The Moon Shot for Higher Ed – Make College Affordable

When President Kennedy challenged the country to put a man on the moon and return him safely to earth by the end of the decade, it became known as “the moon shot.” The challenge was bold, the mission was clear, and everyone knew sacrifices had to be made to accomplish a great goal. The moon…    Read More

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Budgeting: Steve Jobs or Bill Gates?

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…    Read More

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The Malcolm Baldrige Award Criteria and Better Software Purchasing

You’ve been through the drill before. Some process in your organization needs fixing and a team is formed to address it. Before you know it, you’re looking at software as a solution. That’s not a bad thing, but the way we go about it often is. The team comes up with a requirements grid (often…    Read More

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Solving Ambiguous Problems – What Successful Companies Get That the Rest of Us Don’t

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 in this blog I’d like to share one of…    Read More

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What a National Survey on Budgeting Reveals

XLerant recently completed a survey on budgeting and I wanted to share some of the highlights with you here. Budgeting is mission critical. You probably already knew that, but isn’t it comforting to know that a majority (over 90%) of your peers agree with you? Budgeting is getting more scrutiny than in the past. Given…    Read More

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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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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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