Zombie spreadsheets should be dead – for all intents and purposes they should have been put in the ground long ago – but they refuse to die.
The traditional way of measuring value and business performance of a company is changing. For an increasing number of stakeholders, financial statements and balance sheet information just isn’t enough. Emphasis is now on sustainability, especially related to reputational risk and corporate image. A sustainability incident, like discovering child labor in the global supply chain, can be extremely harmful to brand value and thus revenue and profits.
To: CFO Research Services From: Senior finance executives Date: Fall 2011 Re: Growth prospects Dear CFO Research Services: You may think from our recent response to your survey questionnaire, entitled “Strategies for Better Business Insight,” that we see bright growth prospects ahead. You’d be wrong. The real picture is more complicated. Although a majority…
All too often, finance departments face the same challenges at the end of every reporting period—whether it’s monthend, quarter-end, or year-end. The department must prepare financial reports and statements such as balance sheets, cash flow statements, income statements, and increasingly, management reports, as well as provide information about key performance indicators. On top of that,…
According to a recent survey (multiple surveys in fact) most organizations are still using Excel for budgeting. Part of the explanation for that, of course, is “it’s free”. But it’s also because we in Finance have a bias for spreadsheets. No self respecting accountant or finance professional would back down from the challenge of building a budgeting process using Excel (Bill Gates is smiling, I can feel it).
There are two primary purposes of budgeting. The one most people think of first is to put a cap spending. But that’s only one reason why organizations (and people) budget.
The other reason why organizations budget is to ensure what’s important gets done. And let’s face it, just because something is important doesn’t mean it will get done. Unless it’s properly resourced and funded, it won’t happen. So let’s examine that crucial link between budgeting and execution.
Instead of debating the relative merits of rolling forecasts over annual budgets, the right question to ask is “What’s the best way for us to plan in our organization?” Because maybe the answer involves elements of both.
I’ve had the distinct pleasure of working with some of the best run companies over the years and I’ve come to appreciate what really separates them from “the merely good”. Some of what makes great companies so successful, like hiring great talent, is quite obvious. But I’d like to share one of their lesser known secrets to their success.