Everything Planning Why Is Performance Management Important? Have you ever asked yourself, “Why is performance management important? You know why finance is rapidly moving to the cloud and you know why financial dashboards matter and how they can help your firm. You are fully aware of the ways in which spreadsheets are a weakness to your work-flow, and you have memorized the ways to improve your sales and operations planning — but maybe your management isn’t as aware as you are. There are clear signs that your management isn’t at your level: you and your team are constantly dealing with limited spreadsheet programs; error-prone and a total drain on your team’s valuable time. One thing is for sure: your firm needs to upgrade your CPM financial software. As a follow-up to my previous post (How to Select the Right CPM Software For Your Medium-Sized Business), I want to highlight the importance of performance management software for small companies. You Have Limited Time and Resources As a small business owner, you are stretched thin having to manage and operate all aspects of your business. Using spreadsheets to decipher, analyze, and report large amounts of financial data is a time-draining activity. Not to mention, you are most likely spending extra hours formatting, cutting and pasting, and creating formulas and layouts. Performance management software for small companies drastically reduces the time it takes to access and organize your financial data. You Need Accurate Financial Reports Research has shown that nearly 90% of spreadsheets contain some kind of error. If that alone wasn’t a big enough issue, the fact that many small businesses are juggling two or three financial reporting & analysis software programs, while mid-level companies may be juggling four to seven, should be. Excel is a static financial reporting & analysis solution. It can’t bring together these various programs and therefore creates a breeding ground for financial reporting & analysis errors. When companies have data that gets updated in real-time for all users, it results in less iteration, fewer update delays, and more veracity in the data. In other words, integrating your data into one centralized source through a cloud-based financial dashboard is a genius way of ensuring that fewer reporting errors rear their ugly heads. You need a small business performance management solution because it supports more efficient financial processes, providing you with transparency. The Business Landscape is Constantly Changing and Your Company is Growing As your small business grows, the amount of paperwork you will have will grow with it. Imagining methods to tackle that much paperwork is probably one of the scariest things a small business owner has to deal with. Spreadsheets don’t provide a comprehensive overview of the budget and multiple versions of the truth about the financial performance. In other words, they lack perspective. Small business performance management software offers you the ability to analyze your historical data, along with present-day trends and patterns, to predict future outcomes. You Need Uninterrupted Access to Your Financial Data Companies that still use spreadsheets for revenue planning and forecasting have to manually collect and enter all the data from Sales. This process and method of revenue planning is often prone to errors and blocks the finance department from having confidence in the data they are dealing with and presenting to other departments. It takes time to compile financial information, but what if someone requires it in minutes? Your business needs Corporate Performance Management because integrating CPM software with your EPM system allows you to easily access and organize your financial data. This integration is another huge relief for Finance Departments who normally have to wait for Sales to distribute their figures. By implementing EMP software, Finance can permanently be up to date with the Sales data. You Need to Focus on Taking Action Owners of small businesses have so much to consider and keep organized; it can be like a nearly impossible task to align the overarching corporate goals with daily operational activities. The purpose of sales and operational planning is to provide a detailed outline of your business’s operation and future growth projections in order to achieve tactical objectives. Think of your operational plans like an orienteering map — something that helps your team easily navigate its way to success, while also steering you through any obstacles or unexpected hurdles that may come your way. Your small business needs Corporate Performance Management because it helps link the achievement of corporate goals to operational activities — month to month, or weekly if you need. You Need New CPM Financial Software Now that we have highlighted the various ways new CPM software can benefit your small business, here are some tips for convincing senior management that this is the best option to automate financial processes and enable the Finance team to perform better and be more proactive in planning. Learn the CPM Lingo In this case, the lingo is numbers. Use this language to communicate the problems you are constantly dealing with and the (almost) guaranteed efficiencies that will result when you start to utilize CPM. If you need a reminder, those include, but are not limited to cost savings, return on investment, and faster close. So, to talk in the lingo, illustrate exactly how much time you and your team will save when working with CPM. Remember the Humans or At Least the Human Cost When a firm is not utilizing CPM, they run the risk of wasting an incredible amount of human capital. By implementing and correctly utilizing the best CPM system, your firm can save on overtime costs, contract workers, and the cost of leave when the humans are too burnt out to look at any more spreadsheets. Show that it is your entire team, not just you, who are feeling the stresses and frustrations of not having CPM to automate financial processes. Consider the Pros and Cons of CPM Using the right lingo, explain to management the pros and cons of the current system you are using. Then compare those pros and cons with the pros and cons of CPM. During this exercise, it should become fairly obvious which solution enables your team to function with greater efficiency. Highlight how the new performance management software for small companies system can allow for adding value across all lines of business with visual analytics, automated reporting, and integrated financial planning. Reference Third-Party Opinions about CPM There are plenty of software review sites and analysts that cover the performance management space. While our blog posts don’t technically count as third-party writings, we do often link to studies that prove our points! And, if you are interested in using Kepion in your firm, we will happily pass along industry research as part of the sales process. Whichever firm you approach, make sure to specifically ask for references in your industry, similar company size, or area of expertise. Then transfer this into a proposal to present to your senior management — obviously using the lingo! Identify CPM Advocates within Your Organization Identify other senior finance members to whom you can pre-pitch your idea and see if they can join your cause as an advocate. Pre-pitching to other senior members of the management team, and then using their feedback to improve your pitch, can be extremely helpful for your main event. It can be difficult to convince management to try something new but using these tips should help you get on the right track. How Can Kepion Help My Business Grow? Kepion Planning can scale as your business grows. Our flexible app modeling platform allows your business to start with a baseline model for budgeting, forecasting and reporting. As your business process grows to more complexity, Kepion can help simplify by automating your complex processes into a streamlined and intuitive process flow within our web interfaces. Is My Business Too Small to Use Kepion? Kepion provides flexibility for both small and large enterprises to take advantage of. Small businesses can leverage one of our pre-built apps to get started quickly, while mid-size to large enterprises can use our Business Intelligence BI modeler tool to build the solutions that fit around the way they work. Do you want to avoid operating under separate planning & reporting processes? With Kepion’s Corporate Performance Management (CPM) Solution, you can collaborate on a single approach for integrated business planning. Designed for the business, by the business, Kepion’s Corporate Performance Management Software allows sales, finance, operations, marketing and HR to configure personalized planning apps specifically to how they work. Kepion’s business intelligence dashboards & scorecards software helps you visualize performance, plan for efficiencies, and track your results. Want to know if Kepion is right for your small business? Get a demo today to see what Kepion can do for your financial planning needs.