RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • Most companies’ planning, budgeting and forecasting processes are not fit for purpose – too slow and too unrealistic
  • The rapid evolution of new digital technologies is powering the adoption of a new approach: digital enterprise performance management or d-EPM
  • d-EPM brings together data, technology and talent to create that a more dynamic, agile and actionable performance management process
  • d-EPM ties technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence and visualization together to get the most out of data


Designing a d-EPM solution

d-EPM brings together three elements that underpin a more dynamic, agile and actionable performance management process:

  1. Data: Broad and varied datasets (internal and external) that provide insight into markets, customers, operations and finances on a continuous basis
  2. Technology: Digital technologies that allow for the rapid collection, structuring, sharing and analysis and visualization of data to inform strategies, plans and budgets
  3. Talent: Equipping business leadership teams and their functional support staffs with the skills and confidence to rapidly interpret and action the insights delivered through d-EPM

Work to be done

74%

of CFOs surveyed said they are already using some predictive analytics to gain insight into the future

38%

identified difficulties in standardizing enterprise data

28%

said they had “average or weak” skills in combining financial with non-financial data

Getting the technology right

Sophisticated technology is at the core of the d-EPM approach. Ideally, technology should help the finance organization to 1) reduce and/or eliminate manual intervention, freeing up professional time for analysis and decision-making; 2) accelerate the speed at which data can be captured, processed, analyzed and disseminated; and 3) reduce reliance on spreadsheets to offer improved integrity, more sophisticated analytics, richer visualization, and better collaboration.

Fortunately, the technology (such as cloud) supporting d-EPM has become less expensive and less disruptive to implement. At the next level, companies are incorporating data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence into the planning process.



Next steps toward d-EPM

Although the right technology is an indispensable part of d-EPM, the move towards d-EPM really begins with a series of organizational initiatives including:

  1. Making finance a collaborator, rather than an intermediary, in the planning process, teaming up with business leadership and acknowledging that the process should be business-driven rather than finance driven;
  2. Making a commitment to data-driven decision-making; and
  3. Building flexibility and agility into the process, allowing the real-time flow of information to indicate changes in forecasts and in resource allocation rather than adhering to a static monthly or quarterly calendar
"With its speed, accuracy and flexibility, d-EPM can provide significant benefits to CFOs and finance teams engaged in the enterprise planning process"

– David Axson MD, Senior Strategy Executive Principal

David Axson

Managing Director – Accenture Strategy, CFO & Enterprise Value


Haralds Robeznieks

Senior Principal – Accenture Research

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