However, the ability to accurately view both the mining physicals and corporate financials is often hindered by the lack of integration, standardisation and systematic process across the organisation.
The widespread use of Excel spreadsheets to calculate, manage and distribute data to support key budget parameters, for example, is one reason for this lack of visibility.
According to a recent survey by the International Data Corporation, advanced spreadsheet users spend more than 25 hours a week on data manipulation with a portion of that time attributed to repeated data entry.
The wasted time and effort spent on consolidating and standardising spreadsheets across the business not only leads to reduced productivity, but can also increase margin for error. That is also assuming the data that is being entered from the spreadsheet is correct to start with. The reality is that while you might have brilliant grasp of Excel formulas and functionality not everyone in your business is at the same standard.
For mining companies grappling with time-consuming budgeting processes as a result of the manual entry and transfer of Excel data, they should look to an enterprise financial solution that provides a trusted systematic approach to financial planning.
A key part of that enterprise solution rests in intelligent tools such as RPMGlobal’s XERAS Enterprise, a financial modelling and mine budgeting software that provides companies with the ability to create increased business efficiency and value.
Below are four key ways implementing an intelligent approach to financial planning can result in improved budgeting efficiency and accuracy for mining companies of all sizes.
- Trust in your budgeting process: Due to the lack of deep analytic functionality contained on Excel spreadsheets, coupled with a reliance on manual data entry in the creation of budgets and forecasts, mine-site financial managers often lack confidence in financial outcomes. With a systematic approach to financial planning, managers have access to trustful insights gained through sophisticated analytics. This leads to complete visibility and one source of truth for financial plans.
- Forecasting accuracy: Removing manual entry from the budgeting process will directly correlate to improved forecast accuracy. A visual, live forecasting environment is key to best practice financial planning as it significantly reduces the time it takes to generate budgets and forecasts, delivering companies an accurate financial position at any given time.
- Corporate assumption management: The ability to reforecast assumptions to the plan is severely hindered when it is undertaken on cumbersome, siloed Excel files. Generating ‘what-if’ scenarios is often time-consuming and prone to error, therefore reducing visibility and insight into a mining company’s financial big picture. A last minute update to the price assumption of diesel or currency exchange rate, for example, can cause significant delays and rework across the entire business. With a true intelligent approach to financial planning, a change in any corporate assumptions will be delivered faster while reducing the risk of error in data updates.
- Planning agility: A robust financial solution isn’t complete without the functionality to easily adapt to changes in the corporate structure and operating environment. The ability to predict financial implications of changes is often critical to a mines success. However, the ability to account for different plans is often viewed as an exhausting and cumbersome process. XERAS Enterprise delivers the planning agility needed to adjust operating and cashflow outcomes in line with any changes to the external operating environment as they happen.
It is incumbent on all mining companies to consider the most efficient and cost-effective way to produce informed and trusted financial outcomes that drive value for the entire business. If companies are struggling with pervasive spreadsheet development, XERAS Enterprise is the answer to unlocking the intelligent approach needed to enhance cost visibility and financial accuracy for improved value creation.