MEDIA INDUSTRY

Powering FP&A at the Speed of News with Workday Adaptive Planning

EisnerAmper implemented Workday Adaptive Planning to enable the Crain Communications finance team to streamline reporting and forecasting and establish a solid foundation for future improvements to their FP&A function.

The Challenge

After replacing Peoplesoft with Workday, Crain Communications was looking for a budgeting and forecasting solution to integrate with it. 

After several vendor demos, Workday Adaptive Planning was a clear winner. Its native integration with Workday and drag-and-drop reporting capabilities would help Crain Communications’ lean FP&A team budget and forecast even quicker. 

But first, they needed help designing the new system. And the consulting partner they chose needed to understand their needs and customize Workday Adaptive Planning to the complexities of their business model. 

EisnerAmper was chosen to be that partner based on our extensive and well-reasoned response to their RFP.

The CLIENT

Crain Communications produces and distributes business news to over 78 million readers across the globe. Crain Communications prides itself on developing content that empowers its readers and clients to succeed in their domains. The company’s portfolio includes over 24 brands, including world-renown media properties like Ad Age, Automotive News, and Modern Healthcare. 

Crain Communications has over 650 team members working to deliver exceptional journalism to its audience through publications, lead generation, research materials, digital platforms, events, and custom publishing.

“EisnerAmper cared a lot about our outcomes. They took the time to become familiar with our company and tech stack, which made solving our problems way easier. It felt like the EisnerAmper consultants were part of our team.”

The SOLUTION

We went into the implementation with the goal of helping the Crain Communications FP&A team evangelize Workday Adaptive Planning among their stakeholders and speed up their reporting process with templated reports and direct feeds into Workday.

Detailed Requirements Gathering

Crain Communications has multiple lines of business and a complicated reporting model. So we took our time understanding it, asking lots of questions and hosting a number of requirements gathering sessions. 

We made sure to provide the CrainCommunications team with detailed project plans and roadmaps upfront and notified them whenever there was a delay. We also worked closely with the FP&A team to test various aspects of the new solution, ensuring there weren’t any missed or misunderstood requirements. And whenever there was a hurdle, we made ourselves available, arranging a meeting with the team within24 hours to resolve the issue.

“The EisnerAmper team was extremely responsive, easy to work with, and very knowledgeable. They made us feel like we were a client they cared about, not just another project.”

Enhanced Budgeting and Forecasting

Crain Communications wanted a faster, intuitive way to build reports. 

So we built templated revenue reports and forecasts for each vertical that the team could share with department owners. These reports had everything budget owners could want, including high-level and detailed views, which encouraged them to take on the responsibility of updating their forecasts and monitoring their reports in real-time. All updates flow directly downstream to Workday to maintain a closed loop. 

We also built cash flow and balance sheet templates, as well as robust dashboards to display the most important information to upper management. 

Later in the project, we trained the FP&A team, showing them how to make changes to reports, dashboards, and forecasts independently. These training sessions encouraged the FP&A team to think of other ideas for enhancing their workflow, such as feeding Salesforce data into Workday Adaptive Planning to improve forecasting accuracy. And ultimately, the new reporting process gave the FP&A team time to work on other strategic priorities.

The RESULTS

Post-implementation, the Crain Communications FP&A team can work more efficiently. With the right data at their fingertips, the team can create reports in minutes and distribute them across the business in formats each department prefers, keeping everyone aligned.

“I’ve worked with many consultants over the years, and EisnerAmper have been the best. They are so helpful and responsive.”

Stakeholder Self-Service

Today, over 100 employees have access toWorkday Adaptive Planning. Folks in the field can enter their forecasts and run reports to see exactly what’s going on in their business area in real time. Drag-and-drop reporting features eliminate the need for complicated queries, getting both the FP&A team and management teams the information they need when they need it.

Greater Control

We emphasized making Workday Adaptive Planning easy for the Crain Communications finance team to update in the future. Today, the finance team maintains their Workday Adaptive Planning instance without the help of IT, making adjustments as they continue to learn about new features or ways to leverage the tool in their daily work. 

With this solid foundation, the CrainCommunications FP&A team can continue to enhance their workflows by taking advantage of Workday Adaptive Planning’s extensive integration and reporting possibilities.

Trusted Advisors

On the sidelines, we serve as trusted advisors. The Crain Communications team contacts us whenever they have questions or want feedback on a new idea. And because we spent the time upfront getting to know the ins and outs of their company and system, we can provide them with thoughtful input.

Crain Communications plans to use our services to help them pull data from additional databases to create more comprehensive revenue tracking and forecasting reports in Workday Adaptive Planning.

 “Thanks to EisnerAmper, our software is updated, and our reports are much more fluid than what we had before.”

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