The FP&A Challenge for SMEs

No matter what size of business or the organisation you work in, it is important to plan and forecast intelligently to stay ahead of the curve.

The challenge for many small and medium-sized enterprize (SME) organizations looking to deploy a planning and forecasting solution, is that most planning applications are too expensive from a licensing perspective, require extensive effort to deploy effectively or suffer a lack of advanced functionality when the software comes in at a lower price point.  The classic example of this is using MS Excel for Budgeting, Forecasting and Reporting. Excel is cheap, easy to use and extremely flexible, however, when it comes to building out a sophisticated planning process like top-down/bottom-up” modelling, it becomes unwieldy and prone to errors.

Top-down planning

Top-down planning is essential to businesses that look to set and model revenue and/or expense targets, practice scenario planning or plan out multiple years into the future.  Ideally, the leadership team (board of directs, managing director, sales directors, etc) sets the strategy and leaves it to the business to meet those objectives.

Once set, objectives can be pushed down to the various business units, departments, or operational teams, to a level of granularity as is required by the planning process (cost centre, profit centre, general ledger code, monthly, weekly, etc) The process can be controlled and monitored by the finance department through the application workflow.

Bottom-up planning

The bottom-up process transfers planning responsibility to those employees who are closest to their own area of expertise and frees up the finance group to take on more value-added tasks like advanced modelling, and away from low-value tasks like data collection, aggregation, and reporting.

Whichever way your business chooses to do your planning and forecasting, I’m sure that you want a tool that has great functionality and will enable you to plan and forecast with accuracy, agility, and speed.

Discover the future of forecasting

The Simpson Associates Forecasted application does all this out of the box, and we can get you up and running with all features and benefits of an enterprise-level solution, including top-down/bottom-up planning and forecasting for the P&L, Balance Sheet, and Cashflow in ten days, and at a price point targeted at SME organizations.


If you have any questions about planning and forecasting or any of the tools mentioned in this article, please feel free to speak to us using our live chat, where one of our experts will be happy to speak with you in more detail.

Blog Author

Marc Koenen, Business Development Manager, Simpson Associates

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