EPM generally refers to enterprise planning using data feedback to improve the primarily financial performance and efficiency of an organization. This can include all systems, processes, activities, and reports of an organization based on the use of data to plan future decisions.
Some organizations still rely heavily on the use of Microsoft Excel for data collection and validation as well as for their budgeting, forecasting, and reporting activities. These processes are extremely time-consuming and error-prone, which keeps employees in a constantly reactive state and spending the bulk of their time meeting only basic needs of the organization. There is no time left for value-adding activities such as monthly forecasts, what-if modeling scenarios and building strategic partnerships.
Software-supported Enterprise Performance Management provides an important link to the next step in value-creation. It looks to the future, with the capabilities of creating forecasts based on actual analyses. Originally, EPM was only used by finance departments. It has since expanded significantly and is designed for use throughout numerous company functions and can be successfully implemented within the framework of integrated planning.
Modern EPM software supports functionalities across the organization and can also be used as an extension tool to increase the power of business intelligence systems. EPM software provides planning, budgeting, and forecasting capabilities using dashboards to display key organizational data.
EPM software helps companies increase efficiency by eliminating or extending spreadsheets and improving planning and reporting processes through centralized databases, workflow and process control. This also helps increase accountability across the enterprise by aligning strategic, financial and operational goals, expanding budgeting participants and providing stakeholders with the latest data available with just a few clicks.