Like many FP&A professionals, you probably have a love-hate relationship with forecasting. The rush to reconcile data from multiple sources, the scramble to pull together hundreds of spreadsheets, the hope that all the numbers line up—all to check whether the business is on track compared to the annual plan. Creating responsive and dynamic plans, budgets, and forecasts is difficult with manual, spreadsheet-based tools. Rolling forecasts can help.
Rolling forecasts provide a continuous forecast over a specific time horizon (usually 12-24 months), moving actuals forward each month on a rolling basis and making it easier for decision-makers to see what’s happening in real time. Whereas budgets capture thousands of line items, rolling forecasts reflect specific business drivers such as risk, profit, and working capital. Static, point-in-time forecasts simply cannot keep up with today’s rapid-fire business environment.
Rolling forecasts are an integral part of an active planning process—giving stakeholders the information they need to make data-backed decisions in response to the current business environment.
Static planning processes are spreadsheet-driven, manual, and time-intensive. Static planning also keeps stakeholders—even finance—in the dark about how the company is really doing. The role of forecasts is to shed light on performance against budgets and plans, but if those forecasts contain old information, they’re ineffective.
An active planning process, on the other hand, enables continuous check-ins through rolling forecasts so you can see whether your company is on track with its KPIs. Active planning puts real-time reports in the hands of decision-makers and empowers the finance team to create continuous, rolling forecasts.
Active planning enables you to:
Surviving today’s rapidly changing business environment requires more than an annual plan that is static and inflexible. The Business Planning Cloud gives finance teams the tools they need to incorporate rolling forecasts and implement an active planning process that enables:
Rolling forecasts can close the gap between data and decisions by increasing forecast accuracy and streamlining the forecasting process. With the Business Planning Cloud, you can accurately forecast using real-time, comprehensive financials from the cloud.
Active planning with the Business Planning Cloud allows you to:
For the Alternative Futures Group (AFG), a health and social nonprofit based in the UK, implementing a rolling eight-quarter forecast put updated financial data into the hands of decision-makers. Before Adaptive Insights, AFG used a spreadsheet-based process, which made it extremely difficult to run timely forecasts, model multiple scenarios, and assemble and reconcile all of the spreadsheets used throughout the company.
The Business Planning Cloud helped streamline the planning process, freeing resources to provide better health services to more people in the UK.
Implementing the Business Planning Cloud allowed AFG to: