We’ve talked at length about the pains associated with using spreadsheet-based systems for your forecasting and budgeting processes.

Unsurprisingly, software creators publish a lot of content around the value of investing in their product to overcome the pains and challenges of operating in a spreadsheet world. In a ‘Total Economic Impact report on IBM® Planning Analytics, the following benefits of deploying the software are highlighted: 

  • Streamlined budgeting process, with 63% less time spent on completing the annual budgeting cycle 
  • Streamlined reporting process 
  • Streamlined forecasting process, with 70% less time spent creating forecasts 
  • 80% less time spent on planning system processing 

Don’t let fear of a software implementation hold you back

These benefits are undeniably impressive but we understand that sometimes the idea of a major software overhaul can seem like too big a change – particularly in times of crisis. You’re already experiencing regular acute pain from an ongoing, chronic problem, and don’t want to add a large technology update to the situation.  

Implementing new software sounds expensive, time-consuming and fraught with risk, perhaps you’ve had negative experiences in the past. You’re envisaging analysing and mapping existing processes and data flows; engaging with vendors; making business cases; getting CAPEX sign-off; executing an RFP process; and then making a decision and undergoing implementation, testing and support during the initial roll-out.    

We’re here to tell you it doesn’t need to be that painful! 

Your targeted, scalable solution

You can eradicate one of the most common pain points for your organisation quickly, without fuss and at an affordable cost. Many of the Planning Analytics projects we work on start with replicating the monthly consolidate and close process. We take your data and build everything to produce the balance sheet, P&L and cash flow models.  

The basics for producing financial statements can be achieved with just a few user licences and as little as 5–10 days of consultancy. Those software licences don’t have a prohibitive cost; the foundations of a strong system for your FP&A activities can be achieved within the capability of Planning Analytics on Demand$45 per month delivers a server and the admin licence; subsequent users can be added for $40 per month.  

Once the initial build is completed you can then iteratively expand the capability step-by-step. Start with your obvious monthly challenges and then target individual pain points or opportunities one-by-one. Projects can be assessed on their merits and working through the process in small steps not only reduces risk levels but also accrues a predictable ROI at every stage. 

Build out at your own pace

The flexibility and scalability of the Planning Analytics platform allows you to start small and grow at a pace that is sustainable for your individual business. Working with the support of our expert consultants ensures that all progress you make will be configured for your long-term needs and set to accommodate future additions. We can build your system, put you in control and provide ongoing support as new challenges and opportunities arise for your business.  

Don’t let a fear of the perceived pain of a software implementation force you to accept the actual pain you’re experiencing each month. You can make a change that works for your organisation, removes current issues and improves your performance.  

Consider the value your improved FP&A function could bring to your business if they were no longer using multiple days each month just for the consolidate and close process. Get in touch today to discover exactly how valuable Planning Analytics could be to you.  

Simon Bradshaw

I have worked in finance and business systems development since 2001 and am an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. In 2016 I became a founding member of Spitfire Analytics, a consultancy specialising in IBM Planning Analytics. We are committed to building long-term relationships across all industries. I focus on my CPD through CIMA and IBM badges, ensuring I am always abreast of best practice and developments within the industry.


Spitfire have a depth of understanding not only in Cognos/TM1 technologies, but also in finance and accounting. It is this combination of expertise and their ability to get to the heart of business problems that has resulted in such confidence in their delivery and capabilities. The insight and value-add they have brought is evident.

- Peter Smith, Head of Solution Delivery, Edrington

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