Gartner defines the main application components of a CPM suite as follows:
Budgeting, planning and forecasting — These applications support the development of all aspects of budgets, plans and forecasts. They encompass short-term financially focused budgets, longer-term plans and high-level strategic plans. These applications should deliver workflow capabilities to manage budget/plan creation, submission and approval, as well as provide the ability to dynamically create forecasts and scenarios. They also should support the development of an enterprisewide planning model that links operational plans with financial budgets. In addition, they must be capable of sharing data with domain-specific applications, such as SCP.
Profitability modeling and optimization — This includes activity-based costing (ABC) applications that determine and allocate costs at a highly granular level, and activity-based management applications that provide capabilities to enable users to model the impact on profitability of different cost and resource allocation strategies. Some applications have moved beyond the “traditional” ABC focus to enable revenue to be allocated in addition to costs to model packaging, bundling, pricing and channel strategies.
Scorecard applications — A scorecard is a generic BI capability that includes the functionality of dashboards but that also has the capability to link key performance indicators (KPIs) to a strategy map, with a hierarchical cause-and-effect relationship among the KPIs. Scorecards are often used in conjunction with a particular methodology, such as the balanced scorecard, European Foundation for Quality Management, value-based management or Six Sigma.
Financial consolidation — This type of application enables organizations to reconcile, consolidate, summarize and aggregate financial data based on different accounting standards and federal regulations. These applications are a fundamental part of CPM because they create the audited, enterprise-level view of financial information that must be shared with other CPM applications to analyze variance from targets.
Statutory and financial reporting — CPM applications require specialized reporting tools that can format output as structured financial statements, and they may also need to support specific generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) presentation rules, such as U.S. GAAP or International Financial Reporting Standards. They also include visualization techniques that are specifically designed to support the analysis of variance from budgets or targets, such as hyperbolic trees.