Finance should be always-on. The business is making decisions every day.
Typically finance plans, and a month later, it records. Meanwhile, managers make daily decisions to allocate resources and drive financial performance.
If finance wants to keep a pulse on resource allocation and performance, it needs to have a shared consciousness with the people making decisions.
It’s not a novel concept. Many businesses have revenue projections that update as pipeline updates are made and deals close. Solutions like Clari provide accurate sales forecasts by analyzing real-time sales data.
Resource allocation is arguably more important than revenue projections because today’s investments drive tomorrow’s return. Our future is at risk if we’re underspending on marketing or behind on engineer recruiting.
Like Clari, the key to resource allocation is to understand decisions as they happen. The way to do that is to provide managers with tools to execute and systematically capture their decisions. How you define collaboration is the key for structured information to flow freely.
Planning systems with data entered monthly or analysts manually entering information as it (hopefully) hits their desk leaves resource allocation to the wind and decision-makers to their own devices.
The future of finance will be collaborative. Planning and execution will converge and projections will be always-on. The new game will be optimizing resource allocation instead of struggling to keep track of it.