As a result of rapid acquisition growth, a leading SaaS company identified significant gaps in its forecasting process and planning application. Not only was the existing technology architecture unable to meet current forecasting and planning demands, but the bolted-together application was incapable of scaling to evolving FP&A needs and was reinforcing suboptimal segregation of duties. This had negative collateral ramifications on associated FP&A processes, resulting in too much time locating key information and not enough time analyzing it.
The FP&A team was spending 90% of its time simply gathering information from various sources, modules, and stakeholders, making it virtually impossible to conduct meaningful, efficient planning.
How We Helped
Over the course of three months, CrossCountry led an end-to-end assessment of the client’s FP&A function, including analysis of the current-state planning tool.
“CrossCounty’s analysis and recommendations helped streamline out FP&A process, allowing our team to shift our focus to core planning and analysis activities. Shifting the purchase order PO review and accrual process to the respective PO owners shortened our close and reporting process by 3 days.”Client FP&A Lead
From this assessment, one of the key findings was that the finance department was actually performing a multitude of non-finance activities, such as purchase order reviews and accruals. Finance was effectively subsidizing other business functions, including accounting and procurement, and lacked governance to reroute workflows to appropriate teams.
To help address this problem and others, CrossCountry designed and delivered a(n):
- Future-state process architecture for planning and forecasting.
- New planning data model (e.g., chart of accounts and KPIs) and a functional design of a new planning tool.
- Implementation roadmap.
- FP&A target operating model that decentralized planning across multiple functions.
- Surge support and automations for monthly forecasting and actuals reporting process.
- Future-state purchase order review and approval process as defined by leading practices.
The combination of these solutions challenged the client to approach enterprise performance management in new ways, backed by technology that had cross-functional reach and processes that clearly defined owners and timelines.
After the solutions were implemented, the client quickly realized 20 hours of labor savings per week, mostly from the automation of manual data preparation.
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From an organizational perspective, the streamlined planning tool moved teams to a driver-based planning approach. This enabled the client’s departments to work in unison toward defined business drivers, generating greater precision, productivity, collaboration, and alignment across planning, forecasting, and analysis processes.
With new visibility uncovered, leaders were able to eliminate process waste by shifting non-FP&A work to appropriate functions, which also shed light on true headcount needs per business line. CrossCountry further supported this effort by creating an integration between the planning application and the human resource management system, enabling the client to track new hires, evaluate skills gaps, and align human capital to financial priorities.
This redesigned approach to enterprise planning right-sized and right-costed the organization’s current state while empowering functional leaders to make strategic, efficient decisions for the future.