In 2022, one of the UK’s leading Life and Health insurers went live with their new Anaplan solution. Their initial deployment was to replace their expense budgeting and forecasting processes, including workforce planning and IFRS17 allocations and reporting. As a technology focused organisation, it had been agreed internally that a reliance on Excel spreadsheets was not the optimal solution, and a selection process had led them to choose Anaplan as its replacement, with Mentat Technology as their advisory and implementation partner.
With a large and diverse cost base, Excel was failing to provide them with a truly collaborative and transparent platform for budgeting and reporting. The organisation wanted to transition to a monthly rolling forecast, and needed a solution which could make this work.
Their Anaplan solution comprises of four core areas of functionality:
Non-staff cost budgeting and forecasting using a selection of several methods and drivers.
Cost centre owners, finance business partners and senior executives can collaboratively plan their expenses through Anaplan’s clean, customised and custom-branded pages. Planners can use several different methods for projecting their cost-base, including the use of run-rates, adjustments vs prior year, recurring fixed costs and manual inputs.
Staff cost budgeting and forecasting driven by employee level FTE projections and HR payroll details.
Anaplan is able to produce an employee level view of cost centre staff costs, supported by HR reports that are loaded monthly into Anaplan. Using security and access controls, users only have visibility of the employees that they have been granted rights to view and modify. Planners can flex assumptions such as monthly FTE, bonus payments and monthly salary, while Anaplan provides them with a real-time view of monthly staff costs, broken down by cost element. Where employees are due to move between cost centres in the future, planners are able to create transfer requests which, once approved, will transfer all FTE and costs from the specified date.
Up to three levels of expense allocation to organisational business units and IFRS17 activities, using a selection of multiple drivers.
Cost centres can be classified into different types (based on the nature of their business activities), with their expenses allocated using on a choice of driver. Depending on their type, cost centres can allocate to other cost centres, or directly to business units and IFRS17 activities.
Users can flex drivers and allocation rules, simulating different assumptions across multiple scenarios with side-by-side results. The level of granularity and transparency that Anaplan was able to provide through these allocations was impossible to achieve in Excel.
Core management reporting.
Using the results from all of the above areas, Anaplan is able to provide real-time reporting of expenses, workforce plans and allocation results. This has substantially reduced the time spent on producing management reporting, as all Anaplan reports are self-serve and provide users with the ability to pivot, drill-down and filter as needed.