The Prince’s Trust streamlines budgeting and forecasting

Enabling more efficient management and closer adherence to budgeting goals

Published on 10-May-2012

Validated on 12 Nov 2013

"Upgrading our budgeting and forecasting systems to IBM Cognos Planning has allowed us to review data more quickly and easily and make changes to our forecasts with less help from our IT department. Even non-finance end-users can input and analyse data which, in the end, gives everyone in the organisation better insight into our finances." - Kamal Chadha, Head of Systems Accounting, The Prince’s Trust

Customer:
The Prince’s Trust

Industry:
Government

Deployment country:
United Kingdom

Solution:
BA - Business Analytics, BA - Business Intelligence, Business Performance Transformation

IBM Business Partner:
Inca Software

Overview

The Prince’s Trust is a youth charity that helps change young lives. The Trust gives practical and financial support, developing key workplace skills such as confidence and motivation, and works with 13 to 30-year-olds who have struggled at school, have been in care, are long-term unemployed or have been in trouble with the law.

Business need:
The Prince’s Trust wanted to find a better way to manage its highly complex budgeting and forecasting processes. Existing spreadsheet-based processes were inefficient, and accuracy was beginning to suffer.

Solution:
The Prince’s Trust worked with Inca Software, a Logicalis company, to deploy IBM® Cognos® Planning and build a more transparent and user-friendly budgeting and forecasting solution.

Benefits:
Significantly upgrade budgeting and forecasting system with easy-to-use IBM Cognos technology. Upgrade to a flexible, accurate and efficient system that accounts for organisational changes and allows end-users to view crucial data in multiple formats immediately. Increase productivity for financial employees who do not have to manually manage Excel spreadsheets any longer. Empower non-financial end-users with the ability to view data, budgets, and forecasts in both general and detailed perspectives automatically. Ensure all data is accurate and accounted for.

Case Study

Company Overview

The Prince’s Trust is a youth charity that helps change young lives. The Trust gives practical and financial support, developing key workplace skills such as confidence and motivation, and works with 13 to 30-year-olds who have struggled at school, have been in care, are long-term unemployed or have been in trouble with the law.

The Trust has helped more than 650,000 young people since 1976 and supports 100 more each day. More than three in four young people who were helped last year moved into work, education or training. The Trust’s work makes a vital contribution to addressing one of the UK’s key social issues: around one in five young people in the UK are not in work, education or training. Youth unemployment costs the UK economy £10 million a day in lost productivity, while youth crime costs £1 billion every year.

Challenges

In previous years, The Prince’s Trust relied on inefficient Excel spreadsheets to manage its budgeting and forecasting. The organisation has numerous facets with unique funding requirements, such as public and private contributions, as well as staffing expenses and salaries. It is no wonder that the spreadsheets became complicated and, ultimately inaccurate. Moreover, The Trust’s management could not access an overall view of the organisation’s budget and forecasts until the spreadsheets had been manually merged, which took a considerable amount of time and was not always reliable.

The Prince’s Trust desired an efficient, accurate budgeting and forecast system. Users needed to be able to view the data in multiple forms, including overall and detailed views of where funds were coming and going. The Trust also needed to be able to empower its numerous non-financial end-users with insight into their budgets, so that they could gain a better understanding of and control over their allocated funds.

Approach

  • Leverage Inca Software’s experience and expertise to implement a solution tailored to the Trust’s needs in a timely fashion.
  • Purchase IBM’s leading Cognos Planning Contributor software.
  • Implement a flexible, integrated and user-friendly solution, perfectly suited for day-to-day funding changes.

Impact
  • Acquire accurate business information in real time without end-users needing to rely on financial experts or the IT department.
  • Gain insight into budgeting and forecasting for all facets of the organisation.
  • Obtain the ability to view data from an overall, organisation-wide perspective, as well as an in-depth perspective breaking costs down by country, region, cost centre and so on.
  • Empower non-finance employees, including the fund-raising, marketing and HR departments, with the ability to input data and predict the specific funds they will receive, aiding them in forecasting and managing their accounts and budgets effectively.
  • With IBM Cognos technology, gain an automated system that is flexible enough to adjust to day-to-day changes in the organisation.
  • With help from Inca Software, build this innovative budgeting and forecasting system in a timely and cost-effective manner.

About Inca Software

Inca Software, a Logicalis Company, specialises in IBM Business Analytics application solutions, and currently provides services and support to over 400 organisations, across all verticals in the UK. In October 2011 Inca won the prestigious IBM EMEA Business Partner Excellence Award for the second consecutive year, in recognition of its sustained success in the market.

Founded in 2002 and acquired by Logicalis UK in 2011, Inca’s core business proposition as an IBM Premier Business Partner has remained the same: to maintain and grow its position as the partner of choice for organisations who want to gain clear business insight and drive improved performance through business analytics. For more information on Inca Software please visit www.incasoftware.co.uk

About IBM Business Analytics

IBM Business Analytics software delivers actionable insights decision-makers need to achieve better business performance. IBM offers a comprehensive, unified portfolio of business intelligence, predictive and advanced analytics, financial performance and strategy management, governance, risk and compliance and analytic applications.

With IBM software, companies can spot trends, patterns and anomalies, compare “what if” scenarios, predict potential threats and opportunities, identify and manage key business risks and plan, budget and forecast resources. With these deep analytic capabilities our customers around the world can better understand, anticipate and shape business outcomes. For more information on IBM Business Analytics please visit www.ibm.com/analytics

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Software:
Cognos Planning

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2012. IBM United Kingdom Limited, PO Box 41, North Harbour, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO6 3AU. Produced in the United Kingdom, May 2012. IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, and Cognos are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. A current list of other IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. Microsoft, Windows, Windows NT, and the Windows logo are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. Other company, product or service names may be trademarks, or service marks of others. IBM and Inca Software, a Logicalis Company, are separate companies and each is responsible for its own products. Neither IBM nor Inca Software makes any warranties, express or implied, concerning the other’s products. References in this publication to IBM products, programs or services do not imply that IBM intends to make these available in all countries in which IBM operates. Any reference to an IBM product, program or service is not intended to imply that only IBM’s product, program or service may be used. Any functionally equivalent product, program or service may be used instead. All customer examples cited represent how some customers have used IBM products and the results they may have achieved. Actual environmental costs and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. IBM hardware products are manufactured from new parts, or new and used parts. In some cases, the hardware product may not be new and may have been previously installed. Regardless, IBM warranty terms apply. This publication is for general guidance only. Photographs may show design models.