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Reinventing the Budget as a Forecasting and Planning Tool

Finance teams typically crank out budgets on a monthly, quarterly, and annual cycle. Employees scramble to collect and enter data, eating up the time they could be spending analyzing future business trends and identifying potential risks and opportunities. For many organizations, the budgeting process is still far from collaborative or efficient. Even top performers will churn out four versions of a budget before finalizing it, and bottom performers produce eight iterations, according to APQC, a non-profit benchmarking and best practices research firm.

The worst part: After all the effort, the budgeting process doesn’t yield the necessary insights to shape decisions or evaluate the performance of key business drivers. The numbers are crunched, and then the budget is often shelved. Rather than being a springboard for planning and forecasting the future financial health of the organization, most budgets are, at best, a snapshot in time based on assumptions that quickly become outdated.

This white paper will examine the need for better alignment of budgeting, forecasting, and planning
processes, as well as best practices for migrating to more dynamic budgeting models.

Topics Include:

  • The drawbacks of static, manual budget processes,
    including inaccurate forecasts that hamper growth
    and impede cash flow management
  • How CFOs can advocate for a more inclusive and timely
    budgeting process
  • The role of automation and data in budgeting and how
    more insightful and efficient budgets can serve as a
    model for forecasting and planning going forward