SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

Aberdeen Group

March 08, 2011 10:00 ET

Technology Assists in the Financial Planning, Budgeting, and Forecasting Process

Market Volatility in the New Economy Encourages Changes in the Planning Process

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - March 8, 2011) - In the newly released report, "Financial Planning, Budgeting and Forecasting in the New Economy," Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), found that in the recovery from the economic events of the past few years, businesses are attempting to do everything they can to make sure the unexpected financial stresses of the past are more easily predicted and mitigated. With a renewed focus on growth as a top goal, and alignment of strategy with corporate performance, companies that hope to differentiate themselves must be armed with tools that provide visibility and flexibility to strike a balance between aggressive plans for recovery and caution. Effective financial planning, budgeting, and forecasting involve a combination of strategic business capabilities and technologies.

"Automation and technology play significant factors in facilitating the financial planning, budgeting and forecasting processes," said Nick Castellina, research associate, Aberdeen Group. "It is important to consider all factors when forecasting in order to make the most informed decisions. The top performing companies are more likely to automatically receive alerts based on internal and/or external events triggering an adjustment of their forecasts. These external events could be industry or financial indices and the internal events consist of factors such as missed schedules or changes in contracts. Alerts allow decision makers to adapt and adjust, ensuring that there are fewer surprises. Of particular note are alerts triggered by internal events. While notification about external events largely involves unstructured data that must be captured via the Internet, social media or subscribed services, internal events can often be detected through the structured data available through enterprise applications and internal data warehouses. The top performers are 2.2 times as likely as all others to receive these alerts."

Top performers in the financial planning, budgeting, and forecasting process are achieving 104% in overall budget accuracy. They are able to achieve 103% forecast accuracy which is aided by the fact that top performing businesses are 125% more likely than all others to receive alerts triggered by external events and 121% more likely to receive them for internal events. This leads to a 15% improvement in profitability.

A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part by the following underwriters: PROPHIX Software and SAP. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: Financial Planning, Budgeting, and Forecasting in the New Economy.

Visit www.aberdeen.com for additional access to complimentary Enterprise Applications and Financial Management & GRC Research.

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company
Aberdeen provides fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having queried more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information -- Opportunity -- Insight -- Engagement -- Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen or call (617) 854-5200, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748.

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