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SAP EPM
Thought Leadership

EPM Hierarchical Planning, Forecasting and Reporting

Posted by Jamison Chochrek on Tue, Nov 12, 2013 @ 09:11 AM

forecastingColumn5's EPM Academy sets the industry standard in quality curriculum, with course content developed by top field experts on SAP products and delivered in a variety of formats.Software knowledge and skills are only as valuable as what's retained and applied in the real world. Column5's "360 Training Experience" ensures that your staff will not only develop good habits and acquire confidence while mastering the software—they'll build organizational enthusiasm for EPM that lasts long after implementation.

One of the big questions that comes up when organizations are evaluating and designing an Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) solution is whether or not the solution can support “mixing and matching” the levels of 'planning vs. forecasting vs. reporting'.  The short answer is : ABSOLUTELY!    The simple table below shows the typical high level business process mapping requirements for an organization:


A real world example of this is would be Operational Expense (OPEX) planning.  Let’s say for example a cost center manager is trying to reforecast her Total Cost Center Travel for GL Account T100 for the remainder of the year. She now has one quarter of Actual data plus she can still see the official plan. At this point, she can see that Actuals are over Plan by $1K (flagged in Red below) for Fuel.  She now needs to reforecast the remainder of the year. She also knows this because George in Procurement sent an email out to the team to alert them of a new fuel contract. In that contract, the price increased 25%. That means for the next 3 quarters, she can expect $5k to be the actual cost.  Therefore, she reforecasts


As you see above, Actual data is coming in at the detail levels. We can see T100 and drill down to the various sub accounts.  You can also see the current plan is $17,000 and does not include the sub account details.  Last, you can see the re forecast of $21,000 based on the Plan but with “actualized” data from what is currently available.  Imagine now this concept across the entire chart of accounts.  The changes and impact can be huge. For that reason of scale, it is critical that users be able to re forecast and leverage the actual data.


In order to accomplish this power, the solution such as SAP’s Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC) can store heterogenous data at mixed levels. Further it can blend or “actualize” plan data at the parent level along with actual data at the detail level to provide a much more accurate view of how the rest of the year will end up. In short, the solution is flexible to allow for real world changes to be integrated into the numbers.  Having this level of ability means that users will achieve “UNDERSTANDING” of the numbers rather than just seeing numbers.  Understanding leads to action;  The users can take action with BPC vs. just seeing numbers and trying to put context around that.  The solution allows for comments that help support the idea that we really are trying to enable users to take action rather than just read reports.


Column5’s annual BPC Logic Bootcamp will be held on site at the Column5 global headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona on December 3-5, 2013.  Learn how to:
    Achieve long-term independence
    Lower your costs
    Significantly improve BPC performance and capabilities
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Topics: Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Training, Data, Forecasting

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