Someday is now… Somebody is you

Someday we’re going to make our budget process better… somebody should really do that. How often have you thought that? How often have you discussed that with the people you work with? Well… that some day is now, and that somebody is you. I know firsthand that leading an effort to redesign the planning process…    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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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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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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