Alight Planning announced today the industry’s most robust driver-based financial planning and analysis software with a multitude of innovative features including a units, rates and amounts architecture, automated sensitivity analysis, goal seek operations and intuitive modeling with object-based linking. Aimed at mid-sized businesses through Fortune 1,000 divisions, Alight Planning automates complex business planning so users can move beyond the limitations of Microsoft Excel for more accurate strategic plans, revenue projections, budgets and rolling forecasts.
“Financial staff spends too much time struggling with the limitations of spreadsheets and not enough time doing real planning and analysis,” said Rand Heer, president of Alight Planning. “Alight Planning gives finance and line manager’s insights into the cause-and-effect relationships of the drivers of the business. This empowers them with better information to more quickly and accurately react to the market.”
Alight Planning offers a complete set of collaborative budgeting, forecasting and financial reporting capabilities with a unique architecture created from the ground up. Alight Planning’s flexible modeling interfaces with object-based linking lets finance staff build more accurate and auditable driver-based financial plans than with today’s spreadsheets. Automated algorithms help finance staff and line managers analyze data with on-the-spot insights into the important factors driving business results. Alight Planning also allows for easy importing and modeling of actuals data from outside financial and operational databases. This enables planners to quickly identify trends and incorporate them into rolling forecasts for more enhanced real-time decision making.
“Driver-based planning is now widely accepted as a best practice for developing any type of plan with financial projections such as strategic plans, budgets and forecasts,” said Robert Kugel, senior vice president and research director at Ventana Research. “By more closely relating planning processes and performance analysis to underlying operations, line managers and the finance organization can gain significantly more actionable insights into the business, which result in better decisions and allocation of resources. Alight Planning’s robust planning capabilities distinguish it from the pack and will help companies cut costs, shorten decision cycles and increase their ability to adapt to changing conditions.”
Alight Planning’s innovative architectures provide a host of differentiating features
• Intuitive modeling tools with object-based linking that cut modeling time by as much as 50 percent compared to spreadsheets or other planning software packages.
• Easy importing and modeling of actuals data from any database at any level of detail for constructing variance reports and rolling forecasts.
• Automated causal analysis that identifies underlying unit volume and rate impacts that cause variances in financial plans.
• System-generated audit trails for tracing of complex activity driver relationships.
• Automated tools, such as sensitivity analysis and goal seek, that let finance staff instantly identify the most important assumptions that drive financial performance.
• Up to 100 unique scenarios within a single plan file for tracking and manipulating budget versions, rolling forecasts and alternate strategies.
Alight Planning customers are building more complex driver-based financial plans in a fraction of the time it would take in spreadsheets.
“We needed a multi-user solution that could be tailored to our needs with quick and easy deployment – spreadsheets just weren’t working for us,” said Larry Van Kuran, senior consultant, Pharmacy Strategy and Operations for Kaiser Permanente. “We are now using Alight Planning software to plan and monitor a large capital investment. Not only did Alight Planning significantly reduce the amount of time to get a model up and
running, but we were able to do complex driver-based operations and scenario analyses that we simply couldn’t do in spreadsheets.”