Recently, Vareto President Lalit Singh led a conversation with UrbanFootprint VP of Finance Judd MacRae, Honeycomb FP&A Manager Brittany Riley, and Posit Head of FP&A Chrissy Mullahy on their journey to achieving operational excellence with Vareto.
An FP&A platform can solve a variety of problems. A solution like Vareto streamlines operations by automating financial data aggregation, enabling dynamic reporting with on-demand drill-downs for immediate insights. By cutting down on manual tasks, it reduces reporting time, providing quicker, more actionable insights. For businesses transitioning from spreadsheets or replacing an underperforming FP&A platform, Vareto offers an easy-to-use interface, saving time and letting teams focus on value-added tasks.
Identify and prioritize your needs when evaluating FP&A solutions. Finding the right FP&A solution can be challenging, given the array of similar offerings. The key is prioritizing your unique needs and seeking a tool that fulfills them. An important aspect is balancing power and flexibility while ensuring the system isn't overly burdensome to maintain.
Understand how you will partner with your Customer Success Manager. A piece of software doesn’t do any good if it just gathers dust. Understand what the implementation process looks like and what the ongoing partnership with your Customer Success team looks like. How long does it take to realize value? Do they truly understand the business outcomes you are trying to achieve? How responsive will your Customer Success Manager be?
Don’t discount the importance of business partner collaboration features when choosing FP&A software. It’s important to make sure the tool isn’t just for finance, but also serves business stakeholders well. Finance is often perceived as the gatekeepers to the financial data needed to make informed decisions. How can a software tool make it easier for finance and department leaders to collaborate better, drive better alignment, and make faster decisions? Can they go in the tool themselves to get the data they need? How intuitive is the experience?
FP&A software can help in a variety of use cases across the business. It’s instrumental in driving deeper insights and enhancing decision-making processes. This collaborative approach, coupled with leveraging the right tools, enables teams to better understand their business, address challenges, and uncover new opportunities. Posit gave the board access to Vareto, leading to more strategic conversations focused on action rather than data provision.
FP&A solutions should make processes simpler. A barometer for how valuable a tool will be is how quick or easy it can be to get to an answer. Business stakeholders won't onboard and engage with the software if it's too complex. For example, the ability to automate budget vs. actuals reporting in Vareto and give business partners self-serve access makes it easy to access the needed information themselves ahead of time and use meeting time more productively.
Key priorities for 2023 center around operational efficiency, scaling, and insightful data use. Businesses are focusing on specific financial and non-financial metrics, like cost efficiency for data ingestion and delivery, as well as real-time forecasting for better decision-making.
AI is seen as a potential game-changer in finance. The ideal vision is AI in finance automating these manual recurring tasks 80-90% of the way, enabling the finance team to refine and provide context. Future uses may include explaining variances, identifying opportunities for upside, and automating simple scenarios.
Keep driving efficiency every day, every week, every month. The goal is to make operations smoother, so teams can spend more time on strategy and deep analysis instead of manual tasks. Keep looking for ways to boost efficiency. This will lead to better productivity, improved processes, and sustainable growth for the organization.