Though finance departments have long used analytics to examine their balance sheets, finance professionals are increasingly interested in more sophisticated analytics. Workday hopes to capitalize on that interest with a new planning, budgeting and forecasting application called Workday Planning, which it introduced today.
When used in conjunction with its Workday Financial Management and Workday Human Capital Management apps, the company promises the new planning app will reduce dependence on manual calculations in spreadsheets residing outside of core financial and HR systems, an approach that results in integration headaches and inaccurate analytics.
The app includes a budget generator, which enables users to combine historical actuals and budget data with modeling assumptions to automatically generate a baseline budget with no need for integrations with third-party systems. In an example offered by Workday, financial planning and analysis teams can apply modeling assumptions such as projected growth rates to revenue and expense data to create a baseline budget.
It also includes collaborative tools that facilitate the creation of models and scenarios that can be edited and shared, all within Workday’s secure environment. One tool Workday highlighted is a collaborative worksheet that it claims combines familiar spreadsheet features such as embedding linking and advanced calculations with an interactive grid experience that is unique to Workday.
In addition, built-in reporting and analytics tools help teams execute on the budget, track actuals, perform budgetary controls and measure organizational performance against budget utilization. For instance, Workday notes, a finance executive can access a dashboard to view variances in actual values versus targets, then drill down to better understand the root cause of the variance. Based on the analysis, the exec can then make necessary adjustments to ensure budgets and forecasts remain aligned and accurate.
The company expects to make Workday Planning generally available to customers in 2016.