The terms CPM and EPM are used inter-changeably by software professionals. This inconsistency is causing confusion amongst finance professionals and in some cases the software vendors and the implementation partners themselves. So what do they mean? Which one is more common and which one should we use?

What do they stand for?

  • CPM – Corporate Performance Management
  • EPM – Enterprise Performance Management

What do they mean? Both essentially have the same meaning. They refer to a particular software package that provides the following functionality:

  1. Budgeting and forecasting
  2. Financial Consolidation
  3. Business Intelligence

From my understanding and research both were established in North America by vendors and industry analysts but from memory EPM came first (which itself was a variation of BPM or business performance management) and then CPM some time later.

So which one should we use? I think we all agree that adopting a single term for budgeting and forecasting software, consolidation and Business Intelligence software would be beneficial and avoid any confusion (and let’s face it buying software is confusing enough). Given the term Corporate excludes not-for-profits, government departments and the education sector (as it is normally associated with privately held or publically listed for-profit businesses), we recommend that we all take a pledge to choose EPM over CPM and stop this confusion forever.

As always, please contact GK Horizons if you have any questions.