Budget Strategies for Non-Profits in an Uncertain Economy

In a previous blog we talked about the unique challenges of budgeting in the not for profit sector (http://blog.xlerant.com/wordpress/unique-challenges-of-budgeting-in-not-for-profit ) We were overwhelmed by the response, and decided to follow it up with a live webinar. View the webinar recording, to hear directly from two leading CFOs who will share their experience in overcoming the…    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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A Shout Out to Linda Murphy Church

Every once in a while the sun and the moon and the stars all align just right to deliver an exceptional webinar. Such was the case recently when Linda Murphy Church presented how she used the rigorous Malcolm Baldrige Award criteria to access a critical decision the Rhode Island School of Design was facing. In…    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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Unique Challenges of Budgeting in Not for Profit

Budgets matter in the not-for-profit world to a degree I rarely see in the for-profit world. In the for-profit world, the budget is just a snapshot in time. It can be forgotten about the first time the company produces a reforecast (which, incidentally, can be forgotten with the second reforecast). It’s not that for-profit organizations…    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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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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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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