Looking Forward: Best Practices for Financial Scenario Modeling

Looking Forward: Best Practices for Financial Scenario Modeling

In a recent webinar, Kinnari Desai, Workday’s senior director of corporate finance, provided insight into scenario modeling and how Workday approached this following the outbreak of COVID-19. We spoke with her to get more best practices and tips for financial planning and analysis (FP&A) teams.

How did Workday have to adapt its business planning process following the start of the crisis? 

We were coming off the back of our annual planning cycle and thanking our teams for their efforts in delivering “Plan A.” Then of course, everything changed with COVID-19. We had to spring right back into action, modelling scenarios in an environment that was so new—and seemingly changing hour by hour. 

I believe that in an uncertain environment like this, it’s very important the FP&A team aligns with the leadership team, understands the context of what’s happening, and looks at a small number of relevant scenarios. It can get easy to get carried away producing several scenarios, but the goal is to provide the leadership with a range of likely outcomes and provide data, in a simple way, that would enable decision making.

In these situations, I’d imagine speed is of the essence, but you have to get it

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