The process of going from a project plan that contains capital and operating expense to a general ledger view can be very complex and time consuming if the appropriate process and controls are not in place. The budgeting process is just a part of the end-to-end process.
What happens once the budgets have been approved and you are executing on the projects? How do you forecast throughout the year? How do you manage and track project actuals? What about resource planning and forecasting?
We have developed an end-to-end process that is tied to a comprehensive technology solution. Our solutions can bolt onto PPM tools and deliver accurate project financial results.
Below is a high-level view of our process (once the project budget is complete):
- Begin with the planning process identified above
- Following the project plan, business case for projects must be standardized so that the financials can be tracked once the business case has been approved (a system of record for business cases is recommended)
- Next the business case financials related to the project must be tracked at the account level by creating a project level tracking process
What we have found is that there are three main processes to accurately manage and track project financials. The first is the planning process—Develop a budget at the account and cost center level. Second, is to develop a structured business case process and third is to track actuals at the account level. Each of these processes should be facilitated by a solution that is built around financial processes. The hand off of data should be streamlined and consistent across all three processes.
The business case process is often overlooked in the project financial management process. Business cases contain a wealth of detailed information that is often lost because they do not have a permanent system of record.
Finally, PPM solutions are not designed to accept value management input so tracking cost savings and other benefits is not possible. If you are managing a large portfolio you should consider Inpensa as a solution for an end-to-end approach. Below is an overview of the Portfolio Financial Management Model we have developed.
In Summary, todays PPM solutions are great at tracking time and activities but rates poorly at tracking detailed financials. Inpensa has solved this problem by combining best practice processes and a bolt on technology solution that can provide demand planning, project budgeting and forecasting, business case management and detailed financials tracking.