3 Tips to Improve Corporate Performance Forecast Accuracy

businessman sales forecast diagram

Accurate forecasting creates many benefits for global organizations such as better allocation of resources, more accurate budgets for future periods, anticipating changes in the market, and maintaining a competitive advantage.

However, building more accurate forecasting models is oftentimes placed on the backburner.

Nearly every organization is thinking about how to optimize their forecasts, but for many organizations, the challenge is a lack of available time, resources, or technology to create more accurate forecasting models.

The challenge is especially burdensome when relying on outdated, legacy software platforms or Excel spreadsheets. Pulling and processing data becomes a time-consuming process that is oftentimes not reliable because of the dependence on manual entry. Instead of adding value to to the Financial function, forecasting becomes a burdensome chore for the Finance team.

Fortunately, there is a technological solution for global organizations to create more accurate forecasts in a very time-efficient and cost-effective manner. The solution is the OneStream XF software platform.

Why OneStream for More Accurate Forecasting?

The OneStream XF software solution unifies all financial processes in one platform. No more dependence on multiple solutions to support Finance. Instead, OneStream delivers financial consolidations, reporting, budgeting, forecasting, and analysis in one location.

All of the data is centralized and accessible for the right people at the right time. When all of the data is housed in this manner, global organizations can improve corporate performance forecast accuracy, especially in these three areas.

1. Improve Planning Accuracy

More accurate forecasting can greatly accelerate planning cycles for global organizations.

One great example is Amazon. In a recent interview with Forbes, founder and CEO Jeff Bezos commented that he’s already thinking years ahead to future business activity.

“Friends congratulate me after a quarterly-earnings announcement and say, ‘Good job, great quarter,’ and I’ll say, ‘Thank you, but that quarter was baked three years ago.’ I’m working on a quarter that’ll happen in 2021 right now,” he told Forbes.

Taking a strategic approach to planning can drive long-term strategy and support the evaluation of different scenarios that may play out. OneStream allows organizations to quickly develop baseline plans for organic growth strategies:

  • Test assumptions and flex key value drivers to evaluate impact on financial results.
  • Analyze the impact of each scenario on key liquidity, profitability, and performance ratios.
  • Analyze the sensitivity of cost structure, revenues, or capital structure to external drivers.

2. Improve Budgeting Processes

How can you budget for a multi-million dollar expenditure 3-5 years from now if you don’t have accurate forecasting? Or, how can you budget for your expansion plans without an accurate forecast of other expenses that may impact available resources?

Organizations need quick access to reliable forecasting data to drive critical decisions that will affect the long-term health of the organization. OneStream supports this objective by simplifying the budgeting and forecasting process in a single application:

  • Guided workflows, advanced spreading, and allocations speed data collection.
  • Top-down, bottom-up, driver-based planning, rolling forecasts, and other advanced planning techniques are supported.
  • An extensible platform enables support of corporate and line of business requirements.

Additionally, organizations can load prior period actual financial results into the software to seed the budget process or load year-to-date actuals to support rolling forecasts. The dynamic nature of the software enables the Finance team to perform multiple budgeting actions to gain visibility into future periods.

3. Extend to the Sales Team

More accurate forecasting is also powerful for the Sales team in your organization.

Financial data should be organized in a manner that can be easily pulled by the Sales team to project future sales goals. This way, the Sales team can make more accurate decisions about specific markets or customers to target that will have a financial impact years down the road.

The OneStream XF software platform allows organizations to reach this level of detail through relational blending. Finance leaders are enabled to manage the business at the detailed driver-level, such as customer or product, and understand the real-time impact on financials. Then, the Sales team can load customer and prospect data into the software to support sales forecasting.

Essentially, OneStream combines analytic, stage, relational, and source transactional data into one model:

  • Dynamically align detailed operational plans to financial goals.
  • Leverage relational technology to best meet business planning and analysis needs.
  • Store data where it belongs for each stakeholder (Financial, Sales, etc.) to access necessary data.

Work with HollandParker to Support More Accurate Forecasting

Organizations need to be able to close the gap between desiring accurate forecasting and actually performing accurate forecasting. Don’t let outdated software or manual processes slow down your team.

Work with HollandParker to support your migration to the OneStream XF software platform to support accurate forecasting.

We are a Platinum OneStream implementation partner that can help your organization structure the software implementation process. Our team of industry experts understands the challenges of migrating away from legacy software to a new way of doing things. We’ll guide your team each step of the way through the transition.

Contact us today to inquire about implementation support for OneStream. We look forward to seeing how more accurate forecasting can create tremendous advantages for your organization.