How can Financial Dashboards Drive Faster and Better Decisions?
As CFOs increasingly become key advisors in the Monthly Reporting Process, they must rely on modern self-service corporate performance management (CPM) and business intelligence (BI) tools. Using interactive Financial Dashboards like the Expense Benchmarking Dashboard template shown below enables them and users from the finance and executive teams to benchmark near real time expense metrics that help drive faster and better decisions.
Who uses Expense Benchmarking Dashboards and What are Some Key Analytical Features?
In todayâs fast-paced business environment, CFOs are under high pressure to supply end users like analysts and controllers with timely and concise Financial Dashboards. Companies use key features like the ones below to support their users with effective analysis that helps drive expense management and profit optimization:
- Year-to-date (YTD) expense views with the selected business unit benchmarked against the average of all business units
- Chart comparing Year-to-Date (YTD) Actual and Budgets for the chosen business unit with the average of all units
- Monthly chart comparing Actual and Budgets for the chosen business unit with the average of all units
The Expense Benchmarking Dashboard template can be used as a key element of the Monthly Reporting process:
The Expense Benchmarking Dashboard is a ready-to-use Financial Dashboard from the Solver Marketplace.
A Brief Description of the Expense Benchmarking Dashboard Template
Financial Dashboards like the one seen in the image above are interactive and parameter driven and typically contain sections with expense tables linked to comparative YTD and monthly charts. One of the important features that aid the user in the analysis process is the ability to instantly zoom in on figures from any Expense Category or GL Account by clicking on a row in the tables and see that item represented by the charts. Expense Benchmarking Dashboards are often used in conjunction with expense, balance sheet and KPI benchmark dashboards, consolidated and individual financial reports, and expense budget models.
Data Integration to Transaction Systems
Most organizations these days want automated and streamlined planning, reporting and analysis. However, many of the benefits described earlier rely on best of breed Corporate Performance Management (CPM) tools and/or Business Intelligence (BI) capabilities as well as data marts or data warehouses that use pre-built integrations to the organizationâs ERP system. Oftentimes, they also need integrations to other key data sources like CRM, subscription systems, payroll tools, etc.
Modern, cloud-based ERPs like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance (D365 Finance), Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (D365 BC), Sage Intacct, Acumatica, Netsuite and SAP have robust APIs which allow for dynamic integrations to CPM and BI tools that are fully automated and flexible to run on a schedule or on-demand.
Additional Resources to Aid with Research of Templates, CPM and BI Tools
- Templates from Solver that are pre-built and that work out-of-the-box using the Solver CPM cloud. Click here.
- Template examples: You find more than 500 CPM and BI Template examples here.
- Interactive Dashboard examples: Try Power BI dashboard templates from Solver here.
- Software evaluation and selection:
- Vendor Comparison and ROI (free interactive tool)
- Evaluating planning, budgeting and forecasting functionality
- Evaluating Financial Reporting functionality
- Evaluating Dashboard functionality
- Evaluating Data Warehouse functionality to achieve âone version of the truthâ
- Demonstrations and other specific assets: Solver Tour Central
- Using third party analysts and consultants to aid in vendor selection
- Creating efficient processes: