As few (or as many if you’re someone who sees the glass as half full) as 52% of those working with FP&A (Financial Planning & Analysis) feel that their organisation is genuinely engaged and involved in the strategic financial planning. This is important because a lack of engagement usually results in a lack of quality and accountability of the financial goals and forecasts. How can your organisation improve this and achieve better results?

In order to generate high accountability within your organisation, you need to create a process that creates engagement and involves all parts of the company which is easier said than done. So, the million-dollar question is: how do you successfully involve and engage the organisation in the financial planning process? Keep reading to get the answer!  


budget and forecast

How to increase accountability for the budget and forecast 

High level of accountability = High quality?  

Earlier this year, we conducted our annual survey which resulted in a ton of interesting data points and insights into financial planning, all of which are presented in our annual report The State of Corporate Financial Planning. The aim of the report is to contribute with knowledge about how companies work with their financial planning. Among other things, the report concluded that companies that perceive their budget and forecast process to be of high quality and that it can largely be used as a foundation for strategic decision making are the ones who already have a process for involving and engaging the organisation in place. 

By involving more people and by establishing a culture where the organisation continuously talks about and follows up on financial forecasts and goals, ownership and engagement increase. But how can you optimise your processes in such a way that the entire organisation can be involved and contribute insights?

5 key factors that involve your organisation in the budget and forecasting processes 

There are several key factors for how to successfully involve your organisation in the financial planning, and thus, increase accountability for the financial forecasts and targets. Below we’ve listed the five most essential tips for increasing accountability in your organisation’s financial planning.   

1. Work driver-based  

To simplify the work for everyone involved, you’ll have to abandon the traditional structure and start focusing on building the forecast bottom-up, using KPIs and parameters that are connected to the revenue and cost drivers that are most critical for your business. By working driver-based with concepts that the employees are familiar with, itll be easier for those involved to provide qualitative input. Key employees will get a better understanding of what drives revenues and costs and how they themselves contribute to the organisation's goals.

2. Systemise    

There are few  non-financial professionals who perceive an Excel process to be clear and easy to manage. If you want the organisation to be involved in the process, it’s basically a requirement to work with driver-based and and automated processes. A modern system that facilitates strategic financial planning offers both more comprehensible interfaces and features that make the work clearer, better, and enhance the understanding of the entity  

3. Delegate   

Dare to delegate the responsibility and allow different levels of the organisation to give input. If you’ve systemised your process and already work driver-based, you’ve created a good foundation to be able to build engagement and accountability – but you still need soft values such as trust, discussions and follow-up conversations. Let the operation participate in the follow-up of the forecasts and goals, allow key employees to give input, and ensure that the financial planning work and financial control are part of their responsibility and work.

4. Work frequent   

Working more dynamically and frequently with agile and updated forecasts has become increasingly important given our rapidly changing world. This is not only according to us, but also to 82% of the respondents in The State of Corporate Financial Planning.  Working more frequently with your forecasts leads to both higher quality of work and the information generated being more useful.

To be able to work more frequently with financial planning, it’s important to set goals at a reasonable level and to work driver-based. If you only do the first and not the latter, the process will only lead to higher demands and an increased workload.   

5. Automate  

Reduce manual labor by automating as much as possible of the strategic financial planning. By eliminating manual tasks, you’ll also reduce the time spent on boring parts of the processes and create the right conditions for your organisation to focus on contributing with qualitative input and insights.   

A dedicated system for budgeting, forecasting and planning is not a necessity for small of less complex organisations, but it will simplify automation. However, modern system support ensures that you always have access to the latest quality-assured outcome data and that you can receive automatically calculated forecast suggestions.

strategisk finansiell planeirng

It’s all about creating the right conditions 

Strategic financial planning is crucial for securing the company's long-term success and adaptability. By involving the entire organisation in this process, you can streamline decision-making and strengthen the company's position in the market.

Would you like to know more about how your operation can benefit from improved financial planning? Book a free consultation with us today—we are experts in optimising financial processes for companies of all sizes. We have already optimised planning processes for nearly 200 operations—and we would be happy to help yours too.



Jimmy Stenqvist Evegård

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