KPMG shortens forecast cycles by 33% using Oracle Cloud EPM
Leading global professional services firm uses Oracle Cloud EPM to generate forecasts more efficiently while increasing self-service reporting by 40%.
“With Oracle Cloud EPM we gained the ability to put multiyear planning and forecasting in place. The tool will drive the metrics that we'll use to measure our business. We think and plan both short- and long-term, and Oracle Cloud EPM helps us optimize that.”
KPMG provides business solutions as well as audit, tax, and advisory services to many of the world’s largest enterprises. However, its large portfolio of services comes with substantial planning and reporting needs, as well as the challenge to execute these tasks as efficiently as possible. KPMG was interested in improving insights into key financial performance measures to help plan for workforce demands.
The company was using Oracle Hyperion and had a spreadsheet-based planning and modeling system that no longer met its needs. The process was complex, involving approximately 200 manual templates across the audit, tax, and advisory departments, in addition to plenty of review and consolidation of the data generated through those spreadsheets. Plus, analysts had to customize standard templates to meet needs, which added additional complexity and considerably increased the consolidation workload.
Furthermore, the process of monitoring the changes between plan to forecasts, and prior forecasts to current forecasts, was entirely manual and required considerable administrative effort. After analyzing these roadblocks, KPMG decided to look for a new modern planning solution to eliminate challenges and improve business efficiency.
There are many benefits of implementing a modern EPM system such as Oracle. The main ones are the planning and forecasting power and the flexibility of the tool.
Why KPMG chose Oracle
KPMG selected Oracle Cloud Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) because of its intuitive interface and the solution’s advanced forecasting and reporting capabilities.
Also, Oracle and KPMG have a longstanding relationship. “We’ve been using Hyperion for probably 25 years. There was deep trust there in the relationship with Oracle,” says Scott Fritz, KPMG managing director.
The advanced planning functions in Oracle Cloud EPM eliminated the need to collect spreadsheets from users and compile them into a single source. The main quantifiable benefits KPMG obtained were a 33% reduction in the number of days needed to produce forecasts, a 35% reduction in time to produce presentations to management, and a 40% increase in self-service reporting.
While the company still uses spreadsheets, they are now only employed for offline modeling and are standardized across the audit, tax, and advisory departments. This significantly reduced the number of individual spreadsheets, which enabled more standard processes across departments and a rethinking of how the teams approach forecasts. “We have shortened each forecast cycle by an average of 3 working days, which corresponds to 288 hours per analyst per year. This has been accomplished despite increasing the frequency of forecasting to become a monthly process, with added scenario-based modeling,” Fritz says.
Oracle Cloud EPM enables KPMG to generate multiyear forecasts and multiple financial scenarios while incorporating factors that are business drivers, such as headcount. Using the headcount option in Oracle Cloud EPM allows KPMG to effectively track the workforce. The company has gone from staff roll-forward to a system-based approach, providing it with an accurate overview of incoming and departing staff, interim versus full-year workforce, and compensation levels of all individuals.
The flexibility of the tool also allowed KPMG to respond quickly to workforce scenario modeling during the start of the pandemic. With rapidly changing workloads and resource demands, the Oracle Cloud EPM solution provided needed flexibility.
Technical challenges such as keeping servers, databases, and applications manually up to date are now history. “That’s one of the core benefits of working with an innovative organization like Oracle. In Oracle Cloud, everything is taken off so that we can concentrate on our core duties, which in this case is planning and forecasting,” says Fritz.
KPMG also benefited from working with its in-house Oracle EPM team, led by Chona Salamero. “Chona and her team have a deep understanding of Oracle technology and their methodology allowed us to understand the roadmap and art of the possible, which created buy-in from our team from the beginning,” says Fritz.
The KPMG corporate finance team worked with its in-house Oracle EPM implementation team for the project, to streamline and automate the budgeting and planning process, create advanced scenario modeling, and automate the reporting of key financial performance metrics.