With digitalisation, the demands on medium-sized businesses are growing. Those who do not want to be left behind must be flexible and react quickly and precisely to economic developments. Integrated success and financial planning leads the way.
Carry out integrated financial planning correctly – convince stakeholders
Why is integrated financial planning so important? Integrated financial planning is the central instrument for communication with lenders and the capital market and in this way makes controlling the backbone of corporate strategy. This is especially true for medium-sized companies, which are affected by strong changes in working capital, the difference between current assets and current liabilities, throughout the year. Working capital is therefore the indicator of a company’s solvency.
What exactly does integrated financial planning mean?
Integrated financial planning is a closed system of the profit and loss account (P&L) as well as the balance sheet and liquidity statement. All areas interlock logically. Silo thinking is taboo in integrated financial planning. An isolated consideration of individual planning elements such as the income statement is common in practice, but it does not lead to the desired results. This is because integrated financial planning is particularly suitable for being prepared for possible times of crisis and therefore also for convincing stakeholders. This requires a more integrated approach.
The 3 sub-areas of integrated financial planning
Profit planning is basically nothing other than the profit and loss account. The determination of profit on an accrual basis is the goal.
Liquidity planning is made up of three segments: the cash flow from current business activities, i.e. the incoming and outgoing payments from the operative business. Added to this is the balance from investments, disinvestments and external financing. The total shows the cash-effective change in the financial resources fund.
The balance sheet
The balance sheet is divided into assets and liabilities. The so-called balance sheet equation applies here: assets and capital are always equal. The term balance sheet is also often used as a synonym for the annual financial statement. Therefore, when the term balance sheet analysis is used, it also refers to the analysis of the annual financial statements.
Key figure systems facilitate long-term success and financial planning
Most small and medium-sized enterprises can often only present a one-year profit plan. Sometimes this is supplemented with a separate liquidity forecast, but especially in crisis situations this often leads to incorrect measures and statements.
Running through best-case and worst-case scenarios
Only by running through different variants with different planning premises is it possible to approximate probable scenarios / realistic scenarios. Therefore, quick alternative calculations and scenarios for unforeseen events with KPI systems are important in order to react to changed framework conditions as quickly as possible. Effects on the KPIs earnings and liquidity are immediately recognisable.
Is MS Excel sufficient for integrated financial planning?
Mostly, people still work with MS-Excel in controlling, because the programme is learned. However, Excel is not fully suitable as a controlling tool for integrated financial planning. The error rate is high. Automated target/actual comparisons are only possible with a great deal of work, if at all. The mapping of individual cases is time-consuming. But it is precisely the mapping of individual cases that is needed to make better decisions quickly and flexibly today.
What can Business Intelligence software do?
With integrated financial planning, intelligent software tailored to the company enables everything to flow together: from income, expense and liquidity planning to the cash flow statement. The result is a transparent set of figures that provides the basis for quick business decisions.