Move Your Planning From Good to Great | Andrew Von Eschen and Dan Mier

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This is a podcast episode titled, Move Your Planning From Good to Great | Andrew Von Eschen and Dan Mier. The summary for this episode is: <p>Planning is typically a slow, labor-intensive activity that requires disproportional effort for the short-lived output it generates. Join Andrew Von Eschen, Principal Solutions Consultant at Planful, and Dan Mier, Head of Product Marketing at Planful, to learn how you can hone planning practices, increase planning cycle frequency, and make the move to rolling forecasts. He’ll also demonstrate how you can sharpen planning processes to find the right level of detail for your business and increase confidence in your plans.</p>
Start small and add more steps and complexity over time
01:05 MIN
Tips on thinking about the path to more cycles
00:46 MIN
Demo: Planning processes
00:44 MIN
00:43 MIN

Speaker 1: I would love to introduce you to our next session. Moving Your Planning from good to great, we have Dan and Andrew here. Let's give them a round of applause.

Dan Meyer: You want me to start?

Andrew Eschen: All right. Go ahead.

Dan Meyer: All right. Quick show of hands, how many people here were attending the product keynote earlier today? Great. So, a lot of what we're going to talk about here is twofold. One: we're going to walk through how you can improve your planning process within Planful, but else we're going to talk about is that business user experience well as well, and how that can bring your entire planning process together in one streamlined, seamless process.

Andrew Eschen: Another show of hands, how many folks are doing planning inside of Planful today? Okay.

Dan Meyer: So good mix to you, some people. All right?

Andrew Eschen: Cool. So for some of you this will be new, seeing planning. For others, probably doing it day in and day out. So yeah, I'll give you some good best practices and tips and tricks, and we'll see a lot of new product enhancements and features. Cool?

Dan Meyer: Quick little bio about ourselves. My name is Dan Meyer, I head up our product marketing team here at Planful. Andrew Eschen, who is one of our solutions consulting leaders. And we're going to walk you through our presentation around some of the best practices is plant fold. We'll cover what we see. So it is talking to our customers, talking to our prospects, some of the pain points they had and why they choose Planful as their planning solution. We'll talk about how they've succeeded incrementally by building more and more of that planning process within Planful. And lastly, how they've continued to build confidence and continue to expand their usage of planful across their organization. How many of you have, or currently working on a planning cycle like this in the past? A very Excel driven process, very manual process, aggregating Excel spreadsheets, disseminating those spreadsheets across the entire organization, just to reaggregate them, find a simple error and continue that iterative process over and over again. What we've wanted... We see this process with a lot of our customers with a lot of our prospects. And what we're trying to do is help clean up this process. Think about the amount of wasted time you have aggregating all those files together, just building out those reports, sending those reports, finding the look up errors across the entire platform. inaudible In the past when I was working in FP&A, I had to continue to build that set of financials for my leadership. And the number of times we would find one little formula error built up within our financials, how we had to continually reaudit that file, because somebody always put a number in the wrong place, or somebody always made one small mistake that we had to continue to dig up. What we start to work with our customers on, is building out this customer journey. So starting from a very manual process, going from that very Excel heavy process to starting to incrementally improve on the automation of their planning process until they get to a more collaborative process. Our focus here really is around this financial collaboration piece, how can we automate a lot of that manual process into a more streamlined process to erase some of those manual errors that are currently caused within that Excel driven process and how we can continue to iterate on that to make a more seamless end to end planning process for your organization?

Andrew Eschen: One of the biggest challenges that we see in face day in and day out is the evolution of the planning cycle. Time and time again, as I engage with prospective customers, existing customers alike, everybody wants to jump in with both feet and go to the exact deep end of the pool versus starting slow and slowly adding incremental steps to the activities. So, we think about that journey, it typically starts with core finance. Core finance generally dictates the budget, the process, who is involved, who is engaged. What we're starting to see and as you heard in the keynote, you heard yesterday from grant is that vision of that frictionless planning across the organization. So involving more individuals, more stakeholders, enabling people to extend this activity out to more of the operation side of the house. And so just a key takeaway is start small, that crawl, walk around approach. If you try to dive in with both feet, typically what you'll find is there is a lot of rework you want to go back through, you want to continue to peel back the layers of the onion and make it more simple, if you start way too advanced and way complicated. So recommendation, just right out the gate is start small, add more steps, more complexity over time. It is always easier to get more complex versus try to reverse and go from super complex to super simple, just the tendency of how things typically go. When we think about some of those best practices, there is a couple key things that I like to hit on. And just by way of my background, I was a system implementer for about six and a half years. So I worked with a lot of public and private companies in the Midwest, all throughout Minneapolis, down to Texas, all sorts of different verticals and industries. And one of the key things that I took away from the six and a half years of deploying these types of systems is that defining that process, what it should look like early and upfront is key to a successful deployment, is key to a successful planning and forecasting cycle. So make sure that as you guys think about your processes, you can always continue to incrementally add and improve, but have a definitive goal of what you want your process to look like, who you want to involve and how you want those cycles to operate. As I mentioned before, keeping it simple. We have a tendency as individuals to think it through how we're doing it in Excel today, try to apply it to a system like this makes it really complicated, really complex. These tools are designed to help in that fashion, but if it is really complex in Excel and you make it really complex here, it is a lot of back and forth. It is a lot of maintenance. So keep it simple, make it easy for users to engage and do the things they need to do, and then engaging with those end users. And a lot of what we'll talk about today as Dan mentioned, is how do we leverage these new features, these new capabilities of the application to really engage with the end user community in a more frictionless manner. Whether it is through collaboration, it is the business user experience, it is leveraging projections, it is all of those things to make it simpler for folks to do what they need to do in a much more rapid type of setting. So you guys can get more cycles, more forecasts, more hands on the keyboard and not just doing the three month annual planning process. So we think about that progression from a planning point of view. And this is generally what I hear from organizations, is that annual planning cycle could be anywhere from three to six months, depending on how your organization operates. Most people tend to want to kick off if they're on a calendar basis in September, the reality is things don't get completed till January or February, because you're making those last second changes. So, three months, five months to get through that annual cycle, you're never really done on time, you're always extending that progression. What we then start to see from an organizational point of view is wanting to get more to more of that quarterly forecast for that continuous planning cycle. So when we think about quarterly forecast, it should be rapid inputs, shouldn't be that full base level build from the bottom up, take the things you've already done with that annual planning cycle, seed that, and then cater for the exceptions. Try to get through that process in a very quick, rapid succession, 30 days or less in length, so you guys are back doing the things you need to do. And then that next iteration that we see a lot of organizations striving too, is that continuous planning cycle. So the process is never really done, we're just now enabling people to go in on a more regular cadence, whether it is daily, weekly, making updates to their forecasts and enhancing greater collaboration across the organization. So as you guys think about your journeys, just remember you don't have to dive in with both feet and say," We want to get to continuous planning today." It is an exercise. It is something that is going to be a strivable process that will take you time to get there. But really what tools like plan for are designed to do is help you guys get there in a much more expedited manner. So when we think about the path to more cycles, we start to think about the quarterly forecasting, the continuous planning. There is a couple key things just to think about in terms of helping you guys get there. So one: it is seating your scenarios, now I'm sure we're all familiar with the inside of maintenance and being able to create versions. I don't know, how many of you guys use scenario seating and leverage that in some capacity? I see a couple hands go up. It is super efficient, super helpful. Two clicks of a mouse, I've got a new scenario with CDO, with all my base data, I can then cater for the exceptions. The other thing is: leave it to the machines. So when we start to talk about the predictive layer, leveraging projections, let tools do the work for you. So you guys can spend your time in value added work versus just trying to input data, review it, collect it, consume it. Distribute that workload. So, a lot of what you'll see today as we dive into the actual enhancements that we've just talked about in the keynote is, holding users more accountable, engaging with them in a more frictionless manner. And then, don't worry about all the details. We get often inundated with diving into that lowest level of information, we want to do that on a regular basis. It is what we naturally like to do as finance and accounting professionals, but leave the weeds behind, take it up to 30,000 feet as you go through more of these iterative cycles, make it simpler, faster for your organ planning processes. Cool. All that being said, let's get into the application. So as Dan mentioned, a lot of what I'm going to cover today... And I'd love to keep this interactive, so if there is things that you guys have questions on, as we go throughout, we will have some Q& A at the end, but more than happy to ask things as we go or answer things as we go. But really what we'll dive into is a lot of the new enhancements that we talked about in the keynote. So, how do we leverage the business user experience? How do we enable people to leverage projections? You guys got to see a little clip of that, but we're going to actually walk through the details of how this stuff works and what it can mean for your user community moving forward. So jumping in, I know a lot of us spend a lot of time, probably like myself inside the application. The planning control panel is probably near and dear to our hearts, we're in there on a regular basis, engaging and interacting with our information. A couple key things when we start to think about that next level of how we want to engage with the organization, starts really with the budget hierarchy, starting to think about how do we want to hold folks accountable? What slice of the information should they have available at their fingertips, as they're going through these different processes and these different cycles across that data collection effort. Couple other things I'll also quickly point out when you think about your organization and how to define and design, it shouldn't be this one way street. Think about kind of here is where it is today, here is where we want to go. And as you've seen with the application, it is flexible. You can change how you want to do things in that future state, with calculations, you want to engage with more folks to do planning in different regards. Make it very easy to really think about it today, but also tomorrow into that future landscape. When we think about how we engage with the information, a lot of you probably do this on a regular basis, opening up templates, providing inputs, a lot of the things that we know and love. For some of you who are new to the planning side of the house, when we look at the grid, it is very much like a spreadsheet and that is by design. That is what people love about the Planful application, I can collect information in a very frictionless manner, typing in data points, doing control + Cs, control + Vs, even building out calculations on the fly. We also start to think about how can we engage with individuals in a much more meaningful manner, there is a couple key things that we've really rolled out. And you heard about it as part of the product keynote. So the first one being: projections. So, we think about this template, this information. There is a lot of disparate data points where I need to go and collect information, but what if I didn't have to do that? What if I didn't have to type in values like you just saw me do, but I could let the system do that work for me? With projections, we can actually allow the application to do that for us. So I can simply right click and select on a particular line, like Travel Airfare and go ahead and fill that selected line with the necessary information. Now, many of you guys may be using signals today, that anomaly detection layer. It is the same underpinning artificial intelligence machine learning layer. Now we're just taking, instead of working at the past, we're projecting into the future. So when we think about what this has simply done, it is not just a vanilla spread, peanut butter going across. It is actually looking at all the historicals, looking for the anomalies and then providing that baseline to help really expedite the overall collection effort across the organization. Assuming that, Hey, the numbers that I'm seeing here this 292, 000, maybe I want to provide a 3% lift or I want to make some additional adjustments. I can actually go in and do what we call advanced fill. So this gives me the full ability to provide some additional baseline updates to the information that may be presented. So a couple key things that I'll just point out here, I can start to see along the top hand part of the screen, what my current total is, the projected total, as well as all of the historical information. So I can see what that adjusted projection looks like, what the current projection is, what the upper and lower ranges are. All of my actuals being presented in a nice clean logical fashion, as well as some different visualizations. So this gives us that ability to not only leverage that signals layer for the anomaly detection, but now we're taking this into the future state, which as you heard Justin mention, is really designed to just once again, compress your guys' cycle times, make it easier, enable people to... Let the system do the heavy lifting for you. If I wanted to add a 3% lift, in this case, I could go ahead and just simply type in 3%, simply apply that and let the system do the heavy lift for me. So if you just think about what we're doing as part of the process, it is really enabling for all of the mundane activities that folks typically tend to go through with hands on the keyboard, typing in numbers, you're not letting the system create that baseline of the information. And now you're really catering just simply for the exceptions. In addition to that, we think about not only the ability to provide this type of powerful lens and layer to help expedite that activity. It is also that ability to collaborate and communicate across our organization. So I can simply enable my commentary to be turned on. Just like we say, with reporting, with dynamic planning, I can start to see these little red carrots along a number of these cells. So what that really allows us to do is provide that collaboration directly inside our planning templates on a cell by cell basis, tag users even create tasks on the fly. So we start to think about one of the most powerful things that folks love about the application and that ability to do the collaboration piece, it is being able to do this type of activity, tagging Allison, creating a task saying," Hey, go ahead and update", numbers. This goes ahead and creates a task in task manager, provides a baseline for an associated due date, as well as the urgency of when Allison needs to complete this necessary update to the budgeting or the planning process itself. So very, very powerful, I know a lot of you guys are probably using this today as part of reporting. But when we think about product innovation, we think about that collaboration, as you heard as part of the product keynote. This is one of the key things that we're really focusing on in today's state, is how do we enable that on the planning side of the house as well? Not just the reporting, the analysis. But it is that collaborative layer across the entire organization. The other thing, when we think about planning, we think about forecasting: it is enabling for a very simplistic end user like myself, to do the things I need to do. There is a couple key things that I'll just quickly point out here to make it easier for me as an end consumer. One is: views, which I know we talked about briefly in the product keynote, but it is a way to help refine the overall template experience for that user. So instead of me as an individual opening up a template that has 500 lines and not sure where I need to enter in information, I can actually define. Here are the key things that I just need to focus on as a particular user, like just maybe my T& I accounts. So what that allows me to do is simply define the view of information that I need to engage with. I now see that subset of activities that I need to provide an update for. So the idea here being, instead of providing a template out to the user community, that is 500 rows. People have no idea what they need to do. Maybe Dan owns one section, I own another section. We can now simplify that experience to really filter and refine, what subset of activities folks need to engage with. The other thing that you heard a lot about today, was more of that business user experience. So when we think about how we want to engage with folks across the organization, just taking into consideration what you've seen so far, and we've all seen it, we've all done it. You log into Planful, you got to figure out in the little slider paint along the left, what am I clicking into, once I've selected, in this case structured planning. I then got to figure out which scenario from my dropdown list, I got to navigate to the correct level of the budget hierarchy, I got to figure out which template I need to open, I need to click input. There is a lot of activities that go on with enabling people to just do the day to day input of information that is applicable and relevant to them. With that business user experience, what we're doing is we're simplifying and streamlining that end to end. So when we think about the template we just engaged with at OPEX sheet, if I wanted to just simply send this to myself and make it super simple, super easy, I simply check the box to share it, define which user I want to give access rights to and choose maybe a particular view. So if we think about the T& E view that we saw a moment ago, maybe this is the view that I want to share out with Andrew. I want to make that readily available for him. I select the view, I push the button to send an e- mail. And what this has now done is it has generated an e- mail directly to my inbox. That I can then go ahead and simply open up or in this case, I'll just do a little copy paste. So if you think about this now from the end user point of view, they're just getting an automated e- mail directly to their inbox. Sorry, let me paste that here. They're logging in, and they're seeing just the relevant template that they have access rights to engage with. So this is making that experience extremely, extremely easy for the user community. Wouldn't be a demo without something. Not going a hundred percent, but the idea here being, I can then simply log in and now I'm just seeing the associated view, the associated information that I need to engage with as a business user. So no more having to navigate through all the different parts and pieces, click through the template, figure out what part, what piece I need to engage with. I've now just been delivered a nice e- mail directly to my inbox with the link I click on. And it now enables me to do all of the necessary inputs as part of the process. Couple other things I'll quickly point out here, as it relates to the input side of the house. All the things that and love about this template, as you saw a moment ago, just through the typical accounting, finance user point of view, sublines, wanted to add in those details. I could simply go ahead and add sublines, I can add notes, documentation, even leverage, that projections as you saw a moment ago directly inside this view. So if I wanted to go make further adjustments, make further changes as part of this process, I have that same experience we saw a moment ago, but now as a business user, I'm not having to navigate through all the necessary steps to get to this end state. So as you heard in the keynote, as you heard in the product keynote today, the idea here is to make this a very simplistic, frictionless process, end to end, allowing you to engage with the broader user community and not having to worry about those definitive skillsets that not everybody may have. They may not be experts in spreadsheets or logging in and navigating to the correct template. So the idea with this is to make it very simple, very easy for people to do the things they need to do. Anything to add?

Speaker 5: No. Doing so well.

Andrew Eschen: So a couple other things... I know there is probably a lot of questions that come top of mind from you guys, as you think about your organizations and really what this means for you. So if you just take a step back and reflect on this experience and creating those automated e- mails out to users. Assuming even for example, this person has access rights to multiple budget entities, multiple departments. You're not having to send 10 e- mails, 10 links; it is one e- mail, they open it up, they can see all of the associated budget entities that they have access rights to engage with, in the little dropdown. So they don't have to go back and forth, they could just use a dropdown, navigate to the correct slice of information they want to provide updates to. Make the necessary changes, go ahead and simply say," I'm done." Submit it through the workflow. And they're off with the rest of the tasks they need to work through on, as part of their day in and day out jobs. The other thing we think about, the projection side of the house, it is not always just about the expenses, it is getting into more of the statistical, the non- financial based information as well. So when I start to think about what is really exciting, what is really powerful, even though doing things like, looking at T& E and letting the system calculate and figure out based upon historicals, where we should be. We start to think about other things like, balance sheet for example, or looking at different cash flow metrics or different operational fields and figures. We can start to leverage that machine learning, artificial intelligence layer to help support these activities as well. So looking at more of a typical balance sheet, cash flow, where I've got some different drivers, things like DSO and DPO targets. Instead of me just putting the thumb up in the air and saying," Hey, historically, I think this is what we've done. Maybe this is accurate and valid." Imagine a future world where I can leverage the projections to help support. Even some of my assumptions, my different drivers, where I can let the application do the heavy work for me to distinguish based upon our history, this is where I think our DSO and DPO targets will end up. So it is not just about the expense side of the house, it is revenue, it is getting into the different drivers. Those different parts and pieces, you can really start to extrapolate and extend. That machine learning, that artificial intelligence across the entire gamut of the data that you brought in the application. I know I've covered a lot of ground.

Speaker 6: inaudible.

Andrew Eschen: Yeah.

Speaker 6: inaudible?

Andrew Eschen: Yeah. So, that is a good question. So the question was around from a, AI and what kind of data and what kind of controls do we have. I would tell you that the best person to answer that is in the session. I think immediately following me, I think, Justin and Vikram have a session where they'll actually deep dive on more of the behind the scenes on what the actual algorithms are. And it is pretty cool stuff. It is some pretty powerful things that they're doing because finance data is a little bit unique, it is not operational data. Where we've got 20 million transactions, we've got a definitive set of activities and we need to really, really let the system churn and burn to give us the results. There are some controls, there are some things that we can do, but those guys are definitely the ones to ask that question too. And if you aren't able to attend that session, more than happy to grab those guys and let you ask that question, because they're the ones who know the ins and outs of all the models and how that stuff works. Any other thoughts? Questions.

Speaker 7: Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 1: I'm just going to bring the mic over really quick so we can...

Speaker 4: I'm probably inaudible. So my question was, if I remember correctly from this morning, this is available today. Is that correct?

Andrew Eschen: Correct.

Speaker 4: This is something that we have to ask to be turned on in our T&A or is this going to be just automatically updated?

Andrew Eschen: The predict piece that-

Speaker 4: Well, yeah. The predictions of... Yeah, the views, all of that.

Andrew Eschen: So predict today, the way that it is laid out, is that would be more of an additional license. It is a flip of a switch to turn that on. From an implementation point of view, there isn't added implementation. It is literally going, hit a switch. It then goes ahead and runs through all the algorithms. It is then available inside the application. But there is that piece from a licensing point of view. The business user experience that is in the...

Dan Meyer: The business user experience, right now. From now until the July release. You'll have to submit a support ticket to have that turned on. Once the July release comes out, it'll be default turned on in everyone's instance.

Speaker 4: Okay. And one other question, the setup on the business user views and things, where is that housed? How do you set that up? If you could show that.

Andrew Eschen: To define the different views, is just a dropdown at the top where I can create a view and think of it as, filtering out information. So if I wanted to add a new view, I'd simply select it, I can then give it a name, remove certain accounts from the overall template.

Speaker 4: Template. Template.

Andrew Eschen: It is in the template. So it is taking the full template as it is map and you're just choosing to expand, collapse, hide certain fields or figures. Couple other things actually, that might be helpful. I know some of you guys are... One second. Yeah, go ahead.

Speaker 8: The predict projections, is that only available on a template basis or could you do that organizational or...?

Andrew Eschen: So is the question more at an aggregate, like total top of house and have it back in?

Speaker 8: Yeah. Correct.

Andrew Eschen: Do you know is it account by account?

Dan Meyer: Levis' account by account? Yeah.

Andrew Eschen: That is a good question. Let me circle back and see if it is possible to go just full top of house and down.

Speaker 8: Okay.

Andrew Eschen: Similar to a break back in dynamic planning. I know that from a back end point of view, you could seed every account, every combination, department cost center entity. But if you're talking more just top of house, I'll have to ask a question to those guys.

Speaker 8: Okay. Thank you.

Andrew Eschen: And if it is not here today, there is a lot of enhancements. So one of the big things that... Moving to more of that monthly release cycle, it is continuing to roll out net new features on a regular basis. So, there is a lot of things that are coming even with today's state between now and second half of the year, that'll be readily available just inherently as part of the application. So more to come around some of these things, and if it is not there today, it is always something... If you want it, you can put it in as an ask. That is how we generate our roadmap, is really listening to customers and taking into consideration the feedback to say," Hey, here are the things that we want in the application." If they're small, easy, it might be there tomorrow. If it is a little bit more complicated, it gets added into the list, people on it, and it gets brought into the general roadmap. One other thing I'll just quickly point out and then maybe we'll just open it up for general Q& A. I know a lot of you guys are starting to get the experience of IB for example, but one of the big things that delivers to you guys as customers, is that audit ability. So cell by cell, I can actually go in and see the full lineage, the full history of data points, who is making changes? How these things are modified over time? So inside of even the structured planning templates as we're engaging with them, I can actually see person by person, cell by cell, what changes are happening? What the date and time of those changes were? So for some of you guys, I know these are things that are just getting turned on. You may not have access to it today. It is available for any net new customer, it is there by default. But with folks who are getting moved over to IV, this is also one of the big things that is coming out. Is that ability to audit, cell by cell across the user, community of data inputs, data loads, all those different parts and pieces.

Speaker 9: Quick question. So the signals and projections, is that only in structured planning or is that feature also dynamic planning?

Andrew Eschen: Today, that is only on structured planning. And it is global template single copy is where projections is starting. So if you're using block templates, that is more of a future state, but it is global template single copy, global template, and AD copy are the two template types. I'll just open it up from here. I know we got about 10 minutes. Any other questions, thoughts, comments?

Speaker 10: inaudible?

Andrew Eschen: Yeah. So commentary in its unified state is available today as part of the maintenance. So you do have the comments manager available. So if you wanted to see commentary across the board, where things are being inputted? I could actually look here and see. Let's go look at last, the last year's worth of information across all users. For example, I can see all of my comments in one core place and I can start to filter and refine this. So if I wanted to just look at a certain account, certain date, certain time... The other thing, if I select one of these, it'll actually expose the full thread. So if there is multiple users who have added comments as part of the process, it shows me the full thread in one core place.

Speaker 1: Any more questions? Speak now. Oh, oh, okay.

Speaker 8: All racing to get in for the end.

Speaker 11: So is this screen exportable to Excel?

Andrew Eschen: It... Where are you, my export button? I would say, yes. I am looking for it right now. It is... Where are you? I would assume it is. But I'm not seeing the button for it at the moment. So let me check in on that one. I assume just with everything else, like transactions and drilling into details, it is exportable. But we may not have added that in, as part of this yet to export that stuff out or they've changed where the button location is. So...

Speaker 11: If it is not, it would be great to have.

Andrew Eschen: Yeah.

Speaker 12: Just a quick question on the projections. Can you do multiple lines? I think I might have seen that in selection.

Andrew Eschen: You can. Yeah.

Speaker 12: So you could do a whole blank template projections all at the same time?

Andrew Eschen: Correct. So in that T& E bucket that I had, where it was like four accounts. I could have just selected the four of them and then right clicked and said fill, and it would fill all four of those.

Speaker 12: Cool.

Andrew Eschen: You can go one by one, you can do the baseline or you can do the advanced fill. The other thing with that advanced fill is you could actually set more of a target. So it gives you the total, and you can say," Hey, I want it to be 300." And based upon what the rule is, go figure it out. But yes, you could do the multi selection too.

Speaker 13: Very cool. Will the users be notified that there is a new comment via e- mail?

Andrew Eschen: Yes. So that commentary piece works the same way as reporting. So in reporting today, if I'm tagged as an individual. So if I was a... Do the @ symbol and tagged myself, it would generate an e- mail directly to my inbox, show me the thread, show me a hyperlink, I can click into. It takes me directly into... Just like today in reporting that same idea would apply in the planning side.

Speaker 14: Piggybacking off of the comments. Is there a way that you can pull the comment field if you do spotlight Excel reporting, you have your various comments, like actions versus budget delta. Is there a way to pull in that field of all the comments specifically for that various line?

Andrew Eschen: So, that is a really good question. Today, you can do that in dynamic reports in the web. So if I am just in a dynamic report in the web here, looking at an income statement, for example. I can pull those dynamic comments to the surface of a report. So, you notice here with actuals, I've got a whole bunch of these little red carrots. I can insert a column and say, let's go make this my comments. Determine that I want to bring that in as part of the overall report, just simply selecting column F for example, and hitting okay. What this'll do is it'll actually bring in all the commentary on the surface, inside of spotlight is a little bit different. So I'll show you what that looks like. There is a little icon that is present up in the ribbon that says," Comments" I can check the box. It'll then highlight all the cells with those little carrots. And then when I select it, a little pane from the right slides out. In the current state, you couldn't bring those comments to the surface of the report. They just exist on that little right hand slider pane. But if you're using dynamic reporting today, any of the commentary that you're seeing here, I could do the good old export out to Excel. Take those comments directly out to Excel.

Speaker 1: Any more questions? Last chance. Okay. Awesome. Well, we're going to wrap up this session. Thank you so much, Dan and Andrew. This was awesome. I hope that you guys learned a lot. The next session is all about Planful predict: your virtual sidekick, that is the next session. So, if you guys want to stay, totally cool. I will see you guys in, 10- 15 minutes. I think 13 minutes to be exact, but let's give them a round of applause.


Planning is typically a slow, labor-intensive activity that requires disproportional effort for the short-lived output it generates. Join Andrew Von Eschen, Principal Solutions Consultant at Planful, and Dan Mier, Head of Product Marketing at Planful, to learn how you can hone planning practices, increase planning cycle frequency, and make the move to rolling forecasts. He’ll also demonstrate how you can sharpen planning processes to find the right level of detail for your business and increase confidence in your plans.