Survey, sponsored by prevero, shows 43% still entering their budgeting, forecasting and planning details manually; less than a third run specialist CPM or BI tools prevero, a Unit4 company and a leading provider of Corporate Performance Management (CPM) and Business Intelligence (BI) solutions, today announced the results of the latest Analytics Maturity Survey – conducted by FP&A Trends Group, and sponsored by prevero.

To download a copy of the FP&A Trends research – http://media.prevero.com/acton/media/18544/global-fpa-survey-results

Reporting on how finance teams are actually deploying business analytics to support their Financial Planning & Analysis activities, the FP&A Trends survey reveals that almost 70% of businesses were spending more than two months on their annual planning process, and that less than a third were using specialist CPM and Business Intelligence tools to support their planning. Additionally, some 43% of those organisations surveyed acknowledged that they continued to enter more than half of their budgeting, forecasting and planning data manually.

88% of those surveyed are also primarily focused on reporting on results – ‘what happened’ – with 72% then using their business analytics tools to explain why their results were as reported. According to FP&A Trends: “the issue with this is that these systems are inward-looking and focused on transactions with existing customers. As a consequence, they do not contain sufficient information for management to make effective decisions.”

“The new FP&A Trends survey clearly shows that too many organisations remain locked into an annual planning and analytics cycle that’s essentially backward looking – and that’s a real challenge when the majority of Finance Offices simply don’t have the FP&A agility that their business increasingly needs,” commented prevero’s CEO Alexander Springer.

“The survey also revealed that 40% of finance teams are currently still taking more than seven days to produce a forecast – and that’s hardly surprising given that more than half are still relying on traditional spreadsheets for their planning and analytics activities,” he continued. “The FP&A Trends research again demonstrates that – without access to best practice Corporate Performance Management and Business Intelligence solutions in place – a large proportion of CFOs are placing their organisations at a serious disadvantage.”

To help the Finance Office assess its next step in terms of putting business analytics to work across their organisations, London FP&A Board (a non-for-profit forum of senior practitioners that is managed by Larysa Melnychuk, MD of FP&A Trends Group) has developed a five stage Analytics Maturity Model, that scores FP&A activities from initial Basic performance, through Developing, Defined, Advanced and Leading phases. FP&A Trends found that three out of four responding organisations were rated as still at the Basic level of Analytics maturity, suggesting that there’s still significant effort required if they are to reduce the overall time and effort that they spend on planning and reporting.