Date posted: 27/03/2023 5 min read

Help finance and sales see eye to eye

Transform how finance teams collaborate with sales departments, making work more fulfilling and efficient for everyone. Brought to you by Phocas.

“Finance and sales teams are wired differently and too often it can feel like they will never see eye to eye!”

That’s the view of Phil Dodds CA a business owner and Phocas board member. With the focus on increasing revenue, a sales department may not closely monitor the money it spends to win business, which can create friction with those in finance.

“We’ve encountered that with many customers who run mid-market businesses with $10-$300million in annual revenues,” he says. “They’re looking for better ways to alleviate the confusion and collaborate on their companywide financials.

“Sales and finance have contrasting skills and perceptions, so when you mix in Excel and complicated accounting methods, it doesn’t help the situation.”

Nor do legacy IT systems where both teams are siloed, with little or no visibility across the business.

“When it comes to cloud-based business planning, we find that many are grappling with unreliable data,” Dodds says. “CFOs’ overwhelming feedback is a desperate need to overthrow painful reconciliations and spreadsheetbased monthly reporting.”

Modern finance teams want to be trusted partners of their organisation’s leaders, clearly representing all aspects of the business in their planning, and training other departments to understand the key financials.

“This empowers the organisation by allowing them to work as one, with united objectives, based on a single set of accurate, accessible data,” he says. “CFOs want to deliver, for example, departmental reports so sales and the wider business can learn how to analyse their own revenue and expenses by different variables like product class or region to see the results of their decision-making.

“Custom reports may have taken 100s of spreadsheets to create in the past, so they were often neglected. Now, reports can be built, automated and sent in minutes, with all the underlying data available to the business for further analysis.”

Wider data analysis

When companies consolidate data, everyone has access to real-time numbers. Driver-based planning is also possible, where people can drill down into large volumes of data, see what activities impact business performance the most, and allocate resources accordingly.

“If you’re drowning in a sea of spreadsheets, or your existing software limits you from accessing a single source of data, then gaining a whole-of-business view and responding quickly is extremely hard.”

Multiple spreadsheets also have security implications and inevitably lead to outdated information being shared, more mistakes, and missed business opportunities.

Bringing budgets to life

Budgeting also becomes easier and collaborative. Finance leaders can take control of a streamlined workflow, reducing time spent chasing and synthesising inputs and version control. All decisions, numbers and results affecting the budget are transparent and traceable.

“When the budget is brought to life in a business planning and analytics platform, many people across your business will want to reference it as a guide rather than running a mile!”

“It brings the budget to life so people across your business will actually want to reference it rather than running a mile!”
Angela Kent, Phocas

A single source of truth satisfies both the money people and the business rainmakers and alleviates the pain of the annual budget process for both. “Having the answers all in one place makes people feel good about data and creates a business where sales and finance can work together and enhance profitability. It also makes life easier for finance leaders who are now more active than ever in choosing tech tools and overseeing digital transformation.”

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To learn how Phocas’ business planning and analytics solution can transform your business, visit