Helping government managers fulfill their responsibilities in providing fiscal accountability for the public trust.

Integrated financial planning is a broad concept that often means different things to different people, not always having a concise definition. This article presents specific aspects and capabilities to consider when building an information system to support integrated financial programming, planning, budgeting, and execution data models. Definitive Logic (DL) Co. has found these methods to be effective and game-changing for organizations that have used our successful financial management and analytical solution implementations over the past decade serving across federal and commercial customers.

Integrated financial planning provides opportunities for our customers to plan for success; incorporate all mandatory and discretionary variables into budgeting; and create flexible plans that adapt and reflect the values/priorities of society and of the administration. This level of planning is the first step toward establishing standards that drive economies of scale and incorporate transparency into governmental planning and spending aspects.

Here are four key objectives to building a successful integrated financial planning system:

    • Offer simplicity, flexibility, and ease of use through common integrated end-to-end solutions.
    • Maximize automation through efficient and transparent processes.
    • Provide relevant and timely analysis to government managers and leadership to meet their overall goals and objectives.
    • Facilitate effective business partnerships in your workforce by allocating more time for analysis mode rather than more planning activities.

DL approaches the build of a best-in-class integrated financial planning solution focusing on these key areas because they drive the change in maximizing the benefits of the overall system/solution. These “building blocks” in building a financial system are primarily based on our knowledge gained from implementing solutions and observing various client proficiency pain points for more than a decade. Let’s also discuss four key areas that address the substantial deficiencies faced by the majority of financial organizations that we have had the opportunity to serve, in terms of information completeness, planning process design, data integration, and robust skills and talent.

1. Lack of standardization of the overall planning process and information areas. This gap produces an inefficient annual budgeting and periodic forecasting process. DL addresses this by creating valuable planning and analysis functions that improve our client’s performance. We blend finance and operations into one authoritative plan that is custom-tailored to the client’s needs and manage an integrated information framework that supports the organizational planning needs. This approach defines an iterative and integrated financial planning system that improves the overall collaboration across teams and functions.

2. Lack of timely, accurate, fit-for-purpose information, and key KPIs. These factors are crucial for managing performance. Deep business partnerships encourage specialized collaboration, especially if finance teams and other organizational units are experiencing gaps in having the data they need to identify needs and choose the right solutions. DL addresses this by enabling technology and leveraging CPM/BI technology platforms along with automation and controls to deliver sustainable process and performance improvements. These technology platforms empower organizations to produce more valuable information and opportunities for strategic business partnering with minimal effort. Legacy systems are replaced with scalable and specialized integrated technologies for ease of maintenance and a higher return value.

3. Lack of effective business partnerships in the workforce. Poor financial planning and analytical information result from this deficiency. DL defines a higher level of process and data governance in producing information to overcome that hurdle, improving the controls and automation framework. We have firsthand experience in rationalizing financial management activities with greater usage of shared services and centers of excellence, establishing optimization of our previous clients’ overall financial management governance process. They successfully utilize our solution design guardrails to reap continuous process consistencies and enhance the overall data integrity across the solution.

4. Lack of capabilities to analyze and interpret Corporate performance management information. Lack of capabilities is proven to bring down the overall user engagement. DL confronts this issue by focusing on improving organizational skills and talent with our effective training methodologies. Another constructive improvement comes through implementing our clear process solution/system design patterns. A clear and well-defined process solution framework provides a process script that encapsulates financial planning needs that are well integrated and less iterative in nature. These actions helped us drive higher user engagement levels across our solutions and steered the user community toward performing high-value-add activities on the solution that are more strategic in nature. Our experiences in building smaller-scale, higher impact finance communities across various implementations have also maximized solution/system value while extending solution functionalities and their overall capabilities.

Definitive Logic’s custom and configurable financial management solutions empower our clients to rethink the entire design of the governance, organization, and process model of their financial management process. Our purposeful planning and analytics solutions help them overcome each capability deficiency that they face. We lay the groundwork for a broad range of financial management transformational initiatives by removing all functional and organizational barriers between finance, operations, and executive management.

Connect with one of our consultants to see if an integrated financial planning solution is right for your organization.

Jim Eselgroth

Srini Manam

Financial Management Portfolio Director

Mr. Manam is a Financial Management portfolio director responsible for supporting Federal Civilian clients on Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution (PPBE), Working Capital Fund, and Managerial Cost Accounting solutions. He had an extensive career working with top-niche EPM/CPM consulting firms with deep technical hands-on experience and specific expertise in implementing large-scale enterprise-wide planning, forecasting, reporting systems and data warehousing solutions using various COT products.