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Case Study

Streamlining P&L Forecasting in Anaplan

Team Size
3 Consultants
Project Duration
6 months

The Situation

A fast-growing digital marketing firm reached a point in its journey where budgeting and forecasting sales in spreadsheets was no longer a viable option. Due to a high volume of customer contracts, sales commissions, and vendor and workforce expenses, a solution was needed to consolidate all planning information and calculate projected P&L line items over the course of the future 24 months. The FP&A team knew the next step out of spreadsheets involved a software tool. When evaluating options, the decision was made to use Anaplan for all needs across the P&L rather than buying separate point solutions for SaaS revenue modelling, sales commissions, and expense planning.


Budgeting/Forecasting Solution Implementation

Reporting & Analytics

FP&A Best Practices Implementation

The Execution

  • Held several sessions during the initial weeks of the project to understand the data needs and collect business requirements for planning logic.
  • Built a full-scale P&L planning solution in Anaplan while sourcing data from the client’s CRM, ERP, and HCM.
  • Created source revenue plan from the sales and revenue planning portion of Anaplan.
  • Built expense portion of the model that incorporated the revenue plan to calculate sales commission expenses.
    • The model also produced a workforce plan that calculated salary and payroll related expenses by employee.
    • Anaplan calculated a headcount forecast by department and by month accounting for attrition and to-be-hired employees.
  • Set up the Anaplan model to allow for a rolling forecast when months are closed while also enabling several scenarios to be planned at once.
    • Planners can archive their forecasts at any time and compare to actuals using a variance analysis set up in the model.
  • Configured data integrations to run nightly so that the freshest data from all sources systems is loaded to Anaplan at the beginning of each business day.
  • Connected Anaplan outputs to Tableau and scheduled load of Anaplan results to Tableau on a nightly basis.

The Results

Accordion successfully worked with the Company to understand how to translate their business needs into a full-scale P&L. Once the needs were understood, we built a dynamic model in Anaplan to provide the team the forecast they needed each month. The Anaplan model provided a more accurate forecast than the previous collection of spreadsheets used for planning. It significantly trimmed the amount of time needed to manually collect and organize source data used as drivers for the forecast logic and allowed the Company’s FP&A team more time for actual analysis.