8 Questions to select the best CPM solution

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Considering the overwhelming landscape of CPM solutions, it can be a hell of a job to select the best solution for your company. Because every solution offers simplicity, insights, and control, which one really matches your needs? In this blog, our CPM experts share 8 questions with you that will make it easier to define the proper requirements for your new CPM system.

The value of a CPM solution

Corporate Performance Management (CPM) software adds value to your organization by:

  • streamlining and automating your reporting process.
  • providing insight into data audit trails.
  • centralizing data from multiple sources.
  • providing analytics and reporting options.
  • making the system finance owned.
  • offering the required level of governance and flexibility.

Types of CPM solutions

Not all organizations are equal, and neither are their needs. The best matching type of CPM solution is defined by, among others, the size, lifecycle phase, and structure of your company. In global, three types of CPM solutions can be distinguished:

  1. Point solutions

Software solving a specific problem or question, for example:

  • FP&A solutions for streamlining the planning and budgeting process.
  • Financial consolidation solutions with default connectors to specific source systems.

Most point solutions offer good and in-depth functionality for a particular topic. They often contain a lot of default content for fast deployment. However, they are not always flexible. They might have limited customization possibilities, which makes it difficult to meet the specific needs of your organization.

  1. CPM platforms

Unified software platform solutions supporting the main reporting processes, for example:

CPM platform solutions offer a wide and usually in-depth range of functionality for finance departments. Usually, these systems are flexible and can be tailored to the needs of your organization. In general, they offer less default content than point solutions and require more configuration. This often results in longer project lead times.

This type of CPM solution can be of great value to your organization if you desire a one-stop shop for all corporate performance matters. It will make your CPM processes easier and the total cost of ownership lower.

  1. Extended CPM on current ERP cloud platforms

More and more software companies, like SAP, Oracle, and Workday, offer their CPM solutions for planning, consolidation, and analytics as extensions to their ERP platforms. These extensions mainly focus on harmonizing and integrating financial operations and financial reporting.

This is a strong proposition, especially for organizations that store more than 90% of their data and entities in a single ERP instance. By adding a CPM extension, they can profit from a seamless connection between financial closing and reporting.

For organizations with a more fragmented landscape, this proposition has less value as disclosing external data usually comes with more complexity and less flexibility. Or certain functionality is missing, which makes it difficult to import external data.

How to select the best CPM solution

The following 8 questions will enable you to roughly define the requirements for selecting the best matching CPM solution for your organization. In the overwhelming CPM landscape, this helps you focus on the types of solutions that can really make a difference for your company.

Question 1. How big is your organization?

Size does matter. Because of the number of entities in your company and the countries in which you operate, define the appropriate type of CPM solution.

Question 2. Centralized or fragmented finance landscape?

Is your ERP/accounting landscape centralized or rather fragmented? The more complex your organization is, the less appropriate is a default CPM solution.

Question 3.  The specific or general solution?

Are you looking for a solution to a specific problem? Or do you want to integrate a wide range of reporting processes during the coming years?

Question 4. Buy or build?

Do you want to purchase a default solution (buy) or create a custom solution for your company (build)?

Question 5. Inhouse center of excellence?

Is your finance and support organization big and mature enough to develop and manage a CPM solution in-house?

Question 6. Central or decentral reporting?

Are your reporting processes mainly centralized? Or does your company have a decentral business model?

Question 7. Keep or lose Excel?

For the Excel lovers: how important is it for your company to embrace Excel for reporting purposes? Is your organization open to other reporting tools?

Question 8. What is your budget?

Finally, it is your budget that defines the possibilities for selecting a CPM solution. Having a wish list that is bigger than your budget is complex, as you might have to reconsider, restrict and prioritize your requirements. And having a budget that is bigger than your wish list is nice, but it is evident that you want value for money.

No organization is the same

Having trouble answering these questions? Don’t worry. Although it seems easy to select a CPM solution, there can be more to it than meets the eye as no organization is the same. Especially in the mid-market, we see many organizations struggle to find the most appropriate solution. Because what to do when your company is too big and has too many flexible demands for one of the smaller point solutions, but your budget or resources are too small for the major platforms in the market?

Do you already have a CPM solution in place that no longer meets your current requirements? Another situation in which it can be quite a challenge to decide how to scale up, adjust or replace your current CPM system.

Talk to the CPM expert

Cpmview offers unique CPM solutions for financial planning, financial consolidation, reporting, and analysis tailored to the specific needs of fast-growing or mid-market organizations. Our CPM experts have a lot of experience in helping companies define detailed requirements and select the best matching CPM Solution. A solution that provides you with simplicity, insights, and control.