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Transition to budgeting and planning in the cloud, quickly and easily

Cloud-based Enterprise Performance Management solutions offer improvement in key business processes such as planning, financial consolidation, and management reporting, leading to increasing uptake of these solutions. However, while cloud-based solutions significantly lower costs, their primary benefit is in allowing for easy adoption of best practices and greater agility in core finance functions.

"The cloud makes it much easier and quicker for businesses of any size to deploy finance solutions. Cloud-based solutions offer reduced cost of ownership, management tools and packaged data integration, and can be implemented in a very short space of time," says
Elize Holl, senior planning and budgeting consultant at specialist finance technology company, Futuresense.

According to Elize, some solutions are quicker and easier to implement than others, with Oracle leading the field. "The Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service, for example, offers instant access to the environment. No installation is required, there's no server setup, and no additional hardware or software requirements. All you need is an Internet connection."

The Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (PBCS) is a planning application based on Oracle Hyperion Planning that supports enterprise-wide planning, budgeting, and forecasting in a cloud environment. Offering multi-dimensional and multi-user planning as well as flexible workflow and plan management capabilities, PBCS can be integrated with ERP systems and other sources. It supports a hierarchical planning process that encompasses corporate finance and lines of business, with multi-currency and rolling forecast features available out of the box.

"PBCS is an ideal solution for businesses looking to streamline the planning process by aligning the plans created across an organisation. Planning and budgeting tends to be a resource and time intensive process in most companies, and is usually dominated by manual tasks involving a multitude of spreadsheets being exchanged. PBCS not only saves time, it allows different plans to be linked and the impact of any changes can be evaluated instantaneously, revised, and shared with the business without a time lag or risk of manual error," says Elize Holl.

Not only does PBCS have all of the features and capabilities of Hyperion Planning on-site, it offers so much more, she adds. "The dashboard features offer various chart types from already created Webforms, and even has a drill-down function on the chart to identify the problem area. This can be accessed via a tablet or smartphone for on-the-spot queries. Auditing is a click away and can be exported. An activity log is generated every day, with a level of detail that goes down to which users used what browser. These and many other features are standard with PBCS."

PBCS was designed for ease-of-use, and is accessible through Microsoft Office with an add-in. It boasts a simplified interface, enabling business users to manage the solution directly with no IT involvement.

"PBCS is an ideal foundation for making the transition to Enterprise Business Planning, but even for those companies with a solution in place, its ease of use and implementation put PBCS ahead of all its competitors. Its rich framework allows users to meet their immediate financial planning, budgeting and forecasting needs while enabling future cross-functional expansion and automated process integration," Elize concludes.

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