How The Future Of Financial Planning And Analysis Would Look In Latin America

Chris Grundy

Businessman Looking at Computer Monitor --- Image by © Ken Seet/CorbisFinance executives from Latin America (including South America and Mexico) believe that the pressure to deliver clear, actionable business insight to their colleagues is increasing (CFO.com/SAP Research). But do they also feel they have the right tools and resources in order to make good on that promise and their contribution to high-value planning and analysis?

For finance leaders and their teams, the challenge ahead goes well beyond ensuring high-quality, forward-looking information and analysis reaches the hands of decision makers with the speed and interactivity they increasingly demand. In addition to supplying swift, powerful, interactive information and analysis, finance teams will be called upon to make certain that decision makers are in a position to make effective use of that information and analysis.

In the survey conducted by CFO.com, more than nine in ten (93%) finance executives from Latin America agree that over the next two years, the demand on the finance function to supply highly responsive, interactive, and flexible business analysis to decision-makers is likely to increase. Of those, nearly four in ten (39%) expect the increased demand will be substantial—the highest of any region in terms of the intensity of that demand.

At the same time, virtually all of the Latin American respondents (98%) say they could provide substantial, measurable financial benefits to their companies if only they could improve on the speed and responsiveness with which they supply business analysis to decision makers.

These respondents clearly take pride in their responsiveness. Respondents from Latin America lead the pack in their belief that they can respond to a typical ad-hoc request for business analysis within minutes, if not instantly.

They do think they have room for improvement, however, on both the front end and the back end of the data analysis process. More than half of the Latin American respondents (52%) feel strongly that to maximize the benefit of financial planning and business analysis, the finance function needs to spend less time on simply moving the data around—that is, the amount of time, attention, and resources they devote to manually migrating and reconciling data from system to system.

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And even more (61%) agree strongly that improving the finance function’s ability to communicate business analysis effectively—in a way that would allow decision makers to grasp key insights, underlying risks, and assumptions easily—would yield substantial, measurable financial benefits to their companies.

Once they can overcome those hurdles, there appears to be little standing in the way of their aspirations to improve their contribution to high-value planning, analysis, and decision-support.

Read the executive summary of the report here.

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Chris Grundy

About Chris Grundy

Chris Grundy is the Director of Product Marketing at SAP. His specialties include lead generation, product management, business analytic and marketing management.