Whether your approval workflow process today is manual, or utilizes a generic workflow solution such as Sharepoint, you’re not likely to stop what you’re doing at any point in the day and think to yourself: wow, that was really great.
Quite the opposite: if you’re like most organizations with meaningful Capex budgets, your approval workflow (or CER process) is probably the source of frustration, concern, even anger. Capex solutions that take a static snapshot of a project request then route those unchanging requests through a rigid approval without providing insight to inform decisions as they relate to other project requests is limiting.
There is a better way, of course. Capex requests are living, changing and evolving strategic initiatives intended to drive value and competitive advantage. This requires a system that will account for the ever changing elements within specific projects and changes to approval routes and criteria. An inflexible workflow pushing around static project requests with stale data won’t cut it in today’s competitive environment. That’s why a dynamic approval workflow such as that which you’ll find in Finario, is a game-changer. Here are ten “aha moments” you can expect to experience by implementing only purpose-built enterprise software for Capex:
- 1. Your SVP of FP&A has left the company and a new person has stepped in. Do you have to rebuild your approval matrix? Aha! Not with Finario. When people in your workflow change in and out of jobs and approval tasks, so does your approval stream — dynamically, even if in-flight. It’s a standard feature of Finario’s user configured approval matrix.
- 2. A project manager updates her forecast; it exceeds the approved budget by 12%. Does it fly under the radar until it shows up in a report to leadership? Aha! Not with Finario’s change tolerance feature. When a project exceeds its forecast by a designated percentage, the project gets rerouted for new approval.
- 3. You have two large-scale projects that require ROI modeling. Will they be evaluated using different criteria and metrics? Aha! Not with Finario. When approvers are considering a project, P&L and ROI models will be accurate, consistent and compliant. This is because the financial models are built within the system’s parameters to guarantee consistency. No more one-off Excel models with errors lurking beneath the surface.
- 4. An engineer who is building a project proposal has a habit of assuming best-case scenarios as it relates to projected costs and timelines. Will this inherent bias create a cost overrun problem later on? Aha! Not with Finario. Budgets used to gain approval will be free of bias (well, at least, mostly). Finario’s reference class forecasting feature compares new requests to similar projects that have been completed, so that owners and approvers can gauge what is truly likely vs. not so much.
- 5. There’s a new CFO at the company and she wants to review the details behind certain projects that were approved several years back. Will she have immediate access to such data? Aha! Yes, with Finario, if someone in leadership wants to see why a project was approved a year, two years or more after the fact, he or she can do so easily. Finario archives all prior projects and their supporting data even if they were not approved. Not only does this provide a solid audit trail, it serves as a valuable repository of knowledge for future projects.
- 6. Someone in your approval chain is dragging their feet. Will it mean your project proposal comes to a grinding halt? Aha! Not with Finario. He or she will get email(s) reminding them that their approval is required. It’s a standard feature of Finario’s approval queue. Users can also see all projects they are listed on as an approver in the approval queue on their personal home page. Finario is also mobile enabled so notifications will appear on an approver’s phone if they are out of the office, on which they can approve or deny the request directly.
- 7. You have a new Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) that needs to be included in your approval matrix. Does that mean you have to hire a programmer to figure out how to change the rules that govern your approval sequence? Aha! Not with Finario. Updating your approval matrix can be done by virtually anyone with permissions in a matter of minutes. Finario is designed to be managed by business users, no need to contact IT and wait for support.
- 8. You’ve got a dozen Capex projects vying for limited dollars in the queue. Can you compare and contrast how approving one or more of them vs. others will impact your budget? Aha! Yes, with Finario’s Converge feature, you can easily “stack rank” projects and immediately see how approving one vs. another will impact your budget, and choose those which will have the most material impact on your business.
- 9. In going through your budget process, there were many proposed projects that weren’t approved for funding. Does this mean the data that was gathered will be lost? Aha! Not with Finario. Unapproved project data can be pushed out to future years and is available for review and input when researching new investment proposals. Finario keeps all project data: approved, unapproved, closed, and rejected – all instantly available and searchable.
- 10. At last, you’ve invested in an automated Capex approval workflow system. But will it be “back-level” in a matter of no time? Aha! Not with Finario. As a cloud-based platform, as enterprise needs change and technology advances, your application will advance, too, ensuring that you have the best solution currently available. Finario is constantly rolling out new features and enhancements.
So, do you have a Capex budget of $100M … $500M … $1B? If you’re still managing approvals manually, with Sharepoint, Lotus Notes, or other generic systems, it’s time you looked into Finario. Many aha moments await you.