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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CFO Lighbulb - XLerant

Meanwhile, CFOs Enjoy More Influence

CFO Research finds the financial crisis boosted the profile of finance chiefs. Struggling economy, having to do more with less, what’s not to like? The good news for Finance chiefs is that many believe their stature has been elevated during the economic downturn. That’s according to a recent survey by CFO Magazine and Expense Reduction…    Read More

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Business Officer Magazine - XLerant

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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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 Processes - XLerant

If not me, who? If not now, when?

There are reasons why we stay stuck with a bad process. There are other priorities. Resources are scarce. There’s no time. The dog ate my homework. When you interview CFOs that have successfully risen through the ranks… who competed with others for coveted promotions and won… you find they have three things in common. First,…    Read More

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Evolution - XLerant

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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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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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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Smartphone Map - XLerant

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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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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