In a climate of cost-cutting competition for top students and staff, less public funding, and more stringent compliance requirements, college and university administrators must be able to define long-term growth plans while analyzing trends and scenarios to prepare for future excellence. This being said, budget management and planning is undoubtedly the most important step in this process.
All organizations, including colleges and universities, wrestle with projecting revenues and expenses as an organizational exercise in planning the future path of the business – the more complex the organization, the more difficult it is to perform the essential management functions of planning. With thousands of students, staffs and faculties influencing budgets and financial plans, education institutions are more likely to have difficulty ensuring a consistent approach to calculating costs and collecting data.
Historically, like many other industries, high education relies on spreadsheets to collect and compile financial and operational planning data. “Our budget analysts used to take data out of our financial system and prepare Excel files to send to people who would often then break the Excel file. She had to come even on weekends just to pull out information and update spreadsheets.” said Lauren Pahnke, Senior Business Systems Analyst at Northwestern University
As highly decentralized organizations, this was no easy task, and it is difficult to ensure a standardized approach to calculating figures and creating accurate budgets.
IBM Cognos TM1 is a solution that brings together strong financial capabilities, by allowing you to create well-defined budget and finance infrastructures that align the right data to support the financial and operational objectives of every level of the institution, allowing the university to better manage budgets, lower costs and maximize efficiencies. With IBM Cognos TM1, institution administrators can quickly and confidently make budgeting and planning decisions to optimize financial return.
“We selected Cognos TM1 because we felt that the IBM solution was more flexible and versatile than the competition,” said Olivier Bonomini, Head of Business Engineering at EF Education, “We were also impressed by the number of companies willing to act as a reference because of their successful adoption of Cognos”.
How can your organization align financial processes for deeper insight? For more information, please contact us to learn more about how we can help you with budgeting and planning process in your business.