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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Lock and Key - XLerant

Why locking down spreadsheet templates doesn’t work

We have discussed in this blog a big concept – Explicit Budgets for projects or initiatives. But not every department really needs that degree of sophistication. Sometimes it’s the small things that can improve communication. Like allowing managers to easily add justifications and detail. For example, we have a client that has an Administrative Services…    Read More

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Teamwork and Community - XLerant

Should you involve your user community in solution development?

When I first moved to Ireland with Pepsi, I brought a lot of New York headquarters ways with me. Some good, some bad. But one of those ways was in how to develop solutions to vexing problems. The foundation of solution development was always the formation of a cross functional team to bring together multiple…    Read More

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Broken Excel - XLerant

Why budgets are not Excel-ing

Excel is the #1 financial modeling tool on the planet. And unless you look outside of Microsoft Office, it’s the obvious choice for budgeting. That’s the reason why 80% of all organizations continue to use Excel for budgeting. But here are some common complaints heard every day: The process takes too long The process doesn’t…    Read More

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Grade Letter - XLerant

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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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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Businessman on Tightrope - XLerant

Budgeting: A Career Maker… A Career Breaker?

The reason why managing the budget process is a high wire act should be obvious. 1) Every corner of the organization is involved or impacted by the process in some way. 2) The process impacts people where it hurts – their wallets. 3) The most senior ranks of the organization are engaged in the process,…    Read More

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Spreadsheet - XLerant

Why Locked Down Budget Templates Are Failing You

Excel is an incredibly flexible tool. Anyone who’s worked with it for more than a week knows that. It’s a blank canvass where you can write any formula your imagination can conceive. But when it comes to using Excel for budgeting, Excel becomes the exact opposite of flexible. It becomes rigid as stone. And this…    Read More

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Rolling Forecast - XLerant

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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