Leveraging SAP Business One ERP and Phocas for Live Budgets and Forecasts

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Key Takeaways

⇨ Integrating a planning platform with SAP Business One enhances finance with real-time data and better collaboration.

⇨ Finance evolves with technology, needing agile budgeting to adapt to market changes.

⇨ Many mid-sized businesses overlook digital finance, risking reliance on outdated processes.

The integration of a business planning and analytics platform with SAP Business One helps finance teams use real-time data, enhance the accuracy of forecasts and foster better collaboration across business units.

The role of finance is rapidly changing because of new technologies. Rather than doing budgeting and forecasting on an annual basis, teams with the right tools can work with consolidated data to identify the cause of bottlenecks, the reasons for fluctuating sales and why some projects may be stalling.

The digitization of the finance department turns it into a business partner within the organisation. However, many mid-sized businesses are failing to leverage new solutions.

Traditional budgeting is often static, with each department submitting proposals reviewed by finance before an annual budget is triumphantly released. These ‘set and forget’ budgets stubbornly remain unchanged, regardless of what unfolded, either in the market or internally throughout the year.

“Surprisingly, some organisations today still cling to the process, but they are taking a significant risk relying on historical data. Businesses need a platform that can’t handle the volume of data that is needed for accurate business planning and allow for collaboration among different teams,” explains Daniel Cuthew, the Phocas Global Partnership Executive.

“If you’re still using spreadsheets with your SAP Business One ERP, you’re never going to be able to digitize the finance office,” says Cuthew.

“Finance teams’ core applications need to be budgeting and forecasting, financial statements and business intelligence,” Cuthew adds.

When a business relies on an incomplete dataset or an out-of-date budget for business forecasting, it is virtually impossible for finance teams to be accurate. By contrast, a business planning and analytics platform like Phocas can consolidate data and provide a real-time view of company performance. It can connect datasets and continuously compare budgets and forecasts with actual data.

“It gives the finance team end-to-end visibility from the beginning of the period to the end of it,” says Cuthew.

Business stakeholders want to know what’s really going on across sales, product, marketing and customer success.

“When the data is fresh and comprehensive, your actuals are there, budgets are detailed and forecasts are incredibly more valuable to the whole business. You also get more buy-in across the business, rather than just the finance team,” says Cuthew.

When finance teams regularly review budget and forecast data, they can quickly identify early warning signs of challenges and see where new opportunities lie. Once they have done that, they can offer advice based on reliable data.

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