Forecasting has never mattered more

There is a risk that you might misunderstand this post as some sort of shameless plug. Cut through that – it isn’t. It is not a time to stand on ceremony. Business people are anxious, and some are hurting. Our customers tell us and we know from experience, our business can help, so that is why I am writing this today.

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Right now, no Finance Manager or CFO is looking at their February Profit and Loss thinking that “our YTD performance to budget is tracking well - the Board should be reasonably relaxed based on these results”.

More likely they are grappling with how to complete a bottom-up forecast before March month-end based on assumptions they have never seen let alone used before. Trying to achieve something they’ve never done inside of 8 weeks previously, and never with a finance team and much of the business working from home.

But even if a forecast could be ready in that timeframe, it’s now two weeks out of date. Two-week-old assumptions could be inadequate for predicting profit, cash flow, or even solvency with the current of daily gyrations. Businesses now have a requirement, and soon will have an expectation, that the most recent forecast is driven by assumptions that are still valid.

Businesses need to be able to re-forecast as quickly as their underlying assumptions change, and they need to be able to disseminate that information to those who can turn it into meaningful action at speed.

In the past, you may have been fortunate enough to have a great forecaster in the cubicle in the corner. Someone with a 30-tab Excel spreadsheet who could turn out your forecasts inside of a week as if by magic. But that spreadsheet, built up over many years, and many forecasts, can be rendered worthless if your business model changes, or if your “Forecast whisperer” falls ill.

The solutions we build are not designed to be used by a single specialist FP&A practitioner - forecasts are built up collaboratively, with both finance people and business people contributing, and they’re both able to see the impacts of the changes being made in real-time. With CALUMO, there is no key-man risk because there is no key man.

We’ve been delivering these solutions as web applications purpose-built for distributed teams for well over a decade. CALUMO-as-a-Service (Cloud) is in its sixth year, so we have been deploying, configuring, and supporting our solutions remotely for a long time now.

CALUMO is both the tooling and the people you need in the current environment. We’ve implemented continuous forecasting solutions for many of our clients. Partnering with finance teams, we build and support reporting, budgeting, forecasting, and continuous forecasting models which allow for true visibility, transparency, and rapid re-forecasts as expectations, assumptions, and reality shift.

The last point - we’re a 100% Australian software developer with all development happening on-shore – there are not too many of those. We’ve been here a long time and will be staying long after this current situation has passed. If we all come together doing what we do best, we can make this a lot better for all of us.

Reach out to support@calumo.com or me if we can help, it doesn’t take much to get moving.

Dominic Parsons
Managing Director & Evangelist, CALUMO Group

Content syndicated from and originally appeared at: https://www.calumo.com/blog/2020/03/25/forecasting-has-never-mattered-more/

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