As a disciplined manager, like you do every January, you established your budget forecasts for the year. And then March came with a wind of uncertainty. And finally, April completely changed the economic situation. Obviously, some budget calculations will have to be redone in the coming weeks. But where should we start?
Who better than a financial expert to clarify the subject? I spoke with Len Onekeo, a functional finance consultant at Era Consulting Group. With nearly 20 years of experience as a controller and financial director, he has built the foundations and financial structure of several companies using a very powerful management tool, the ERP system (Enterprise Resource Planning).
He is now a consultant at Era for the finance module of the renowned ERP: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. In this article, he shares the great advantages of ERP platforms and gives some advices to managers in this era of change.
Budgets, at your fingertips.
An ERP is an integrated management system, meaning it collects all data from all departments of a company, in real time, to link them and analyse them. It is the tool of choice to create budgets, with all the numbers and information at one and only place.
It also allows the creation of reports of unparalleled accuracy. For example, the ERP from Microsoft, mentioned above, has an integrated add-in, Jet Report, for exporting all data to Excel and facilitating analysis. Once the data remodelled, the add-in allows the data to be re-imported into the master database. It shows the user-friendly nature of the tool.
Our expert says that, in these times of incertainty, the most striking advantage of an ERP is its high degree of adaptability to change.
It makes it much simpler to do budget revisions and take into account all the changes the new situation brought.
Know your KPIs.
The integration of all data into the ERP gives also access to an infinite number of dashboards and KPIs, rich in information and revealing to managers. For example, Microsoft’s Power BI add-in, connected to the master database, gives access to interactive and fully modellable dashboards.
Figure 1 : Dashboard, profit margins
The Figure 1 above provides an overview of a company’s profit margins by channels, customers, products and brands.
This type of table is very relevant to overcome the kind of challenges the current situation brought to managers. ‘’Some KPIs we’re used to follow up monthly, nowadays require our daily attention,” says our expert. Let’s take as an example all the KPIs related to solvency. In these days of change, it is imperative to have all the related information in real time, to stay on course and make the right decisions now and for the future.
The expert’s advice
In this new era, Len recommends keeping a close eye on economic indicators, to start making budget revisions now and to keep a daily follow-up on our KPIs. If you feel you need to get a better overview of your business, please contact us. Era Consulting Group has more than 15 years of experience in the ERP industry. We will be happy to assist you.