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Seven Financial Planning and Analysis Trends 2012

As we start the fourth quarter, having just come back from the annual Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) national conference, it seems like an appropriate time to reflect on the trends of the last year. Read on for seven financial planning and analysis trends from 2012. Trend #1: The Rise of FP&A Within the finance...

How to Optimize Annual Budgeting to Increase Total Shareholder Return

In part one of this series, How to Use Annual Budgeting to Increase Total Shareholder Return I explained how most companies make minor changes in their budget allocations from year-to-year. I also referenced a recent McKinsey Quarterly study that found that over time, companies earned on average 30% higher annual total returns to shareholders by...

Using Annual Budgeting to Increase Shareholder Return

The link between a company’s strategy and the long-range planning process, which culminates in their annual budget, has always been, to put it nicely, a very loose one. For those of us close to the planning process, this has been a well-known problem for a long time. Yet we continue to be surprised when we...

The Role of Spreadsheets in a Long-Range Planning Process—Part 2

Part one of this series notes that 1) there are appropriate uses for spreadsheets in the planning process, 2) there is a key point at which spreadsheets fall short (alignment), and 3) an appropriate planning tool is one that makes the most of the strengths of spreadsheets in the data gathering process. In this blog,...

The Role of Spreadsheets in a Long-Range Planning Process—Part 1

On a recent Webcast, a finance professional asked me about the use of spreadsheets in the planning process. Because this is such a common theme, (over 70% of respondents said they use spreadsheets for their planning process) I decided to add my observations to the conversation. Telling a finance person that they should not use...