NEUBRAINER, the official blog of Neubrain

Yana McConaty

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Budgeting for the Organization's Biggest Cost: Workforce!

Posted by Yana McConaty

Large and complex organizations maintain a strategic focus on processes and systems to manage their workforce. Despite being one of the largest expenditure items, workforce expenditures are typically neglected and left to finance to manage with a complex set of spreadsheets. Oftentimes there is not enough collaboration between HR and finance groups, leaving a huge disconnect between people and dollars. Greater control and a true picture of payroll dollars are more important than ever with organizational growth, changing priorities, budgetary constraints, and other factors that influence the workforce.  

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Topics: budgeting analytics, budgeting software, Workforce Budgeting, Pay and Personnel Budgeting and Forecasting

Implementing Transparency in Financial and Performance Reporting

Posted by Yana McConaty

Government mandates to be more transparent have gone a long way to make information more available to the public, but posting raw data on a website doesn’t automatically make it accessible or digestible. Agencies still need to present the information – often about budget and performance – in ways that make immediate sense to average citizens. Sharing formulated strategy, implementation progress and performance results help taxpayers understand how strategic goals translate into dollars, so they can see how their money makes a difference.

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Topics: Performance-based Budgeting, performance management, methodology, transparency, open data

Budgeting, Planning and Forecasting Best Practices

Posted by Yana McConaty

It is a common mistake to assume that automation alone will bring necessary budget process improvements to an organization. Automating an inefficient or unintelligent bud­get process just makes the same process faster, not better.

The reality is traditional practices that govern budgeting, planning, forecasting, reporting and  risk management are becoming obsolete in the context of a fast paced digital marketplace and a volatile and uncertain global economy. Long established budget practices provide a false sense of security and fail to cope with the speed and volatility of today’s markets.

Additionally, the traditional budgeting process is widely de­cried, both by FP&A personnel—who must reconcile the requests from business managers with the targets handed down from the C-suite—and the business line managers they support—who view the budget process as a bureau­cratic exercise, a distraction from their job, a drag on their time, and a purely finance-driven process.

As you consider a new budget system, remember this is the optimal time to evaluate the strategies that can help your organization develop a more agile and intelligent budget process, use this process as decision making tool rather than a negotiation, and positively change your orga­nization’s perception of budgeting.

The following are a few strategies and best practices to consider:


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Topics: budgeting, forecasting, planning, best practices, performance management, budgeting software

10 Ways to Undermine Performance Management

Posted by Yana McConaty

Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) is an umbrella term used to describe the methodologies, metrics, processes, and systems that help enterprise companies monitor and manage their business’s performance.

Executives seeking deeper insights into business trends and potentially ambiguous opportunities utilize Performance Management. Sub-components of EPM include: Enterprise Planning, Performance Monitoring & Measurement, and Enterprise-Wide Reporting. 

Benefits definitely outweigh the challenges in deploying an EPM capability. These benefits include:

  • Enterprise-wide visibility
  • Strategic “red-zone” monitoring
  • Improved resource planning and allocation
  • Agile decision-making
  • Predictions for future performance
  • Delivery of a broad spectrum of critical business data (Note: this data is generated through monitoring, analyzing, and controlling organizational performance.)

Failing to properly manage or dedicate your company to continuous improvement of your performance management capability can lead to undesirable outcomes. Organizations must be aware of common ways that performance management initiatives can be undermined, causing business performance to stall or decline, instead of thrive.

Here are 10 ways you could be undermining performance management and suggestions on ways to avoid these pitfalls:

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Topics: software solutions, Performance-based Budgeting, performance management, methodology, reporting, metrics

Top 10 Must-Have Features of Best-in-Class Budgeting Software

Posted by Yana McConaty

While most modern budgeting software solutions can eliminate the basic spreadsheet challenges associated with data capture and simple aggregation, they typically do not take the next step: enabling the organization to use its data to improve budget decisions and the linkages between budgets and outcomes.

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Topics: budgeting, forecasting, tools, budgeting analytics, budgeting software

Data Visualization and Software Dashboards Best Practices

Posted by Yana McConaty

Data visualization tools, like software dashboards, are becoming more popular and necessary to deal with exponential data growth. According to the industry research; however, dashboards have often failed or at best they delivered only a fraction of the insight that is needed to monitor the business. Why?

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Topics: best practices, dashboards, implementation

Top Hurdles of Spend Analytics

Posted by Yana McConaty

With the stagnant economy, cost control has become the new mantra of every business. Businesses are deploying various strategies to contain costs and maintain profitability. Amongst such strategies is control and visibility into spending with external suppliers.

Spend analytics is the process of aggregating, cleansing, and analyzing corporate spending data for the purpose of reducing costs and improving operational performance. According to industry analysts, businesses deploying spend analytics have been able to reduce spending by 12% based on weighted average. If spend analytics is so critical, why are organizations facing difficulties? 

Here are top hurdles to deploying a spend analytics capability that you need to know about:

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Topics: industry insights, methodology, reporting, Spend Analytics

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