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Financial firms admit to being in the dark about the future

New research has found that 46% of finance leaders aren’t long-term scenario planning, despite the disruption of Covid, the great resignation, and volatile market changes highlighting the critical importance of planning ahead, leaving the business without a 5–10-year plan.

A survey* of 250 finance leaders in the UK and Ireland forund that 64% of finance teams are yet to invest in a resource that fully supports planning and analytics within the business, with many relying on legacy solutions to try and fulfil these initiatives. Those surveyed continue to utilise software that’s not suited to more advanced, long-term planning, such as Excel, with 51% still relying solely on spreadsheets for most of their finance processes.

Rising inflation costs and ongoing market uncertainty are preventing finance leaders from being able to adapt and stay one step ahead, as even for those who do have financial solutions in place, less than a third (30%), are utilising them to efficiently support scenario planning.

Mark Jenkins, CFO at MHR, commented: “We need only look at recent headlines to see the ever-evolving scope of the challenges to be overcome. Finance professionals must get used to operating within an environment where the next financial hurdle constantly lurks around the corner.  But to do this, they need access to the optimum tools and solutions, so that they can effectively plan for future trends and work with departments to support wider long-term business initiatives.

“Modern financial planning and analytics has outgrown older and more traditional software, so now is the time to implement agile scenario planning solutions. With the right support in place, finance teams can plan and model for the future in a smoother, more intuitive way, enabling them to use their insights to inform strategic business decisions.”

The research also reveals that automation is an attractive prospect for many overstretched finance leaders, as it can free up time for critical strategic tasks like scenario planning. 40% of respondents regard cost and revenue forecasting as the most important process to automate, while automated periodic financial performance forecasts are desirable for 35% of finance leaders.

*MHR International

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