Machine learning (ML) has the potential to revolutionize Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) by providing organizations with real-time insights and predictive capabilities across planning and forecasting processes.  With the ability to process vast amounts of data, ML algorithms can help organizations identify patterns, trends and relationships that would otherwise go unnoticed.  And as the technology continues to evolve and improve, even greater benefits are likely to emerge in the future as Finance leverages the power of ML to achieve financial goals.

Join us as we examine Sensible ML for EPM – Future of Finance at Your Fingertips.

The Shift to Intelligent Finance

For CFOs, whether artificial intelligence (AI) and ML will play a role across enterprise planning processes is no longer a question.  Today, the question instead focuses on how to operationalize ML in ways that return optimal results and scale.  The answer is where things get tricky.

Why?  Business agility is critical in the rapidly changing world of planning.  To think fast and move first, organizations must overcome challenges spanning the need to rapidly grow the business, accurately predict future demand, anticipate unforeseen market circumstances and more.  Yet the increasing volumes of data across the organization make it difficult for decision-makers to zero in on the necessary data and extrapolate the proper insights to positively impact planning cycles and outcomes.  Further exacerbating the problem, many advanced analytics processes and tools only leverage high-level historical data, forcing decision-makers to re-forecast from scratch whenever unforeseeable market shifts hit.

But with AI and ML, business analysts can analyze and correlate the most relevant internal/external variables.  And the variables then contribute to forecasting accuracy and performance across the Sales, Supply Chain, HR and Marketing processes that comprise financial plans and results.

Those dynamics underscore why now is the time for Intelligent Finance.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll share a four-part blog series discussing the path toward ML-powered intelligent planning.  Here’s a sneak peek at the key topics in our Sensible ML for EPM series:

Figure 1: Sensible ML Dashboard

Regardless of where you are in your Finance journey, our Sensible ML for EPM series is designed to share insights from the experience of OneStream’s team of industry experts.  We recognize, of course, that every organization is unique – so please assess what’s most important to you based on the specific needs of your organization.


The aspiration of ML-powered plans is nothing new.  But to remain competitive amid the increasing pace of change and technology disruption, Finance leaders must think differently to finally conquer the complexities inherent in traditional enterprise planning.  ML has the potential to greatly improve EPM by providing organizations with real-time insights and predictive analytics.  However, organizations must overcome challenges (e.g., ensuring good data quality and selecting the right ML algorithm) to achieve success.  As ML continues to evolve, increasingly more organizations are likely to leverage its power to drive better financial and operational outcomes.

Several challenges lie ahead for organizations of all sizes, but one of the most important decisions will be implementing the right ML solution – one that can effectively align all aspects of planning and elevate the organization toward its strategic goals.  Sensible ML answers that call.  It brings power and sophistication to organizations to drive transparency and increase the velocity of forecasting processes with unprecedented transparency and alignment to business performance.

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To learn more about the value of Sensible ML, download our whitepaper titled “Sensible Machine Learning for CPM – Future Finance at Your Fingertips” by clicking here.  And don’t forget to tune in for additional posts from our machine learning blog series!

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There’s been a debate brewing for years in the enterprise performance management (EPM) software market about what’s the best way to deliver the functionality required to support the various EPM processes.  The debate centers around whether customers are better served by a unified EPM platform or by best of breed applications designed to support specific processes such as financial consolidation, reporting, planning and forecasting.  At the heart of this debate is also the question about what’s more important in EPM software – control or flexibility? What if you could have both in a single product?  Read on to learn more.

Taste Great vs. Less Filling

Remember the Miller Light beer commercials from the 1970’s when the product was first introduced? The premise behind them was that most beer-drinkers believed that a low-calorie beer sacrificed taste, then Miller came along and dispelled the myth with their product which “tasted great” and was also “less filling.” There’s a similar debate “brewing” in the EPM/CPM software industry regarding best of breed applications vs. unified platforms.

brewing beer

The main focus of the EPM debate has been financial consolidation and reporting vs. planning, budgeting and forecasting.  The financial consolidation and reporting process requires control and accuracy, while planning, budgeting and forecasting requires the flexibility to budget, plan and forecast at different levels of detail than the actual financial results.  And furthermore, this level of detail can vary based on the planning process (strategic vs. financial vs. operational) and line of business.  The camp that favors the best of breed approach believes that the control required to deliver fast and accurate consolidated financial results hinders the planning and forecasting process, and vice versa. But is this really true?  The answer is that it depends on the architecture of the software.

Best of Breed Applications and Fragmentation

Several EPM vendors have chosen to deliver a fragmented set of best of breed applications (see figure 1) to support processes such as financial close and consolidation, reporting and various types of planning.  These vendors claim that each of these processes requires a dedicated application that’s optimized to provide either the control or flexibility required by the application.  The problem with this approach is that every organization has the need to compare their actual, book of record financial or operating results against their budgets or forecasts in order to identify and analyze variances. 

CPM software
Figure 1 – Fragmented CPM Applications

With a fragmented suite of applications, this requires users to move data from the financial consolidation application to the planning application, or vice versa, or to yet another application where the data can be aligned for reporting and analysis.  And in addition to spending a lot of time moving data around, the users must maintain and update metadata in multiple applications as new accounts, departments, locations, or products are added to the business. 

For example, what happens when your business changes via re-orgs, acquisitions, or divestures? The answer is you need an army of consultants or admins to realign systems, metadata, data and reports to ensure all users are seeing the same definition of net income for example. Having multiple systems means that there is a data reconciliation effort just to try to ensure common definitions. This tax on your systems and resources means they can’t attack other business problems.

Some of the cloud-based vendors in the market offer point solutions that support only specific EPM processes, such as enterprise planning or account reconciliations.  The cloud-based planning software vendors claim their software is optimized for this process and that consolidation and reporting should be handled in a separate application.  Again, the problem here is that customers need to be able to compare actual book of record financial and operational results against the budgets or forecasts to identify and analyze variances.   So the users end up having to extract the actuals, budgets and forecasts out of their respective applications and into Excel spreadsheets or some other system for comparative reporting. 

Another problem is that some cloud-based planning software vendors provide planning platforms that include no pre-built financial intelligence – it must all be built from scratch.  While this approach might work for supporting only operational planning processes, it doesn’t work for linking operational plans to financial plans and forecasts.  This linkage of financial and operational plans is a key market requirement and the essence of what’s now being referred to as eXtended Planning & Analysis (XP&A).

OneStream Provides Control and Flexibility in a Single Application

Now that we have identified the complexities that are created for users by fragmented EPM suites or best of breed planning solutions the question is – can a single unified EPM/CPM application provide both control and flexibility? Is it possible to have a single application that provides the control and accuracy needed to support the complex financial consolidation needs of global enterprises, as well as the flexibility to support financial and operational planning, budgeting and forecasting. The answer is yes – and that’s the essence of OneStream

OneStream provides a unified, Intelligent Finance Platform (see figure 2) with a modern architecture designed to provide accuracy and control as well as flexibility in a single application.  One of the secret sauces behind this is something called Extensible Dimensionality®.  This is essentially the ability of the system to support corporate standards, such as the corporate chart of accounts (COA), while providing relevance for operating units.  This means the corporate COA can be extended to support the more detailed reporting and planning requirements of various business units without impacting the corporate standard.

CPM software

Figure 2 – OneStream’s Intelligent Finance Platform

The other secret sauce is the multiple calculation engines within OneStream’s Intelligent Finance platform. This includes a world-class financial consolidation engine, as well as an aggregation engine designed to rapidly roll up budgets, plans and forecasts that don’t require the same precision and audit trails as book of record financial results.  The beauty of this approach is that the data for all these processes resides in a single data store, providing a single version of the truth for actuals, plans, forecasts and other corporate data.

In addition, a unified application means all processes are aligned with a single point of change, so solutions are always in alignment without manual reconciliation efforts. This single point of changes gives OneStream customers the agility needed to conquer the complexity of business changes. This unique capability is what allows OneStream to replace multiple legacy applications with a single, unified platform.  That platform provides the control to support fast and accurate financial close, consolidation and reporting – while also providing the flexibility to support agile budgeting, planning and forecasting across the enterprise.  And this unified approach makes it very easy for users to compare actual financial and operating results with budgets and forecasts – at whatever level of detail is required, without moving data between applications.  It provides a single version of the truth for actuals as well as strategic, financial and operational plans, budgets and forecasts.

Proof is in the Pudding

Does this approach really work? You bet it does. How do we know that? Because over 80% of OneStream customers use the platform to support their financial consolidation, reporting and planning processes, as well as other tasks such as account reconciliations, transaction matching, tax provisioning, profitability analysis, ESG reporting and other tasks. Here’s one example below.


SPX Corporation had been using their prior EPM application suite for 18 years. SPX was using separate solutions for data loads, consolidations, planning and forecasting and account reconciliations. They had also built their federal tax provision process into their consolidation solution and had built flash forecasts, bridge reporting and state tax provisioning in their planning applications.

This multi-product approach to their critical financial applications created challenges for the Finance and IT teams. According to Keith Chapman, Director of IT for Corporate Applications, “Just keeping all the data and metadata in sync was challenging — given all of the changes in our organization structure with acquisitions and divestitures. The end-users were constantly moving and reconciling data. There was no single version of the truth, and reporting was siloed and fragmented. From an IT standpoint, it was a lot of work maintaining and upgrading the applications, and we also used managed services to keep the products running.”

Since moving to OneStream, the SPX team has experienced many benefits from having one unified platform for actuals, plans, forecasts, tax and account recons. This makes life much easier for users in terms of loading data, reviewing and drilling into the data staging area for the details.


According to Chapman, “OneStream has provided a huge benefit in keeping everything aligned with automated control procedures in place, so when business changes happen, we can keep up. Tax and FP&A are no longer separated; actuals can be seeded into budgets; and we are no longer waiting for overnight processes. The tax team can leverage the roll-forward data from consolidation right into the tax solution. Users enter the data once, and it is leveraged across multiple processes.”

Said Chapman, “We also leverage OneStream’s Extensible Dimensionality®. This allows us to do corporate cost forecasting in the same application, at lower level of detail than our normal forecast — very easily. It’s all about offering solutions to the business and delivering rapid value. Instead of being viewed as a corporate application, OneStream is a platform; it adds value and continues to add value by providing timely insights.”

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Having the control required to produce an accurate and auditable book of record financial results as well as the flexibility to plan and forecast at the right level of detail is essential for success in EPM or CPM software.  And although some vendors are promoting the myth that both control and flexibility can only be provided through separate applications – OneStream has proven this myth is false, just like Miller beer, with a platform that “tastes great and is also less filling.”  We have successfully delivered a unified platform that supports financial consolidation, reporting, planning and forecasting for more than 1100 organizations globally.  To learn more, check out our Intelligent Finance white paper and contact OneStream if your organization is ready to take the leap to a modern, unified platform that can support all your EPM/CPM processes.

Download the White Paper

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have revolutionized many industries, but the field of financial planning & analysis (FP&A) has been slow to adopt this technology.  Despite the numerous benefits AI – and more specifically, ML – can bring to Finance (e.g., increased efficiency, accuracy and strategic insights), many organizations still hesitate to implement either in their FP&A processes.  What’s holding FP&A back from reaping the vast benefits of ML?

To answer this question and more, this blog will explore some of the challenges holding FP&A back from fully embracing ML and how those challenges can be overcome.

Market Appetite for ML

While not yet as widely accepted as the move to the cloud for the financial close and planning processes, ML adoption is already increasing, according to the 2022 Data Science and Machine Learning Market Study by Dresner Advisory Services.  In 2016, less than 40% of responding organizations reported using or actively exploring ML.  That same metric was about 70% in 2022 (see Figure 1), showing a steady increase over the last seven years.  On the surface, that progression underscores the AI hype and excitement for the potential benefits of using AI for FP&A.

Figure 1:  Dresner Advisory Wisdom of Crowds® Data Science and ML Market Survey

But what happens if the data gets broken down by function?  A bit of a different reality emerges for the Office of Finance and FP&A.

In fact, the study shows that only 20% (see Figure 2) of Finance organizations are currently using AI and ML, and Finance actuals lag most functions, despite all the buzz and chatter out there.

Figure 2:  Deployment of AI and ML by Function

What’s Holding FP&A Back?

With so much buzz yet low adoption, what key barriers are holding FP&A and Operations teams back from mainstream adoption of ML solutions?  Figure 3 depicts the barriers.

Figure 3:  AI Barriers to Entry for FP&A

Below, the details about these key barriers show why they’re preventing widespread implementation of cutting-edge ML technologies:

Lack of Expertise
Lack of Scale
Lack of Business Intuition & Transparency
Figure 4:  AI in Current CPM Solutions

As a strategic business partner, FP&A must instill confidence in forecasting processes.  And while leveraging AI and ML is likely to increase forecast accuracy, P&L owners cannot assess the drivers that comprise forecasts – P&L leaders who can’t will never own their forecasts.

And if P&L owners don’t own their forecasts, forecasting processes break down and fail altogether.  That means FP&A has failed too.

Fragmented & Disconnected Processes


Despite these challenges, ML has the potential to significantly improve Finance operations and outcomes.  By automating manual processes, ML can help Finance professionals save time and improve accuracy, which can lead to more effective decision-making.  Additionally, ML can provide real-time insights into financial performance.  Those insights can then help Finance professionals identify trends and make informed decisions.

As AI and ML for FP&A enter the mainstream, organizations will undoubtedly have several choices to consider.  On one spectrum, solution vendors for AI (see Figure 5) are offering everything from AI infrastructure solutions to data science toolkits and complete AI platforms to create and deploy ML models.  While these are powerful tools addressing varying use cases, the tools aren’t designed for FP&A teams.

Figure 5:  AI General Vendor Landscape

Corporate performance management vendors are also investing in AI capabilities to support extended planning & analysis (xP&A) processes such as demand planning and sales planning.  As Figure 5 illustrates well for AI vendors, CPM vendors will also solve their customers’ AI needs in different ways.

So then, what’s the lesson in all this?

Don’t let AI hype cloud the evaluation process.  Start with a clear understanding of “what” business outcomes the FP&A team is trying to achieve with ML.  Identify “who” is using the solution and “how” the solution is unified into existing planning processes.

And with answers to these questions in mind, use the evaluation process to “get under the hood” to learn whether the solution will unleash the organization from the key barriers holding FP&A back from moving beyond the hype.

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Want to learn more about how FP&A teams are moving beyond the AI hype?  Stay tuned for additional posts from our blog series, or download our interactive e-book here.

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Continued uncertainty and a rapidly changing business environment have forced businesses to be agile and rethink their approach to budgeting, planning and reporting with greater pressure to run lean finance teams. Finance leaders are turning to corporate performance management (CPM) technology for faster, more accurate planning and reporting capabilities. This technology allows organizations to better manage their budgets, with the ability to pivot based on any variances, as well as perform frequent forecasts in response to economic changes.  CPM software also enables organizations to streamline financial close, consolidation and reporting for a more timely and accurate picture of the business. It is through this lens that Nucleus Research published its 2023 Value Matrix for CPM Software, highlighting key market trends and ranking the top 19 vendors. Read on to learn more about the report’s findings and how OneStream was positioned in the market.

CPM Software Helps Organizations Power Through Uncertainty

For the past several years, businesses have been facing pressure from geopolitical risk, economic uncertainty, supply chain disruption, volatile markets and more. The demand for CPM solutions remains high as organizations seek to enhance their planning and reporting capabilities amid these rapidly changing external market factors and greater pressure to run lean finance teams, according to the 2023 Nucleus Research CPM Technology Value Matrix that published in late January.

The report stated, “Nucleus found that a CPM solution’s most significant benefit is helping businesses protect their cash positions, which is vital in a market downturn. Organizations leverage their CPMs to consolidate financial information for a bird’s eye view of their finances, enabling accurate cash and expense projections. With a real-time view and continuous forecasting, businesses can better manage budget variances, and managers can better adhere to their spending guidelines. Since non-finance department heads can leverage a CPM solution, they can provide input to budgets and update their spending for alignment across finance, sales, marketing and operations.”

Nucleus Research makes the case for CPM technology to drive organizational alignment instead of point solutions or fragmented systems, highlighting that the breadth of functionality across CPM platforms enables integrated business planning (BP) initiatives which allows departments outside of finance to participate in budgeting and planning for continuous organizational alignment.

Whereas other IT industry reports evaluate financial planning software separately from financial close and consolidation solutions, Nucleus Research evaluates vendors on both of these core processes arguing that a single platform that supports both provides a higher level of business value compared to point solutions. Additional key trends highlighted by Nucleus Research in the report include:

Diving Into the CPM Value Matrix

The 2023 CPM Value Matrix report evaluated the top 19 CPM software vendors based on their usability and functionality as well as the value that customers realized from each product’s capabilities. According to Nucleus, the research is intended to serve as a snapshot of the CPM technology market, to help inform customers about how vendors are delivering value and take stock of what can be expected in the future based on present investments.

What other insights did the 2023 CPM Value Matrix report reveal? This year’s report recognized OneStream as a Leader in the CPM Value Matrix – making 2023 the sixth consecutive year OneStream has earned this recognition. (see figure 1)

Here’s what the analysts had to say about OneStream in the report:

“OneStream is recognized as a Leader in the 2023 CPM Technology Value Matrix for its comprehensive CPM platform, delivering capabilities for financial close and consolidation (FCC), budgeting, forecasting, reporting, and analytics. It also includes built-in capabilities for data integration and validation, workflow automation data visualization, as well as operational analytics and reporting to extend customer value and decision analysis capabilities. This unified approach enables customers to replace multiple legacy applications and cloud point solutions so finance teams spend less time managing data and systems and more time performing value-added analysis supporting decision making.”

Figure 1 – Nucleus Research CPM Value Matrix 2023

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Our continued recognition as a Leader in the Nucleus Research CPM Value Matrix is a testament to the capabilities we provide and the value users gain from OneStream’s unified platform. By streamlining complex financial processes and unifying financial and operational data through one platform, users are able to turn data into actionable insights and spend more time on value-added activities and analysis. In today’s rapidly changing economy, business leaders need near real-time insights to support agile decision-making at the speed of business. We are investing to expand the capabilities of our platform and deliver new solutions that will continue to provide exponential value to our customers.

To learn more, download a copy of the 2023 Nucleus Research CPM Value Matrix report here.

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Global organizations are challenged now more than ever with the need to remain flexible and agile in today’s rapidly changing business environment. A strong foundation of transparent, accessible data is key – especially when facing frequent merger and acquisition (M&A) activity requiring detailed, complicated and time-consuming transactions.

Organizations need a unified corporate performance management (CPM) platform to stay nimble during these complex transactions and to ensure accuracy across financial close, consolidation, reporting and analysis. Faced with these challenges, Ingeteam decided to replace their outdated Oracle HFM and Essbase system to gain transparency in their data and unify their complex, outdated processes. Learn more about how Ingeteam selected the right CPM software for the job below.


Igniting Finance Transformation in a Global Technology Company

Corporate performance management in techology

Ingeteam is an international technology company specializing in the conversion of electrical energy. Ingeteam operates globally and has permanent sites in 24 countries, with more than 4,000 employees.  Its technological development in power and control electronics, rotating electrical machines, systems and operation and maintenance services, enables it to offer solutions for the wind, photovoltaic, hydroelectric and fossil generation sectors, the metal processing industry, the shipbuilding industry, railway traction and the electricity grid, including substations covering transport and distribution, that are always looking for more efficient energy generation and consumption.

Driving Efficiency Through Unification

Ingeteam was using Oracle Hyperion Financial Management (HFM) and Essbase for financial consolidation and reporting, but the systems were not keeping up with Ingeteam’s rapidly-changing business requirements, such as recurrent business mergers, acquisitions and splits. Ingeteam decided to embark on finance transformation and implement a new solution to streamline the company’s complex financial processes and improve visibility and traceability of data for their reporting requirements for legal and management purposes.

Ingeteam needed to optimize the company’s existing data model, which was complex and contained many analytical dimensions, including some that were obsolete or had been reused for the new reporting purposes required. Additionally, the financial team also needed more autonomy to manage processes and master data. According to Aitor Barrondo, Global Accounting, Audit & Controlling Director at Ingeteam, “Ingeteam is a very dynamic company, hence the need for a more powerful and flexible platform that is easier to manage. After several sessions of contrasting needs with the potential of OneStream, Ingeteam were sure that they could achieve what they needed with OneStream and Nova, and they could also incorporate complementary solutions through the OneStream MarketPlace at no additional cost.”

Implementing OneStream to Conquer Complexity

The selection process for a new solution was proposed as a joint project of the Management Systems and Administration & Finance Departments at Ingeteam. Together, the teams analyzed various CPM platforms with the help of its partner, Nova, for its high degree of knowledge of Hyperion/HFM and expertise in the industry. When OneStream was first presented to Ingeteam, the company was challenged by the lack of references in the market as this project would be OneStream’s first implementation of financial consolidation in Spain. Ultimately, OneStream proved to be the best platform to handle Ingeteam’s complex requirements and with Nova as a OneStream certified partner, their passion and focus was compelling to Ingeteam and their future growth plans.

Said Barrondo, “Ingeteam is a very dynamic company, hence the need for a more powerful and flexible platform that is easier to manage. After several sessions of contrasting needs with the potential of OneStream, Ingeteam were sure that they could achieve what they needed with OneStream and Nova, and they could also incorporate complementary solutions through the OneStream MarketPlace at no additional cost.”

OneStream Finance Transformation

Unification with a Modern CPM Platform

OneStream has enabled Ingeteam to redesign and simplify their complex financial processes, unifying data management and automating manual, unnecessary processes within a streamlined, user-friendly system. Whereas users previously needed IT skills to analyze large volumes of data and extract historical data, with OneStream users can independently analyze information and view the source of the data easily at their convenience.

Financial consolidation processes have also been simplified, with a significant reduction in consolidation adjustments. Monthly calculations of the different target scenarios, forecasts and the extrapolation of monthly reporting that were previously performed in Excel are now integrated and standardized, avoiding the need for external calculations.

Data visibility has also improved through the dashboards developed in OneStream. Ingeteam reduced the manual maintenance of structures by integrating the maser data management with its systems for agile and automatic maintenance of the client structure. Users now are able to customize access to information based on the different user profiles. With OneStream, Ingeteam’s analytics are more advanced and provides access to the insights, efficiencies and improvements that the platform has brought to users’ daily lives.

Looking Ahead

The OneStream MarketPlace has allowed Ingeteam to extend their investment with targeted solutions that can be downloaded, configured and deployed within minutes.

“Thanks to the OneStream MarketPlace Parcel Service application, Ingeteam is able to launch all the reports for the month in just a few seconds, generating 90 documents in a few minutes, with all the KPIs of the Scorecard, for each entity, business, sector and segment. This is something that previously required the maintaining of a host of Excel templates, version management, and customizing the members that made up each structure, in a manual and inefficient process”, said Barrondo.

Learn More

To learn more about Ingeteam’s journey from Oracle Hyperion to OneStream, check out the case study and discover how OneStream streamlined the global company’s complex financial processes. If your organization is ready for a finance transformation, contact OneStream today.

Download the Case Study

In today’s global economy, logistical and supply chain disruptions are part of the new normal. Economic slowdowns are challenging organisations to anticipate supply strains, constantly changing consumer demand, labor shortages, and logistical support. To overcome these challenges, organisations need to be armed with agile insights, streamlined processes, and real-time data to remain resilient.

With a unified corporate performance management (CPM) platform, organisations have access to critical financial and operational data to quickly address challenges through data-backed insights and scenario planning. In this blog post, learn how Toll Group, a global transportation and logistic company, turned to OneStream to streamline its outdated and disjointed financial processes and the efficiencies they gained through this digital transformation.

Problem Solving for Global Logistics and Distribution

Toll Group is a global logistics, distribution and freight forwarding business. As part of Japan Post, Toll Group has dual headquarters in Melbourne and Singapore with approximately 20,000 team members to help solve any logistics, transport, or global supply chain challenges. Toll Group supports more than 20,000 customers worldwide and operates across 500 sites in 25 countries, with an Asia Pacific focus and a forward network spanning 150 countries.

Streamlining a Complex EPM Landscape

Toll Group was challenged operating with an outdated and fragmented ERP landscape and using Oracle Hyperion and EPM Cloud applications for financial close, consolidation, reporting, budgeting and forecasting. This system was complex, disjointed and costly to maintain and support. As Oracle’s support for their existing version of Hyperion was ending, Toll Group decided to re-evaluate their options in search of a more strategic, streamlined and better-integrated CPM platform.

Toll’s goal was to have the statutory consolidation and reporting processes for all legal entities handled by a single group team in a single system. Unifying this process would allow  Group governance and oversight on compliance activities and results analysis, while enabling divisional team resources to focus on internal budgeting and forecasting performance reporting and local ledger reporting development.

Selecting OneStream as the Future of Finance

Toll Group OneStream Customer using Corporate performance management

Toll Group embarked on a market scan to investigate alternative solutions, with a key business requirement of having one common consolidation and reporting platform across the organisation to address complexity. They also wanted to move to the cloud with the goal of significantly streamlining the number of integrations and data mapping points that were contributing to their time-consuming and error-prone month-end reporting process.

After seeing a demo of the OneStream platform in action, Toll Group’s Finance team realised that a unified environment for consolidation, statutory reporting, management reporting and analysis could allow them to effectively address key business requirements. The Finance team saw firsthand how OneStream offered a wealth of additional functionality, with the capability to improve Toll’s operational processes and efficiencies now and the flexibility to address future challenges as the company grows.

With OneStream’s unified platform approach, cloud-based model and proven record of customer success, Toll Group decided to invest in OneStream as the future of finance. With the help of OneStream partner James & Monroe, Toll Group implemented OneStream for financial consolidation, statutory and management reporting, and budgeting and forecasting.

Following the initial implementation, Toll Group decided to further leverage the initial build by implementing a tax-effective accounting solution and enhancements to their budgeting and forecasting systems, including the addition of bottom-up models, guided workflows, FX model scenarios and a global logistics customer profitability model.

According to Peter Smith, Group Finance Manager at Toll Group, “OneStream allows us to seamlessly roll up our business units’ financial data to the group level. The unified platform and the budgeting and forecasting enhancements OneStream facilitated mean that each subsidiary can model their budget at the level of detail required for their subsidiary and make the results immediately available to Group Finance.”

Leading at Speed

Replacing their fragmented legacy systems with OneStream’s single, unified platform is already paying dividends for Toll Group through improved data quality, insight and process control. Through OneStream, Toll Group is able manage the reporting of all legal entity results on one system. Toll is also leveraging OneStream’s Extensible Dimensionality® to standardise reporting and business unit budgeting and forecasting processes.

Toll Group has seen transformational effects and significant improvement in the accuracy and timeliness of reporting since implementing OneStream. OneStream’s automated processes have improved data quality, eliminating the need to manually handle massive amounts of data in Excel®. Additionally, Toll Group significantly reduced IT support costs and 3rd-party application support costs by migrating to OneStream’s cloud-based platform.

OneStream Customer Success using CPM platform

“Untangling our Oracle systems was challenging but OneStream provided the platform we needed to do it effectively. Moving to OneStream’s single, unified platform was a big change for the organisation to take on but all the business units are on-board with the benefits and are very happy with what has been delivered,” said Smith. “The fact that we can now trust the data in the system and all the organisation’s data is in one place and immediately visible when changes are made is a significant advantage. The delays we experienced with the legacy systems between the collection of data and the issuance of reports and analyses have been largely eliminated.”

Looking Ahead

Toll Group is evaluating additional initiatives to extend their investment in OneStream through both their core application and OneStream MarketPlace solutions. They are currently undertaking a pilot of OneStream’s Account Reconciliations & Transaction Matching MarketPlace solutions and investigating future implementations of capabilities including Cash Planning, Treasury schedules and registries, and tax compliance reporting.

Learn More

To learn more about Toll Group’s journey from Oracle Hyperion to OneStream, check out the case study and discover how OneStream unified the global organisation with powerful business insights. If your organisation is ready for a finance transformation, contact OneStream today.

Download the Case Study

As most Finance teams have experienced, static financial forecasts no longer work.  In a world where disruption and uncertainty have become the norm, Finance must instead work toward a forecasting process that enables scenario planning continuously.  How?  Traditional Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) teams must find opportunities to elevate toward an eXtended Planning and Analysis (xP&A) framework.  And FP&A can do so by finding unique ways to enable sales, supply chains, and HR groups with financial signals and operational insights to drive continuous collaboration and performance.

Financial Signaling Enables Intelligent Finance

To drive effective scenario planning, Finance teams must move ahead of the monthly reporting cycle of generating a forecast and only return at the end of the month to look where results didn’t track to the plan.  Why?  To remain competitive in a cut-throat, volatile market, businesses must continually track and assess results – and take action!  Finance teams can, for instance, make strategic decisions based on changes in supply and demand, labor shortages, high spot procurement rates, demand trends, economic factors, and any other factors that impact the business.

And with financial signaling (Figure 1), Finance teams can finally harness the vast amounts of daily and weekly transactional and operational data from across the organization. By deciphering the hidden signals with large volumes of data, FP&A teams can help guide operational leaders to take action midstream to impact the financials – all before month-end.

Account Reconciliation Applications
Figure 1: Financial signaling at work for daily, weekly, and monthly reporting

Key Considerations for Effective Financial Signaling

So financial signaling is important, sure, but how can an organization guarantee that the insights being gathered are accessible, reliable, and consumable?  After all, financial signaling doesn’t work when the process to generate and stitch the data together is too time-consuming and error-prone.  Financial signaling works best when the data is…

  1. Accessible: Finance must have access to data from a variety of sources.  If the system doesn’t enable multiple points of integration, then valuable data goes to waste.  A unified platform ensures that all critical data – internal or external, financial or operational –makes it into the system.  The data can then be used to monitor cash flow, profitability, manufacturing and purchasing trends, and so on.  A good example involves external data about seasonality trends or consumer data that change supply chain ordering habits.  Such data can help avoid costly inventory holding practices or too much unsold product due to changes in consumer purchasing habits.  With a unified platform, that data can be actionable sooner – before it impacts the P&L and balance sheet.
  2. Reliable: Once the data is brought into the system, having reliable data ensures data analysts aren’t wasting precious time cleaning and making sense of data from various sources.  Built-in financial intelligence enables better, faster insights.  How?  By allowing analysts to better spend their time analyzing data as opposed to cleaning and making sense of it.
  3. Consumable: What good is a treasure trove of data if it can’t be understood and turned into actionable insights?  A unified platform must provide consumable data for analysis by operational and financial analysts, executives, and line-of-business managers.  And it does so by providing data through interactive dashboards and configurable reports.

All these enablers allow for faster, more reliable signals to fuel effective scenario planning.  But all too often, time is wasted while stitching together data from various disparate sources and tools (see Figure 2) through points of manual integration.  And all of that adds risk, cost, and complexity to already-taxed Finance teams.

Account Reconciliation Applications
Figure 2: Connected but ununified systems that do not naturally work together without many points of manual integration


By enabling key business partners in Sales, Supply Chain, HR, and others with financial signaling, Finance teams can create a shared vision for xP&A (see Figure 3) and effective scenario planning.

Account Reconciliation Applications
Figure 3: Finance is at the core of xP&A

Finance teams can help their business partners respond to daily and weekly signals amid a continuously changing environment.  And finally, Finance has the unique opportunity to earn a seat at the strategy table to help drive performance across the P&L, impact cash and move the business forward.

At OneStream, we call this Intelligent Finance.

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Want to learn more about how financial signaling enables Intelligent Finance in the financial forecasting process?  Check out our solution brief on financial signaling.

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Ensuring the availability, confidentiality, and integrity of valuable and crucial information and operational process is at the heart of a successful organization. The world we live in has changed from an industrial economy to a digital society.  So with the advancement of cyberattacks and ransomware efforts, which present major risks to individuals, businesses, and governments alike; the importance of information security and robust cyber security posture have never been more relevant.

OneStream’s Proactive Approach

OneStream continues to invest in security and compliance as part of our ongoing efforts to be the trusted provider of CPM software and is proud to announce that on 24th August we achieved ISO 27001 Certification for our Information Security Management System (ISMS). This marks the latest addition to OneStream’s compliance portfolio, preceded by SOC reports, FedRAMP ATO, and the Cloud Security Alliance CAIQ to name a few.

Certification of OneStream’s ISMS prioritizes client data protection through implemented controls including security-by-design product development, data encryption, vulnerability management, business continuity, disaster recovery plans, and much more. Customers, prospects, partners, and employees can expect systematic and ongoing management of information security risks that can affect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of corporate and personal information across IT, Physical Security, and Operational Technology systems.

What are an ISMS and ISO 27001?

ISO 27001 Certification

An (ISMS) is a documented program for designing, implementing, managing, and maintaining a dependable security program within an organization to protect confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information; be that customer or internal data. ISO 27001 is one of the most widely recognized and internationally accepted information security standards and one of the few that uses a top-down, risk-based approach to evaluation. It not only provides the know-how but getting certified against the standard demonstrates to our customers, prospects, partners, and employees that OneStream safeguards their data.

To achieve the certification, OneStream’s security compliance was validated by an independent audit firm, Alcumus ISOQAR. The staged audit involves a rigorous process of demonstrating an ongoing and systematic approach to managing and protecting the company and customer data. This includes a comprehensive review of all levels of security management, including physical protection, security of products and services, the involvement of the management team, and access to personal user data.

I have been involved in implementing and managing ISO standards for much of my career and believe ISO 27001 is one of the key ones to obtain in today’s climate of the ever-present risk of an information security breach. Achieving our ISO 27001 certification is a proud moment.  We often say at OneStream that it takes a village and that couldn’t be truer in this case. Everyone is responsible for Information Security and this achievement reflects everyone at OneStream’s hard work and ongoing commitment to ensuring the Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability of our and our customers’ data’.

What does our ISO 27001 certification mean for our customers?

Your data is safe and secure.

ISO 27001 provides a model for establishing, implementing, operating, monitoring, reviewing, maintaining, and improving an information security management system using a top-down, risk-based approach that is technology-neutral.

You can verify our practices.

Along with our SOC Reports, our ISO 27001 Certificates and Audit Reports are available to existing customers via the OneStream MarketPlace.  Prospective customers who are interested in this information can request it via your account representative, or by filling out the form on the Contact Us page on our website.

You can trust that we’ll maintain these practices.

As part of our adherence to ISO 27001, we will undergo annual audits by an independent accredited third party to maintain these certifications.

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ISO 27001 is not only about protecting data; it’s also about improving our business. Achieving the ISO 27001 certification is the result of a huge amount of effort and involvement from every member of OneStream, and we are constantly challenging ourselves and striving to improve our service and provide the highest security standards to our customers, partners, and employees.

Demand Planning is a critical piece of the overall Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) process.  In fact, ensuring S&OP practitioners and Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) practitioners can use a common language is important to driving both operational and financial performance.  How?  One effective way is to leverage the financial and operational planning insights within corporate performance management (CPM) software that align the data and KPIs from both worlds – which allows for driving continuous collaboration across the enterprise planning processes.  Aligning these operational and financial KPIs ultimately elevates FP&A to next-generation Finance with eXtended Planning and Analysis (xP&A).

Aligning Operational and Financial Plans Drives Financial Performance

Everything in an organization has financial implications.  If the S&OP forecast (see Figure 1) inaccurately accounts for how much material is needed to meet demand, for instance, then inventory holding costs and obsolescence issues may increase.  Additionally, if too little material is available to meet demand, then costly rush shipping can impact the bottom line and cash flow.

Today, uncertainty across the global economy is drastically impacting consumer demand, affecting commodity prices, and disrupting supply chains.  Amid such volatility, FP&A teams must help enable and accelerate decision-making processes such as Demand Planning.  Where to begin?

Demand and Capacity Planning in OneStream
Figure 1: Demand and Capacity Planning in OneStream

5 Demand Planning KPIs for Better Financial Results

For FP&A professionals, understanding and utilizing the KPIs from the Demand Planning process creates a common language to unify key processes and drive both operational and financial performance.

Here are 5 Demand Planning KPIs that can inform better financial results.

1. Inventory Turnover

How quickly is inventory being turned over?  As inventory sits, inventory holding costs increase and obsolescence becomes more likely.  Obsolescence issues can then result in scrapped material and money lost as more material must be procured to replace the obsolete material – likely at a higher cost for rush shipping and spot procurement.  And with disruptions to global supply chains and shipping channels, issues that can arise in this domain can cause a heavy financial burden and managerial headaches.

This important metric in the demand planning cycle helps assess the health of the supply chain organization, the variables affecting demand, and the ability to satisfy the demand in time.  Considering the financial planning cycle is crucial because it impacts the budgeting, planning, and forecasting cycles.  Accordingly, bridging the gap between the operational and financial plans can ensure lockstep in the various planning efforts happening across large and complex organizations.

2. Total Sales

Finance professionals are acutely aware of the important role total sales plays in the FP&A planning and budgeting cycles, but the S&OP process also looks closely at this metric.  Sales numbers are essential to understanding the bigger picture.  Specifically, the numbers show how the supply chain and operations are ultimately performing when it comes to fulfilling orders and keeping customers happy – which ultimately generates sales for the organization.

In other words, the goal is to align financial planning inputs with the results of the operational planning processes happening as part of the S&OP process.  That alignment ensures that Finance and Operations are moving in lockstep to measure and achieve organizational goals.

3. On-Time Delivery

Organizations must analyze their supply chains and ensure their teams are delivering products on time to reduce inventory holding costs and ensure customer expectations are being met.  If this isn’t happening, a supply chain issue likely exists and needs to be addressed.

This issue affects more than just the supply chain, however.  Like inventory turnover, on-time delivery metrics are important to understand in the demand planning process and can also help inform the financial planning process.  Finance cares about the impact on financial metrics when customers aren’t happy and therefore aren’t placing orders or, even worse, when the company becomes liable for unmet deliverables and expectations.

4. Gross Margin

Is gross margin hitting projected targets?  If not, why?  Understanding gross margin, which is net sales minus cost of goods sold, and tracking performance against projections matters to both a supply chain organization and Finance.

Forecasting customers and demand volume is a supply chain activity that can map gross margin projections.  And for the Finance group, utilizing the outcome of that activity informs on how to forecast gross margin at the enterprise level.

5. Working Capital Projections

As everyone knows, cash is king, so asking whether the company has as much cash in the bank as the team forecasted is important.  Understanding how much money and what assets are needed to run day-to-day operations matters just as much to operational planning as it does to Finance.  For instance, incorporating the S&OP insights into a 13-week cash flow strategy ensures liquidity – something that is as important as ever with economic conditions becoming more uncertain.

Working capital- Demand Planning

Working cross-functionally with the Operations team and the Finance team ensures all efficiencies in the process and operations are being explored.  Cross-functionality also ensures the financial implications of those efficiencies are being folded into the financial and operational plans.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, aligning these key KPIs in the plan and tracking them across operational and financial reporting ensures that the organization can sense issues before they impact the financial results and saves time by ensuring effort isn’t duplicated across the planning processes within an organization.  These time savings translate into more time available for generating useful insights and analytics.

Ensuring alignment with the ongoing financial planning efforts is critical to driving financial and operational performance.  Utilizing the shared language and KPIs between Operations and Finance helps bridge the gap between the efforts and gets the plans closer to a single, unified plan for the organization to work toward and track progress against.

Learn More

Want to learn more about why unifying FP&A and demand planning are critical to driving performance?  Check out a recording of our Live Demo: Aligning S&OP and FP&A for Intelligent Demand Planning to hear more about demand planning in OneStream.

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The disruption, uncertainty, and volatility we’ve seen in the past 2 years have had a big impact on enterprises across all industries around the world.  And as supply chain bottlenecks, inflation, and geopolitical challenges continue to cause uncertainty, the need for business agility and resilience has remained in the spotlight – driving steady demand for agile corporate performance management (CPM) and analytics software solutions. 

Drilling into these market trends was the focus of the 2022 Pulse of Performance Management webinar, hosted by Craig Schiff, CEO of BPM Partners.  Read on to learn what the BPM Partners annual survey revealed about key market trends, who the key players are in the CPM/BPM market, and how OneStream stacks up in the marketplace.

The Pulse of Performance Management

Craig Schiff is CEO of BPM Partners, a vendor-neutral advisory services firm helping clients address performance management challenges with a comprehensive, rapid, and cost-effective BPM methodology.  The Pulse of Performance Management annual webinar series hosted by Mr. Schiff is designed to provide an unbiased and up-to-date overview of the world of business performance management (a.k.a. corporate performance management). The information provided is intended to enable companies to have intelligent and informed discussions as they plan their performance projects

So what did this year’s survey of over 300 Finance and IT executives, across industries, reveal in terms of key market trends? 

With the theme of “Transform – Extend – Evolve”, this year’s BPM Pulse survey found that 65% of respondents view their CPM/BPM projects as part of a broader Finance Transformation initiative designed to streamline, automate and optimize processes and transition from static, Finance-driven planning and reporting to dynamic and comprehensive planning, consolidation, reporting, and analysis.  Organizations are extending their planning and analysis processes across the enterprise – and evolving their planning processes with more advanced techniques, including rolling forecasts, scenario modeling, and predictive analytics.  

When asked what’s important for the next 12 months, respondents highlighted continuous forecasting, strategic planning, scenario modeling, and cash flow forecasting as the top 4 priorities. (see figure 1)

OneStream most important

Figure 1 – What’s Most Important for the next 12 months?

Survey respondents also highlighted the increasing focus on extending CPM/BPM into Operational Planning and Analysis.  Key areas of focus include Revenue Performance Management, Profitability Analysis, Workforce Planning, and Financial Signaling according to the survey. (see figure 2)

Operational Planning Figure 2 – Operational Planning and Analysis Focus Areas

When asked about their usage of rolling forecasts, 52% of respondents indicated their forecasts extend beyond the end of the fiscal year, while 43% said their forecasts extend only until the end of the fiscal year.  

When asked about their Finance Transformation projects, the top areas of focus include streamlined processes (74%), increased insights (61%), a more unified system (50%), and increased planning frequency and reduced cycle time (47%) each.

The survey revealed the following trends in planning, budgeting, and forecasting:

The survey revealed the following trends in financial consolidation:

And the survey revealed the following regarding selection of BPM/CPM software solutions:

The BPM/CPM Vendor Landscape

 In reviewing the BPM/CPM vendor landscape, Mr. Schiff reviewed profiles of 15 “core vendors” as well as several new vendors that have entered the market over the past 12 months.  Based on customer surveys, the vendors were rated on a 1 – 5 scale and categorized from Fair to Outstanding based on their overall “Pulse Rating.” (see figure 3)

So how did OneStream’s CPM software platform fare in the Pulse Rating?  I’m happy to report that OneStream received an Excellent rating of 4.70 out of 5.  OneStream’s unified Intelligent Finance platform, with built-in financial intelligence, was cited for its core strengths including Complexity Simplification, Performance/Scalability, Easy Expandability, Integrated Planning, and AI-Driven.  Mr. Schiff also highlighted OneStream’s Analytic Blend engine and its capabilities to blend large volumes of transactional data with governed financial data to support financial and operational signaling.  He also highlighted the recent introduction of our Sensible ML solution for intelligent demand planning.

 In the 2022 BPM Pulse Awards, OneStream was recognized for Excellent ratings in Overall Satisfaction (4.70) and Financial Consolidation Functionality (4.71).

Learn More

To learn more about how OneStream’s ratings in the Pulse of Performance Management compare to our key competitors, download a customized version of the BPM Partners Vendor Landscape Matrix, and feel free to contact OneStream if your organization is ready to take your BPM/CPM game to the next level.

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Financial modeling is a powerful technique that helps corporate finance professionals create a mathematical model of their business and the impact of specific decisions on their future financial results.  There are several types of corporate finance models that are used in practice and many derivatives of these can be applied across an organization.  Microsoft Excel® is the tool of choice for simple financial modeling, however, for more complex requirements, purpose-built corporate planning and forecasting software solutions are a better choice.  Read on to learn more.

Corporate Financial Modeling

Financial modeling is a common tool used by individuals and corporations to create an abstract model of a real-world financial situation.  This typically involves the gathering and analysis of historic data, which is then used to create a forward-looking projection for future time periods. Individuals may create a financial model of their monthly or annual income and expenses to help manage their finances.  For the purposes of this discussion, we’ll focus on corporate financial modeling.

Corporate Finance Modeling

Corporate financial modeling is performed by financial analysts in a corporate finance group within an enterprise, or by the line of business analysts supporting a specific functional department such as Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, or other functions. Use cases for corporate financial modeling include strategic planning, long-range financial planning, financial budgeting, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) or divestiture analysis, capital planning, project planning, or evaluating the impact of critical business decisions.  This can include new product development and launch, geographic expansion, pricing of products and services, hiring and staffing, capital investment, and other business decisions.

Of course, in the financial services industry, financial modeling is performed by investment analysts as part of their evaluation of portfolio companies or potential investment targets.

Types of Corporate Financial Models

There are a wide variety of financial models used in corporate finance, so here we’ll cover the most commonly used types of financial models.  These include the following:

5 Steps to Effective Financial Modeling

Financial modeling in a corporate setting is a critical process whereby the results of the process will be used to support decisions that can have a major impact on future financial results.  Therefore, great care should be taken to ensure the inputs and outputs of the financial modeling process are as accurate as possible. Here are five best practices that organizations should consider when performing corporate financial modeling:

  1. Ensure the accuracy of historic data – remember the adage “garbage in – garbage out?” Having accurate and up-to-date historic financial data provides a critical foundation for corporate financial modeling.
  2. Identify key drivers – based on an analysis of historic financial and operational data, key business drivers can be identified and used as levers in modeling future revenue and expenses. Examples include orders, shipments, average price, new customers, customer retention rates, headcount, events, and others.
  3. Create multiple scenarios – once a baseline financial model is built, alternative scenarios should be created and analyzed based on the flexing of key drivers. The traditional approach is to create a base case, high case, and low case scenarios – but many organizations generate a wide range of scenarios that are used to guide critical decisions.
  4. Leverage charts and graphs – while some Finance executives prefer to review and analyze grids of numbers, many find it easier to spot trends and key financial signals through data visualization. So creating charts and graphs to present and analyze financial models is a great way to help users quickly gain insights that can be used to support critical decisions.
  5. Perform stress testing – when the financial model is done, the work is not over. The next step is to start stress-testing extreme scenarios to see if the model behaves as expected and yields realistic results.

Selecting the Right Tool for the Job

If you Google the term “financial modeling” you’ll get a number of results that highlight how Microsoft Excel® can be used to support financial modeling.  And while Excel is the “go-to” tool for financial professionals, it’s more suited to personal productivity tasks and less so to supporting enterprise planning requirements. Why?  Because Excel is error-prone, has no concept of workflow, lacks controls and governance, and has very limited audit trails.  It also wasn’t designed to manage large volumes of data and is two-dimensional in nature.

In corporate financial modeling, large volumes of historic data may need to be integrated, validated, and structured across multiple dimensions to fully support the requirement at hand.  Many Finance professionals have tried to handle this in Excel, but over time they find these models and multi-tabbed workbooks become difficult to maintain, and don’t perform well.  The alternative many organizations are turning to are purpose-built corporate planning and financial forecasting software applications, such as those that are found in modern corporate performance management (CPM) software platforms.

Financial Modeling in Action

One example of an organization that outgrew the capabilities of Excel for modeling and planning and migrated to a purpose-built corporate planning application is Fibrogen. FibroGen recently transformed from a drug development company to a global multi-channel commercial business. Their transition success depended on rapidly building out sales, channel development, and marketing as well as aligning the business and operational goals of their scientists, business leaders, and the Finance team.

Scenario Modeling

Realizing these goals required a more sophisticated corporate performance management (CPM) solution than their Excel®-based planning models and a 20-year-old legacy budgeting system that was fully matured and accepted within the organization. Fibrogen found that OneStream’s unified and extensible CPM software platform answered the company’s vision to gracefully accommodate their requirements to enable activity-based planning across two unique entities.

FibroGen’s China entity required a top-down model for planning and financial modeling while the United States model depended on non-finance users who are VPs and Executive Directors of their departments to provide the input that is needed for program-level and consolidated plans.

Said Alex Lee, Senior Director, Corporate FP&A, “With impending growth and transition, we sought a solution that can support a program-driven planning process and complex calculations and modeling with the ability to expand to include consolidation, reporting, accounting close automation, SEC reporting, and tax provisioning. We had a very specific vision in mind. It has been 10 months since go-live, and I’m still profoundly touched by the magic that is OneStream.”

Learn More

To learn more, download the Fibrogen case study and contact OneStream if your organization is ready to take the leap from Excel to an intelligent finance platform designed to conquer business complexity and help you lead at speed!

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Ever since CPM applications came to the market, discussions around the performance of the financial consolidation processes have flourished.  Different vendors have often claimed their systems can run faster, complete multiple consolidations in parallel or reduce the time from hours to minutes.  All of that is great since time can obviously impact the overall reporting process, but the actual functions included in the financial consolidation must be considered before making any kind of comparison.

Still, we’re often asked the same question: Will my consolidation be quicker in OneStream than it was in Hyperion Financial Management (HFM)?

Sounds like a perfectly reasonable, simple question.  And the short answer is obviously YES.  Otherwise, why would hundreds of companies have migrated from HFM and other legacy CPM applications to OneStream’s unified CPM software platform?

Your follow-up question, of course: ‘Okay, how much faster?’

We get this question a LOT too – but it’s not an easy one to answer.  Why not?  Well, despite first appearances, we’re not really comparing apples with apples.  OneStream is architected as a unified CPM platform and does things differently from legacy CPM point-solutions such as HFM.

Let’s look at some of the differences.

(We promise to avoid getting overly technical!)


Performance Gains

Despite the above promise, we do need to talk a little about systems architecture and servers in Financial Consolidation software since both play a role in performance.  Even ‘in the cloud’, all our numbers are still ultimately processed on real computers – with real processors, memory, disk drives and network links.  Thus, the architecture and servers matter.  We must make the best use of what we’ve built and paid for (directly or indirectly).

OneStream is the solution for Financial Consolidation

Given that, let’s unpack the performance differences between HFM and OneStream.  HFM uses multiple processors/cores to run parallel calculations by entity.  OneStream does the same but for Member Formulas (rules) within the same entity.

Why the difference matters will become clear in the following example.  Pretend a server has 8 processors/cores.  HFM will use all 8 because it’s still simultaneously processing 8 entities.  That parallelism is fine at the bottom of the consolidation, assuming the parent has at least 8 children (not always the case), but not so great at the top of the entity hierarchy where the top-level holding company is being processed by only 12.5% of the available computing power.  Worse, that top-level entity probably holds the most granular data and will therefore take longer to process anyway.

Alternatively, OneStream uses all the available processing power for all the entities, bottom to top, and that makes a difference.  How much of one?  Well, it depends on your exact entity structure, the shape of your data, the details of your rules and a host of other variables – which means we’d be doing you a disservice to simply quote a meaningless percentage.  But the difference in performance is considerably more than nothing.


The OneStream platform has also been architected to better use the available processing power.  Specifically, OneStream not only has sophisticated processes to move jobs to the server with the most available capacity but also has plenty of features that allow for separating different jobs (e.g., data load, consolidation, user interface, etc.) to different server groups.  That functionality ensures users don’t suffer a degraded experience during a consolidation or scheduled data load process (See Figure 1).

OneStream Load Balancing Across
Figure 1 – OneStream Load Balancing across Servers

Data Granularity

The level of data granularity ultimately impacts performance.  Some customers, for instance, had massive entity structures in their legacy application that included both legal entities and a lower level of detail splitting the numbers by organisation – at the segment level or, in some cases, even down to cost-centre level. And the cost centre level data doesn’t exactly seem like a logical application of ‘consolidation’ accounting – that only happens at legal entity level.

So why slow things down by running a process that’s unnecessary at that level?  OneStream applications can instead be designed in various ways to avoid all that unnecessary effort.

One option is to recognise that the lowest level of data granularity doesn’t even need to be in a ‘cube’. Via OneStream’s Relational Blend technology, the detailed data can be loaded into relational tables in a single OneStream application and presented through multi-dimensional hierarchies.  Only the entity-level summary of that data needs to be presented in a cube, making the data set for consolidation appropriately smaller.  Of course, you can still drill down to see the detailed data within the same application – but most users won’t even realise a ‘difference’ exists in the structure.


Consolidation Approach

The traditional approach to financial consolidation (e.g., in HFM) involves writing all the accounting logic (for eliminations, ownership adjustments, equity pickup, etc.) in Business Rules.  Those rules are simply coded logic that gets run against the data for every Entity, sometimes multiple times in the same consolidation run.

Many of our customers use a similar approach in OneStream – in which numerous detailed differences exist around how those rules are structured, how they perform or how easily their performance is tested.  In fact, many of the rules aren’t even needed or are much simpler due to the many consolidation-specific built-in features of the OneStream platform.

However, an alternative approach to consolidation exists that’s simply not available in HFM: the Investment Register approach (see Figure 2).  Some of our European customers with highly complex consolidation requirements particularly favour this approach, but it can be applied anywhere.

The Investment Register comprises a list of investments and key related details (e.g., acquisition date, acquisition cost, reserves and exchange rate at date of acquisition) maintained in a relational table.  In a process separate from the ‘main’ data-driven consolidation, we then utilise the Reporting Compliance Marketplace solution to generate detailed consolidation adjustments as Journals.  Most rule complexity is therefore eliminated, so the consolidation itself is little more than a ‘translate and aggregate’ process.

As a result, the register approach makes consolidation a whole lot faster – but better still, think about the complete close process.  How often does the data you’re consolidating change during the month-end close?  Quite a lot, actually.  Every time another entity has submitted.  Every time an entity submits late adjustments or supplementary detail.  Every time an inter-company balance gets sorted out after month-end because the process isn’t in place to fix it beforehand.

Now think about how often the group ownership data changes during the close.  Rarely.  Thus, if already created using the Investment Register, the consolidation journals don’t need to be recalculated every time we re-run the consolidation.  In fact, we can usually even get this bit of the close done before Working Day 0, altogether removing them from the busy close period.



Financial Consolidation is ultimately a business problem to be solved.  For many of our largest, most complex customers, consolidation is one of the most immediately obvious ‘big picture’ performance topics.

How that problem gets solved varies depending on the system being used.  But making comparisons between those systems is not always straightforward, so we can’t (and won’t) answer the ‘Okay, how much faster?’ question with a universal percentage.

Consolidation also isn’t an isolated problem amid the many other challenges facing the Finance function. And that’s why OneStream makes a difference.  It’s a unified CPM platform that allows for innovative and highly performant solutions to many different business problems, within and beyond the Finance function – and the entire OneStream community is dedicated, as it is with all our customers, to ensuring the success of your implementation.


Learn More

To learn more, download our whitepaper on Conquering the Complexities in the Financial Close.

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