With ongoing technological advances in the areas of analytics and business intelligence (BI), line of business users may be tempted to restrict FP&A to the finance function.

The FP&A team’s traditional focus on financial metrics could leave them isolated, leading to confusion and missed opportunity across the organisation. The goal is to provide good management information (MI) to enable those in leadership positions to make positive decisions. MI is not just about different parts of a business telling each other things, it is about measuring performance and identifying potential risks.

When finance teams confine their analysis to individual spreadsheets saved on local computers and inaccessible to the rest of the business, it leads to, at best: a lack of visibility; at worst: contradictory numbers.

Using data to drive strategic decisions

It’s hard enough to maintain accurate financial analysis when working across disparate functions and locations. When those functions are also using their own standalone systems, they can end up using their own numbers as well. When the data being worked with is not all derived from the same definitions used by the FP&A team to build the models that underpin the forecast, chaos can follow.

Reporting and BI tools not only put data into the hands of IT, sales, marketing and operations functions, but also provide the capability to deliver the insights required to drive performance. The finance functions who can use FP&A to create BI for use beyond finance are able to step beyond the monthly, manual processes and start supporting their company’s strategic decisions.

Bring your business functions onto the same page

IBM Planning Analytics (TM1) is used by thousands of customers to integrate their planning, forecasting and reporting. This solution bridges traditional silos, facilitates collaboration and provides insight across the business, leading to profitable decision making.

The power of Planning Analytics makes it possible to share critical data across all functions, avoiding the errors and version control problems of manual, spreadsheet-based processes. Planning, budgeting, forecasting and analysis all originates from a single version of the truth meaning everyone is pulling in the same direction. Get in touch today to discover the difference Planning Analytics can make to the role of FP&A in your business.

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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