Ambiguous Problems - XLerant

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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Rolling Wheels - XLerant

Rolling Forecast. Part 3 – Assessment of Rolling Forecast

In part one of this series we looked at the common problems that organizations have with the annual planning/ budgeting process. Recognizing of course that most companies do forecasting as well, we looked at the annual planning process as a proxy for the processes companies deploy year-round to develop financial projections. In part two of…    Read More

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Steve Jobs and Bill Gates - XLerant

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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Raymond Panko - XLerant

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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Broken Excel - XLerant

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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Fireworks - XLerant

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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Spring Cleaning - XLerant

A New Method… at Method

I came across an article from CFO Magazine I wanted to share with the community. Method Products, a San Francisco-based maker of environmentally friendly home and personal cleaning products, has enjoyed years of healthy growth, becoming a $100 million, 100-person company since its founding in 2000. But just recently the CFO has led a project…    Read More

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Spreadsheet - XLerant

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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Computer Data - XLerant

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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Angry Girl - XLerant

15 Things You Can’t Do in Excel for Budgeting (but should)

Excel is an amazingly great application that has probably delivered more value than just about any other business software in the past 20 years. But as a platform for budgeting… well, it has some serious limitations. Like wouldn’t it be nice to be able to spread budgets based on last year’s actual spending pattern? That…    Read More

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