What’s On the Finance Executive's Wish List for EPM This Year?

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The 2016 year-end closing is well under way, and many Finance executives are busy wrapping up the 2016 fiscal year and creating their wish list for 2017. 

So what’s on their wish list when it comes to enterprise performance management (EPM) capabilities?

To learn the answer, Host Analytics recently sponsored a Gatepoint Research survey designed to gauge the pulse of Finance executive’s challenges and needs in EPM.  This survey included over 100 responses from Finance executives in companies of varying sizes and a wide variety of industries in North America.  Here’s a summary of the results.

Challenging Business Initiatives - Half of all respondents identified mergers and acquisitions as a business initiative that would strain their current financial capabilities.  Other top responses included rapid growth and hiring (37%), expanded product or service lines (27%), and international expansion (20%).

Areas for Improvement - Over a third of all respondents selected both business analytics (39%) and budgeting, planning and forecasting (33%) as areas that need performance improvement.  Other top areas of need included reporting financial and operating results (26%), and modeling business outcomes (25%).

What Tools Are Being Used - Financial performance is managed at least partially on spreadsheets, say 64% of respondents, with more than half (58%) reporting they are also using a vendor’s software.

Wish List for Improvements - Respondents’ wish list of improvements include high interest in reducing reliance on spreadsheets (48%), while 44% cite a need for more self-service reporting. Business complexity support came in at (35%), while 32% cited improved accuracy of plans and forecasts as well as reducing manual processes.

Moving to the Cloud - More than half of respondents would prefer to upgrade their financial performance management system to a Cloud or SaaS-based system. Far fewer would prefer a hybrid solution (28%) or on-premises based model (20%).

Top Evaluation Criteria - According to 60% of respondents, future financial performance management software they select must be easy to use, and more than half say they need solid reporting capabilities that include data visualization via dashboards. Integrating the import or export of data with other systems is also important to nearly half of respondents (45%).

cloud-computing.jpgThe results of this survey were consistent with what we’ve seen in other surveys and from working with many customers.  With many companies relying entirely or partially on spreadsheets to support EPM processes such as budgeting, planning, forecasting and reporting there’s increasing demand for cloud-based EPM solutions that can:

  • Reduce reliance on spreadsheets
  • Automate and accelerate key Finance processes
  • Address complexity in planning, reporting and modeling
  • And empower finance and line of business users with better, faster information

To learn more and see the complete details of the survey response, click here.

Download the Research Report

Best wishes for continued success and improvement in 2017!  

Posted by on January 17, 2017
Topics: EPM
John O'Rourke

John O’Rourke is Vice President of Strategic Marketing at Host Analytics. With a background in accounting and finance, John has over 30 years of experience in the software industry and 20 years of experience in EPM product marketing at Hyperion Solutions, Oracle and Host Analytics. He has worked with many customers and partners on financial reporting and planning initiatives and has spoken and written on many topics in EPM. John has also held positions in strategic marketing and product marketing at Dun & Bradstreet Software, Kenan Systems, and Decisyon. John has a BS degree in accounting from Bentley University and an MBA from Boston College.

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