Spitfire 23 Nov 2018 04:35pm

Put the finance team at the heart of the business

SPONSORED CONTENT: A key theme at the 2018 ICAEW Financial Controllers Conference, was automation. A number of speakers set out how the finance function would change over the next five to ten years with processes shifting from manual to automated

Caption: Helping clients forecast and budget effectively

To us, as Planning Analytics specialists, automation means empowering the Finance Team to be at the heart of the business: moving the team from data inputters and number crunchers to analysts, business strategists and advisors. We have helped our clients on this journey, by configuring and installing IBM’s Planning Analytics tool, previously referred to as IBM’s TM1 tool, to meet their needs.

This tool helps our clients forecast and budget, as well as deliver month-end close and financial reports quickly and efficiently.

One of our clients is NG Bailey, one of the largest independent engineering, construction and services company in the UK. The company is divided into three businesses: Engineering; Services; and Infrastructure & IT Services. Lee Boyle, Finance Director for the Engineering Business of NG Bailey had used a number of analytics tools in previous roles. He recognised the power that the IBM tool provided the Finance function, allowing them to guide the business strategy, rather than constantly focusing on inputting and manipulating data.

Lee commented: “When I joined NG Bailey in 2016, there was no planning analytics tool in place. The Finance team were hand-balling information from one spreadsheet to another. This resulted in inaccuracies and inconsistencies in the data.

“From the outset I was clear about our objectives: to monitor our projects, to manage overheads, to compare our spend against budgets, and to fully understand our cost base and how we could become more efficient.

“I chose IBM Planning Analytics because it is an intuitive tool to use. After just a few weeks our team had got to grips with the tool, and were able to use it with little input from our consultants of choice, Spitfire Analytics.

“We have extended how we use Planning Analytics and now also use it to understand and manage all of our business data, including our key metrics across the business: managing people, Health & Safety, our plant, our cashflow, and our overall business performance.

“A key benefit of Planning Analytics is being able to work with the data in Excel, an environment where finance teams are always most comfortable. From there we can develop reports, which we can circulate around the business.

“Planning Analytics has helped us become a more efficient Finance team, contributing to the business in ways that we just didn’t have time to do in the past. We are now an integral part of the business and how the business makes decisions. The information that we provide is accurate and has real credibility around the business.

“The implementation of Planning Analytics, guided by the team at Spitfire Analytics, has brought real structure, comfort, insight and auditability to our business.”

To find out more about Planning Analytics and how Spitfire Analytics can help put your Finance Team at the Heart of the Business take a look at www.spitfire-analytics.co.uk