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December 20, 2023

Navigating the 2024 Landscape: A Comprehensive Guide for FP&A Teams

Over the last few years, the Financial Planning & Analytics landscape has undergone significant transformations. Coming out of the pandemic, demand has wildly shifted across various industries, the federal funds rate was close to zero percent, and has now been increased to a number that hasn’t been seen in decades.

Finance and tech teams are trying to navigate the rapid ever-changing environment that is AI and Machine Learning. Rumblings of a hard landing post-quantitative tightening from the Federal Reserve are putting immense budgetary pressures on companies everywhere.

All these factors have made up quite the 2023 for FP&A departments all around the world. Now that teams have their FY24 budgets set, teams need to be proactive, and the best way to do that is to ensure your Workday Adaptive Planning instance is firing on all cylinders going into FY24.

Preparing for Success in 2024: Optimizing Your Workday Adaptive Planning Instance

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Leverage Automation 

Automation is the key to success for a lot of teams we work with. So many finance teams have highly talented individuals who spend way too much of their time on manual and laborious tasks. Manually entering or importing data is certainly an option for organizations when they are using Adaptive, but the system is data source agnostic for a reason. We want teams to utilize the integration back-end to their fullest extent so they can spend their time on value-add analysis, instead of entering data.

Tech Stack Selection and Integrating Tools

Tech stack evaluations are an area that many of our customers find themselves in going into a new year. Who should we use for our accounting system? Who should we use for our HRIS? CRM? SQL Server? BI tool? This can go on and on….The key point here is that all these different tools can seamlessly integrate with Workday Adaptive Planning to allow your team to have a better-informed forecast for the future. A big part of a team’s success is always automating the easy work. This is step one to leveling up your teams’ processes next year.

Maximize Features for Data-Driven Decision-Making

Analytics, reporting, and visualization is the number one way to make the most informed decisions to ensure we are creating value. Workday Adaptive Planning has a multitude of ways to enable a team to tell a story and show the underlying reasons behind that story. Whether your team loves to use web reports, office connect reports, or active dashboards, all three of these tools are massive time savers.

Teams need to take a deep look at their existing reporting and dashboarding packages. Finance teams know what the board of directors and the CFO want to see, so making an automated reporting package ahead of when they are needed is the right way to approach this.

Make your web reports, Office Connect reports, and dashboards needed for next year now.
As data gets integrated into the system, these reports and visualizations will stay dynamic, to ensure we have insight into the most up-to-date data. When bracing for 2024, being on top of your game when it comes to reporting packages and dashboards will put you way ahead of the curve.

Stay Ahead with Continuous Planning

How often does your team set a budget? How often does your team reforecast? Is your planning time granularity detailed enough?

These are key questions your team needs to think about going into next year. Workday Adaptive Planning’s unlimited version capability allows your team to plan continuously.

Rolling forecasts on a monthly or quarterly basis should be the bare minimum to ensure we are staying on top of our forecast. Bringing the most up-to-date actual data from our accounting system into our newest version will allow for the most informed forecast, so we can do intelligent scenario planning. What’s the point of scenario planning, version comparison, or what-if analysis if we aren’t constantly updating our forecasts and our versions? To ensure success in 2024, a deep dive with your team on continuous planning is a great idea if you aren’t currently doing this.

Drive Success Across Departments with Organizational-Wide Adoption of Workday Adaptive Planning

Workday Adaptive Planning is a software that is meant to be utilized by the entire organization. How much of your organization is using the tool? Is it only the FP&A team? Is the CFO the only executive looking at the data?

Organizational-wide adoption is critical for success. We implement Adaptive Planning for not only Finance departments but also HR departments, Revenue Operations departments, Supply Chain departments, and IT departments.

Does your company still have teams that are struggling through their planning processes inside of Excel? Are they drowning in manual work? Maybe it’s time to look into bringing more of your organization into the Workday ecosystem.

Decentralized planning is the way of the future, and involving more relevant stakeholders in a dynamic software environment will provide great value. We work with so many HR, Finance, Sales, and Supply Chain teams that say they have no insight into the other team’s data that they should be able to see. Getting the planning processes under one roof for the entire organization fixes this.

Our clients that use the tool successfully ensure that they are pushing for organizational-wide adoption. Not everyone has to be in the tool daily, but sharing reports and dashboards with people to be able to drill into data and see the KPIs they need to have access to, is a great start. Organizational-wide adoption of cloud-based dynamic planning software exponentially increases your team’s path to success in 2024. 

Embrace Innovation with Workday Adaptive Planning

In conclusion, the past few years have been a whirlwind of change and unpredictability. Workday Adaptive Planning can take so much of that stress away from your team if you are leveraging the tool to its fullest extent. Using the data integration features, automated reporting, and unlimited version capabilities are a few ways to ensure you are on the right track.

If you aren't, leverage the Machine Learning forecast, spin up a new merged cube sheet, try the derived dimension mappings if you haven’t, and enable that anomaly detection.

Putting yourselves out there and embracing innovation is how teams flourish. Staying in a static Excel sheet is how teams fall behind. We want to see teams succeed with their financial planning in 2024. Embracing Workday Adaptive Planning and innovating is how you will succeed.

We look forward to working with our customers in 2024, and to continue leading the industry when it comes to planning for the future.

Wishing You a Successful 2024!

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