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New Research Reveals Business Impact of Financial Planning

The Majority of Finance Executives Report Improved Business Results From Strategic Financial Planning, Especially Those Adopting Cloud and SaaS; Survey Highlights Changing Role of CFO (November 02, 2011)

REDWOOD CITY, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 11/02/11 -- Host Analytics, the leading provider of SaaS corporate performance management (CPM) solutions, today announced the results of an independent survey of more than 550 finance executives on the business impact of financial planning. The results reveal a direct correlation between strategic financial planning and business results, significantly higher among those organizations adopting cloud computing and SaaS. In addition, the survey points to a more strategic CFO role over the last five years.

"In today's business climate, corporate finance is taking on more important responsibilities in planning for potential risks and opportunities," said Diane Hagglund, senior research analyst for Dimensional Research and the study's author. "However, this research shows many organizations still struggle to deliver the business advantage if they are not enabled with the tools and processes to conduct strategic financial planning and analysis."

Increasingly unpredictable economic conditions not only create business challenges that must be managed, but also a competitive opportunity for the companies that are able to respond faster and more intelligently. Conducted by Dimensional Research and commissioned by Host Analytics, the recent survey gathered current trends and challenges in corporate financial planning, budgeting and analysis.

"The research underscores the evolving role of finance and the CFO," said Jon Kondo, president and CEO for Host Analytics. "Today's CFO is more likely than ever before to work side by side with the CEO, using sophisticated financial planning to identify potential risk and reward of any major business decision. Organizations that understand this fundamental shift will emerge the winners."


Of the finance executives surveyed, 72 percent reported improved business results through strategic financial planning. These results were significantly higher among organizations that have adopted cloud-based financial planning systems, 92 percent. When compared to those using spreadsheets, only 64 percent of organizations depending on spreadsheets for financial planning reported improved business results.

Key survey findings:

  • 77 percent of those surveyed reported financial planning capabilities can deliver competitive advantage;
  • 72 percent report better business results through financial planning;
  • Sophisticated financial planning capabilities that can drive business results are still lacking in many organizations, including ongoing what-if scenario modeling (25 percent), wide-range disaster planning (9 percent) and broad-range opportunity planning (7 percent);
  • 92 percent of respondents using cloud systems report improved business results from financial planning;
  • 64 percent of those using only spreadsheets report improved business results from financial planning;
  • 64 percent revealed the CFO is more likely to be involved in strategy discussions now verses five years ago;
  • Strategy and planning (58 percent) and communication (32 percent) are the most important skills for a successful CFO career.

To access the full research report, "Driving Business Results Through Business Financial Planning: A Survey of Financial Professionals," visit http://bit.ly/sMROpC

Survey Methodology
In October 2011, Dimensional Research invited an independent database of financial executives, controllers, managers and other finance professionals to participate in a Web survey on the topic of financial planning. Respondents were not compensated for participating, except to be offered a copy of the final report. Survey participants represented a wide range of roles, vertical industries and company sizes. All respondents were based in the United States and Canada.

Host Analytics' suite of SaaS CPM solutions helps finance executives drive fact-based decision making throughout their organizations and puts rigor into financial processes such as planning and budgeting, scorecarding and financial consolidation and reporting.

Relevant Links
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About Host Analytics
The Host Analytics Decision Platform™ reveals the full implications of decisions -- both risk and reward. As the industry's first cloud-based corporate performance management (CPM) suite, Host Analytics improves budgeting, forecasting, financial consolidations, dashboarding, scorecarding, reporting and analysis to drive fact-based decisions for finance executives. Host Analytics serves midsize to large customer organizations including AT&T, National Public Radio, NexTag, Crocs, Thule, Otis Spunkmeyer, Schumacher and Red Roof Inn. Founded in 2000, Host Analytics has received industry recognition including JMP Securities' Hot 100: The Best Privately Held Software Companies, AlwaysOn OnDemand 100, AlwaysOn Global 250, the Ventana Research Leadership Award, the Editors' Choice Award From TechWeb's Intelligent Enterprise and the Red Herring Top 100 North America Tech Startup Award.

For additional information, visit http://www.hostanalytics.com/ or join the conversation at www.twitter.com/host_analytics.

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Media Contact:
Danielle Salvato-Earl
Kulesa Faul for Host Analytics
(650) 340-1982
Email Contact


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Related Keywords: SaaS, corporate performance management, decision making, budgeting, financial consolidation, Canada, USA, Marketwire, , Financial, Internet Technology, Business, disaster, Other,

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