Q: What can Corporate Performance Management (also known as Enterprise Performance Management and Business Performance Management) do for your organization?A: As never before, the finance function is integral to the success of your enterprise. A successful CPM solution will transform your entire organization, through finance. How? With a single repository of financial truth all finance functions including financial planning, budgeting, forecasting, modeling, disclosure management and SEC/XBRL reporting, statutory consolidation, management reporting, tax provisioning, uncertain tax positions, tax data warehouse (TDW) and profitability analytics are completed more quickly, accurately and made visible to any authorized employee, anywhere.
Q: What should I look for in a CPM solution?A: The ideal CPM solution should be a single application. The solution should support the diverse needs of your finance organization including reporting, planning, budgeting, forecasting, modeling, consolidation, tax, and analysis. And, it should provide a financially accurate core of information with the ability to expose it to all authorized employees in a secure environment, from finance to sales to operations and beyond.
Your CPM application should support the challenges of complex financial processes and the increasing compliance demands of tighter timelines, controls and higher degrees of accuracy, while providing a single repository of financial truth enterprise-wide.
Q: What pain points will the right CPM application solve for my organization?A: It might be easy for a fast food chain to create a hamburger that tastes the same no matter what country it is served in, but it is not easy for a global enterprise to apply the same business rules, accounting principles and financial reporting practices to operations in different countries. To paint an accurate financial picture, global enterprises have to put in place systems that compile financial date from geographically dispersed divisions using a myriad of technological applications, a variety of accounting practices, business rules and cultural expectations.
The right CPM application should provide your organization with:
Integration and Financial Accuracy - It is key to find a single, application that will provide your organization with one central repository for financial and non-financial data enterprise-wide. This single application and information repository should result in enterprise-wide financial integrity, elimination of redundancy, consistent application of business rules and a firm knowledge that business decisions are being made from a basis of financial truth. Your organization's planning, budgeting, forecasting, consolidation, financial and management reporting, modeling, tax and analysis requirements are supported with a single application.
Fast, Accurate Reporting and Financial Close - Fast, accurate reporting and financial close will give you and your executives more time to analyze data. A more thoughtful analysis of the bottom line allows you to monitor results against set objectives and develop more meaningful, long-term strategic plans that are actionable and trackable. It also enables you to peer into the depths of your complex organization and gain an insightful view of its financial reality. The SEC is demanding corporations be able to have this insight and it is also critical for your organizations financial health. Your CPM application should provide a single repository of accurate information, enterprise wide, your books should always be in order and ready to close.
Q: How should I evaluate a CPM solution for my organization?A: There are a couple of key areas to consider when looking for a CPM solution.
Single Application - When reviewing performance management solutions it is key to find one that delivers a single, application that provides one central repository for financial and non-financial data, enterprise wide. The solution should be easily managed and provide a single point of maintenance regardless of the number of users or global geographic span of the user community.
Depth of Functionality - The ideal performance management solution should provide superior functionality with outstanding performance and scalability. It should be able to perform complex business models unique to your organization. You should have the ability to roll the application out to users across your enterprise and involve them in strategic finance processes.
Q: What questions should I ask CPM vendors when reviewing their solutions?A: There are a number of questions you should ask performance management vendors when evaluating their applications:
Q: How many users should I expect my CPM application to support? A: Your performance management application should be highly scalable from tens to thousands of users. It should consistently provide best-in-class performance and scalability in benchmark tests. Your CPM application should be proven to support thousands of geographically dispersed concurrent users with no degradation in performance.
Q: Will a CPM application work within my organization's IT infrastructure?A: A performance management application should perform over disparate technologies, reside on one central server and database, and consolidate reports according to consistent business rules. It should be fully scalable, operating on industry standard platforms, and offer users high-speed, dynamic Windows and Web access to the central server and database. You should be able to roll the application out across your enterprise with minimal or no hardware upgrades.
Q: How should I budget for a CPM solution?A: It is important to find a performance management solution that will enable you to effectively expose your financially accurate core of information across your entire organization. Look for solutions that license their application by function, not by number of users or hardware platform. When there is no restriction on number of users it will enable you to more easily provide all of your users with the same depth of functionality and access to information.
2012 Gartner User Survey Analysis: Customers Rate Their Corporate Performance Management Vendors
Researching Performance Management Solutions?Download this must-read report from Gartner before you buy!