June 2023

What is FP&A Lite and how can it improve my Unit4 Financials system?

For users of Unit4 Financials by Coda, FP&A Lite puts self-service analytics at your fingertips, allowing you to discover and understand financial information behaviour through a single lens. Discover more about this easy-to-deploy option and how you can put it to work…

At a glance: what is FP&A Lite?

FP&A Lite is a strategic cloud-only add-on for customers of Unit4 Financials in a cloud environment. It gives users the power to perform self-service analysis on financial profit & loss, balance sheet, and cash flow statements in a systemised, centralised environment, integrated directly with your financial data source. And the best bit is that it is now part of U4F cloud!

Placing on-demand analytics capabilities in the hands of ordinary finance team users, the solution simplifies complex data into meaningful insight to support better decision-making. In this way, FP&A Lite provides a valuable starting point on your journey to full financial planning and analytics capabilities.

Bridging the analytics gap: what needs to change?

Why do you need FP&A Lite?

To answer this, it’s worth thinking about the tools and processes that finance teams generally turn to when they want to interrogate financial data. For existing Unit4 Financials users, the standard technique tends to involve that workhorse of the finance department, Microsoft Excel.

You have a query and want to delve into your P&L, or perhaps you want to build up a more detailed picture of your cash flow or gain a better understanding of your balance sheet position. In all likelihood, your workflow will involve using the Unit4 Financials Excel add-in to pull the relevant data out, enabling you (in theory) to slice, dice, interrogate, and generate the answers you need.

Very quickly, however, the limitations of Excel can become all too obvious. Excel works well as a personal productivity tool. However, once you have multiple team members all involved in interrogating the data, adding input to spreadsheets – perhaps generating their own documents – you have inevitable issues with versioning confusion, compounded by the absence of any or adequate audibility controls within the solution. Let alone a disconnected system that does not drill through to the underlying source in U4F. All of this results in a lack of trust, wasted time, and stagnation in decision making.

The manual ‘lifting and shifting’ inherent in the process is time-consuming, resource-intensive, and prone to error. What becomes abundantly clear – particularly for a finance department that’s striving to do more with less, at the same time as focusing more on strategy – is that finance professionals need a more effective method for generating the answers to queries related to financial data: one that’s accurate, easy-to-use, and also easy-to-deploy.

The answer: FP&A Lite

FP&A Lite removes the need for time-consuming, error-prone manual data extraction. In its place, you get a single, centralised location for analysis and reporting, integrated directly with the original data source. Single click drill through to transactions to boost confidence and save time. Dynamic graphical representations for self service analytics. All of which puts you back in control of your financial data.

So how does it work? Let’s say you are looking at your out of the box FP&A Lite P&L, Balance Sheet, or Cash Flow, focusing on an individual cost centre via your FP&A Lite dashboard. You can use up to eight elements to facilitate the dice and slice analysis within the dashboard. When reviewing your data at leaf level and you want to investigate an individual figure. Simply click on the value to drill directly through to Unit4 Financials to investigate the underlying individual transactions.

What’s more, through a range of visualisations, you can see instantly how, for instance, revenue and expenses are split, and what makes up the individual items – right down to leaf level. Drag and drop to update the visualisation as needed – change the context of the data, pivot effortlessly, interact and understand, change and compare the actuals for different date ranges.

Likewise, on Cash Flow, get key visualisations on what’s driving the cash. Use the icicle chart to drill through your group structure. Define and track your KPIs. Drill down to different elements within the income statement, analyse the P&L contribution for different periods and spot any unusual patterns occurring across the numbers.

Discover more

FP&A Lite provides your finance team with a much-needed boost to their analysis and reporting toolkit, making it much easier to discover, flag up and make sense of the information behind your P&L, balance sheet, and cash flow statements.

All system users can create their own dashboards for greater insights into organisational financial data. These can be shared as a public dashboard for increased collaboration and to support decision-making across the business.

FP&A Lite also provides a valuable stepping stone towards the adoption of full financial planning and analysis capabilities. The planning, budgeting, and forecasting component of FP&A can be instantly switched on through the adoption of the full Unit4 Financials FP&A solution, as the next natural step in your digital transformation journey.

FP&A Lite is therefore designed as an essential but easily deployable enhancement to your existing Unit4 Financials stack: an easy-to-implement bridge between legacy Excel-based workflows and full integrated planning capabilities. Best of all, FP&A Lite can be integrated into your existing Unit4 Financials setup in as little as five days.

Want to find out more about Unit4 FP&A Lite? For further information or to book an online demonstration, please get in touch with Millennium Consulting.

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