a sophisticated performance analysis. The firm deepened its reporting and forecasting of several key performance indicators using the robust capabilities of Adaptive Planning and Adaptive Discovery. Visual analytics made it easier to identify trends across its operations. The flexibility of scenario-planning enabled AGF to make strategic, course-altering decisions much quicker no matter what lies ahead.

Challenges

  • Used a multitude of spreadsheets to complete enterprise planning and reporting
  • Aggregating operational data was far too complex using an outdated financial forecasting process
  • Inadequate understanding of historical business metrics and trends vs. present and future performance

Results

  • Finance now helps operational leaders gain instant visual insights into financial performance via Adaptive Discovery
  • Several days cut out of the forecasting and reporting process each month, and at least one full week out of the annual budgeting practice
  • Rolling, eight-quarter forecasting and reporting process that now drives more strategic, long-term business decisions
About:
AGF Management Limited is one of Canada’s premier independent investment management firms, with offices across Canada and various worldwide subsidiaries. AGF serves more than one million investors, has more than $35 billion in total assets under management, and trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol AGF.B. The company’s products include a diversified family of mutual funds, mutual fund wrap programs, and pooled funds.
Location:
Toronto, Canada
Industry:
Financial Services

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Discovery Dashboards Provide Deeper, Clearer View into Core Business Drivers

To date, AGF has deployed six dashboards in Adaptive Discovery, each dedicated tomeasuring the following KPIs: assets under management (AUM)  vs. budget, summaryof revenue, selling, general, and administrative expenses (SGA, net income, EBITDA vs. budget, and headcount by function vs. budget).

"Adaptive Discovery is making it much easier for us to identify business trends than by simply looking at raw numbers," Quinn explained.

"Finance is driving how we gain instant visual insights from the data, and now we are rolling out Discovery dashboards for marketing, sales, and our entire senior executive staff."

AGF Meets FP&A Efficiency Goals & More

AGF’s current FP&A process is decidedly more efficient than it was when the Finance team worked exclusively with spreadsheets. The company began pushing the limitations of widespread Excel files as it grew in size and number of departments.

According to Quinn, that changed when AGF implemented Adaptive Planning, which has cut several days out of the forecasting and reporting process and at least one full week out of the annual budgeting practice. "We’re saving at least two days each month in FP&A work, and can tell the story of what’s happening with the business across all dimensions much sooner than before with Adaptive," Quinn said.

No Surprises in Financial Performance

By cutting the time it takes to complete consolidated budgets, plans, and reports, AGF’s Finance team can now complete more sophisticated performance analysis. This includes building an integrated financial model for assets under management and another for costs of commissions earned by investment advisors. The team has also helped HR to automatically import HR data into Adaptive to produce a payroll model and effectively forecast compensation and benefits costs, complete with reporting and variance indicators.

"All of our departmental reports also come out of Adaptive Planning," Quinn said. "It’s helping employees across the business to better focus on their performance against goals and take more ownership of plans, budgets, and forecasts. There are no surprises in financial performance anymore."

Rolling Forecasting Precision Leads to Clearer Data-Driven Decisions

Using Adaptive, AGF has instilled a rolling eight quarter forecast and reporting process so that decision-makers are easily updated with the financial data needed to make important, long-term business decisions.

"The high level of data integrity within Adaptive allows us to confidently run scenarios and make more strategic, course-altering decisions much quicker," Quinn added. "Everyone is more thoughtful about the numbers than before, which has helped us to conduct a deeper analysis of our business that really guides the direction of the company."

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