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Focused forecasting with Planful, cloud-based financial planning software

Apr 15, 2020

By Jessi Hensley

Heading into the office to pick up financial paperwork never before required an internal dialogue about cloth-mask assembly and handwashing routines. Luckily, at least when it comes to your business, cloud-based financial planning and analysis software like Planful makes COVID-19-era thought bubbles decidedly less … logistical.

Accessed from any laptop or mobile device, these tools integrate well with other enterprise platforms such as Sage Intacct. Once integrated, whether manually through data exports or automatically through synchronized processes, these robust solutions enable immediate analysis and reporting of financial, operational, statistical and other data. Here’s how you can use Planful to focus, budget, forecast, model and forget about going to the office:

Generate data and financial reports quickly

Now that your distributed team is working well from home, executives and department heads may want financial updates and reassurance that rigorous controls are in place. Planful’s ability to spit out Report Collections at a moment’s notice or on-schedule is a big benefit anytime, especially during our novel coronavirus crisis. Access Planful’s Board Books feature to generate one-off or scheduled financial reports as email attachments for your Board of Directors, even if they’re not system users.

Automate reporting

You may have to get used to wearing a T-shirt mask during strolls outside for a time, but cast away hard coding, file-naming and manual reporting forever. With Planful’s Substitution Variables, financial reporting and financial forecasting are standardized, automated and intuitive. Run reports that automatically have updates to current month-, quarter- and year-to-date budget vs. actuals. Over are the days of 500 files of reports going back years — with Planful, data is populated automatically into one report or the unlimited number of reports you need.

Perform financial forecasting on the fly

If you must adjust expenses, revenues and staffing during the crisis, Planful’s real-time reporting features let you make sense of your economic situation quickly and clearly. Use this information to plan ahead or account for government assistance. If furloughs are necessary but temporary, Planful allows you to model the expenses and contributions of employees’ HR Salaries and Benefits while setting an end date on any position. This means it’s faster to rehire people when the crisis abates.

View transactional data

Planful also lets you pull in and analyze transactional data. Using Planful’s dynamic system, see the transactions that make up your general ledger total. Tag and view data such as customer name or vendor type. If, for example, Intacct is your transactional ledger, load that data into Planful and customize your views by time period or simply review the purchases of one store. Use this simple process to spot trends such as cash mismanagement or fraud.

Take virtual training

Take advantage of downtime by tuning into Planful’s many virtual training offerings on topics such as Structured and Dynamic planning, Continuous vs. Static planning and how to quit spreadsheets for good.

How Wipfli can help

Contact your Wipfli adviser for more ways to use Planful or for guidance on improving Financial Planning and Analysis in your business. And visit our COVID-19 resource center for additional information on Business Central, NetSuite and Sage Intacct, other preferred cloud-based accounting tools that offer reliable support during these turbulent times.