Successful senior finance executives must have a firm grasp on their company’s current cash position while keeping an eye on future capital needs. But in reality, forecasting the balance sheet is not always a priority in finance organizations. Even corporate giants have been seen to publicly struggle with plummeting cash-flow projections and overcome unexpected cash-flow shortfalls.
Traditional strategies such as “cash plugging” to fill gaps in the budget forecast don’t solve the problem. Also, a heavy reliance on spreadsheets — which can be error-prone and poorly maintained — for managing cash makes it difficult to get an accurate view of the company’s cash requirements.
Progressive senior finance leaders are turning to connected and collaborative systems to help overcome some of the barriers to effectively managing cash. Corporate Performance Management (CPM) software can help create more accurate and effective forecasts by integrating accounting and treasury data. These systems support more in-depth analysis of the fluctuations in the company’s cash position for more precise forecasts.
With greater visibility into performance, CPM users can keep tabs on how closely they are tracking to plan and make adjustments before a simple cash-flow issue becomes a problem that impacts the business’s ability to compete. CPM solutions also help to ease the reliance on cash-flow forecasts based on short-term events. Data from various operational areas of the organization can be gathered and collected in a single repository to provide a long-range view of cash projections.
Many CPM adopters realize the value these platforms can provide. They report spending less time gathering data, freeing them up to focus on strategic planning and long-range business forecasts.
For more information on how CPM tools can improve cash-flow planning, visit www.prophix.com.