COLUMN: FROM PAPER TO PLATFORM - FROM ANALOGUE TO DIGITAL
In the spring and early summer of 2023, exacto conducted a survey with the participation of CFOs and CEOs representing 50 Danish companies. We did this to uncover the status of budget and forecast processes in 2023, how they are used to support management's work, and finally how the companies expect to utilize the technological opportunities that support the processes in the future.
Over the summer, we will share some of the various insights that the survey has provided in a small series of columns. This is the first column in the series.
From paper to platform – from analogue to digital
Summarising the insights provided by the survey, one can conclude that the future - not surprisingly - will be even more digital, and that employees across the organisation will be supported to a greater extent in gaining increased insight and taking ownership.
The way to achieve this is a move away from manually and locally managed Excel models to digital platforms the whole organisation can access and work on as teams.
The survey shows that this is a clear managerial priority. Thus, respectively 71.4% of CFOs and 83.3% of CEOs answers that it is something they have either already done or are working towards.
This makes good sense.
Business optimisation and management
One of the most significant advantages of moving the handling of budget and forecast processes from manually handled and locally anchored Excel models to one shared digital platform is the access management obtains to quickly and continuously form an overall overview of the company's status and performance across all departments, units, and possibly national borders.
With locally handled Excel sheets – typically with one designated employee responsible for any updates, the management must contact the employee for the latest version and for a full overview compare with other Excel sheets obtained across departments in the company. This is both uncertain, time-consuming, and inefficient.
At the same time, the digital transformation onto a platform-based solution equips the management with a number of optimised management tools, including a capacity to respond in a timely manner to changes in both internal and external factors on a correct data-driven basis.
The management level of companies is aware of this, and it is a priority to make the necessary digital transformation. When asked to what extent it is part of their digital strategy to move away from working with locally located Excel sheets to digital platforms, 38.1% of the CFOs who answered the question, answered, "Very high" or "High" and 38.1% "Medium".
Of the CEOs who answered the question, 33.4% answered "Very high" or "High" and 50% "Medium".
However, 71.4% of the CFOs who answered the question expect that it is something they will pay more attention to in the future. For CEOs, it is 83.3%.