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Business Case - Adopting CPM with Excel in the Cloud

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When first starting out, most companies use Microsoft Excel to manage financial processes such as budgeting, planning, forecasting, consolidations and reconciliations (commonly labelled corporate performance management processes). As they scale up, however, the challenges venasolutions.com This document provides a summary of the problems associated with Excel, the features delivered by a cloud corporate performance management (CPM) solution and the financial and operational benefits of moving from an Excel-centric process to an automated cloud CPM solution. with manual Excel-based processes become apparent, as outlined in Aberdeen's recent "Beyond Spreadsheets" report: OF USERS REPORTED VERSION CONTROL ISSUES COMPLAINED OF OLD OR INACCURATE DATA 46 % 43 % CITED A LACK OF SECURIT Y MENTIONED CHALLENGES IN SHARING THE SPREADSHEETS 41 % 39 % Overall Business Case Justification According to a recent Gartner study of finance personnel, CPM applications continue to rank highest in priority for business intelligence and analytics investments (Critical CFO Technology Needs: 2015 Gartner FEI Study). This top-ranking is validated when looking at the business case metrics justifying cloud-based CPM investments (see callout box). Looking first and foremost at addressing the problems of standalone Excel spreadsheets, cloud CPM solutions deliver key features including: • A centralized database to ensure everyone is using the most up-to- date data and promote better reporting and analysis • Workflow to facilitate collaboration and process control • Audit trails to ensure accountability and confidence in the data • Cloud-based functionality to speed up deployment, expedite product updates, deliver greater levels of security, scalability and accessibility, and ultimately lower the Total Cost of Ownership • Maintaining a true Excel interface to capitalize on the familiarity, flexibility and already widespread adoption of Excel The remainder of this document takes the business case down a level into the following areas: • Productivity and cycle time improvements • Better decision-making capabilities • The biggest risk of failure Key Metrics to Maximize ROI: # of manual processes that are automated (e.g., budgeting, planning, forecasting, financial close, other processes outside finance, etc.) # of users within each process # of manual user-hours per month per process % productivity improvements in each process (see next page) % cycle time reduction (and perceived value of faster decisions) Avoiding the "export to Excel" trap (see last section of document) Overall Benefits: <6 months payback >200% annual ROI >50% cycle time reduction 1.7x ROI for cloud CPM solutions versus on-premise applications The Business Case for Adopting an Excel-Centric Corporate Performance Management Solution in the Cloud

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