Using Profit Simulation Dashboards to Streamline the Modelling and Forecasting Process
How can Simulation Dashboards Drive Faster and Better Decisions?
As FP&A Managers increasingly become key advisors in the Modelling and Forecasting Process, they must rely on modern self-service corporate performance management (CPM) and business intelligence (BI) tools. Using interactive Simulation Dashboards like the Profit Simulation Dashboard template shown below enables them and users from the Executive and Finance teams to experience near real time forecasting that help drive faster and better decisions.
Who uses Profit Simulation Dashboards and What are Some Key Analytical Features?
In today’s fast-paced business environment, FP&A Managers are under high pressure to supply end users like CFOs and senior leaders with timely and concise Simulation Dashboards. Companies use key features like the ones below to support their users with effective analysis that helps drive expense control and profit maximization.
- Sliders to increase or decrease the weighting of historical data in the current year estimate
- Comparison of simulation result with annual budget and three years of history
- Focus on Gross Profit, EBITDA and Net Profit
The Profit Simulation Dashboard template can be used as a key element of the Modelling and Forecasting process:
The Profit Simulation Dashboard is a ready-to-use Simulation Dashboard from the Solver Marketplace
A Brief Description of the Profit Simulation Dashboard Template
Simulation Dashboards like the one seen in the image above are interactive and parameter driven and typically contain sections with simulation sliders, as well as profitability KPIs with related variance tables and graphical charts. One of the important features that aid the user in the analysis process is the ability to move any of the sliders left or right to increase or decrease the weighting of that item in the simulated profitability estimate. Profit Simulation Dashboards are often used in conjunction with forecast input models, sales dashboards, revenue dashboards, expense dashboards and profit & loss reports.
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 organization’s 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 “one version of the truth”
- Demonstrations and other specific assets: Solver Tour Central
- Using third party analysts and consultants to aid in vendor selection
- Creating efficient processes: