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Case Study

Improving Forecasting Process and Visibility

Team Size
1 Managing Director, 2 Directors, 2 Vice Presidents
Project Duration
8 weeks

The Challenge

A leading North American sales and marketing agency serving the Consumer/Retail sector was facing a number of challenges: performance headwinds, increased difficulty in providing driver-based revenue and EBITDA forecasts, and lack of visibility around the root-causes of forecast variances in recent quarters. The Management team and Sponsor engaged Accordion to assess current forecasting processes and help drive process enhancements.

Services

Actionable Business Analytics

Stakeholder Reporting & Strategic KPI Enhancement

Budgeting & Forecasting Process Improvement

The Execution

Our Accordion team worked closely with the Company’s FP&A team and other stakeholders in a phased approach, including:

  • Root-cause analysis of historical variances
    • Quarterly forecast variance analysis identifying key revenue and expense variance drivers across business units and customers
  • Deep-dive process diagnostic and gap assessment
    • Detailed review and documentation of the current quarterly forecasting process, including timing, stakeholder involvement and data/templates involved
    • Interviews with stakeholders including key business partners (functional and business unit) to understand pain points, challenges and areas of opacity
  • Redesign of forecasting process
    • Identified additional data points, internal and external (market data) to be incorporated
    • Redesigned process, incorporating additional stakeholders and review loops
    • Developed new templates incorporating additional market and internal data points to guide forecasting bands, and increased granularity into revenue and expense drivers (price, volume, fixed vs variable, FTEs etc.).

Our team assisted the Company with an in-cycle implementation of the redesigned process and tools during their quarterly reforecast cycle:

  • Trained on new process across finance business partners and sales managers
  • Validated templates and transitioned process changes to relevant stakeholders
  • Developed a forecast sensitivity model for top level analysis across clients/business units
  • Incorporated real-time feedback from forecast reviews to develop a steady-state process

The Results

With Accordion’s assistance, the Company was able to implement forecasting best practices across its business units. The new forecasting process incorporated relevant stakeholders and improved visibility into granular revenue and expense drivers. As a result, the Company also increased communication and collaboration between the FP&A team, key customer sales managers and business unit leaders.  Our team also developed a steady-state forecasting process with enhanced roles and responsibilities to further improve the process collaboration and overall visibility for Company Management and Sponsor.