Who is Raymond Panko… and why should you care?

Raymond Panko, a professor at the University of Hawaii, is the leading expert on spreadsheet errors. Who makes them, why they happen, what rate they’re seen in the average spreadsheet, you name it. He wrote a paper on the subject called What We Know About Spreadsheet Errors first published in the Journal of End User…    Read More

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Rolling Forecast – A False Choice?

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. There’s an annual budget process that’s approved by Management and/or the Board of Directors, and it’s used among…    Read More

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Business Officer Magazine: Self Service Budgeting at Drew

I was honored to work with Howard Buxbaum on “Self Service Budgeting at Drew University” which appears in the November 2011 issue of Business Officer Magazine. Here’s an excerpt: In a meeting with Drew University’s president, we not only reviewed the points outlined in this article but also talked about the higher-level issue of accountability,…    Read More

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The Missing Link: Budgeting and Execution

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…    Read More

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You can’t create an Interactive BudgetMap in Excel

Here’s a fundamental problem with the budget process we wanted to address. People don’t like budgeting. That’s really the elephant in the living room we’re all trying to navigate around, isn’t it? Here are some of the words I’ve heard line managers and department heads use to describe budgeting: Stressful… Intimidating… Frustrating… Confusing. I’ve heard…    Read More

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Chocolate and inspiration found in Hershey, PA

I was privileged this week to attend the annual EACUBO meeting in Hershey, PA. The event began with a keynote address from Erin Gruwel, author of Freedom Writers Diary and the founder of Freedom Writers Foundation. Erin’s remarkable story was turned into a feature film in 2007 starring Hilary Swank.The video clip above is from…    Read More

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15 Things You Can’t Do in Excel for Budgeting: #2

#2- You can’t have executives electronically sign off on budgets underneath them. We’ve all been there. You’re sitting in a budget review meeting and an executive says, “That can’t be right, you don’t have the right budget.” It seems the higher up the executive is making that statement, the longer the silence that follows… I…    Read More

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15 Things You Can’t Do in Excel for Budgeting: #1

#1 You can’t tell where everyone is in the process. The first thing you can’t do in Excel is tell where everybody is in the process. You know who’s submitted a spreadsheet to you and that’s about it. There’s nothing to give you visibility into the work in process. You don’t know who’s started and…    Read More

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Meanwhile, CFOs Enjoy More Influence

CFO Research finds the financial crisis boosted the profile of finance chiefs. Struggling economy, having to do more with less, what’s not to like? The good news for Finance chiefs is that many believe their stature has been elevated during the economic downturn. That’s according to a recent survey by CFO Magazine and Expense Reduction…    Read More

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If not me, who? If not now, when?

There are reasons why we stay stuck with a bad process. There are other priorities. Resources are scarce. There’s no time. The dog ate my homework. When you interview CFOs that have successfully risen through the ranks… who competed with others for coveted promotions and won… you find they have three things in common. First,…    Read More

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