How can Simulation Dashboards Drive Faster and Better Decisions?

As FP&A Managers increasingly become central figures 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 Expense Simulation Dashboard template shown below enables them and users from accounting and other departments to experience near real time forecasting that help drive faster and better decisions.

Who uses Expense 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 department managers and executives with timely and concise Simulation Dashboards. Companies use key features like the ones below to support their users with effective analysis that helps drive fiscal control and planning.

  • Sliders to increase or decrease the weighting of historical expense data in the current year estimate
  • Interactive expense tables by GL category and account
  • Charts to compare history and budget with the simulated estimate

The Expense Simulation Dashboard template can be used as a key element of the Modelling and Forecasting process:

Example of an Expense Simulation Dashboard to Streamline the Modelling and Forecasting Process

Example of an Expense Simulation Dashboard to Streamline the Modelling and Forecasting Process

The Expense Simulation Dashboard is a ready-to-use Simulation Dashboard from the Solver Marketplace

A Brief Description of the Expense 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 comparative 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 forecast. Expense Simulation Dashboards are often used in conjunction with forecast input models, sales dashboards, expense dashboards, 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