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Driver Based Planning

Different Planning Methods for FP&A

by Michael Coveney, co-author of "Budgeting, Planning, and Forecasting in Uncertain Times"

 

Planning involves many kinds of methods that help managers make decisions. It goes without saying that any planning system must be able to handle both financial and KPI information, it must be able to model the different business structures (products, departments, customer groupings) and possess good reporting and charting capabilities. It should also be able to report data from both a financial viewpoint as well as a strategy view through dashboards and strategy maps, as well as be multi-user that allows secure access to people with different roles.

We will look at the different methods an organization can use to set direction. 

 

Evolving FP&A: What are the Key Planning Activities?

by Michael Coveney, co-author of "Budgeting, Planning, and Forecasting in Uncertain Times"

Believe it or not, organizations do not collapse if they don’t have a plan or a budget! If a business is already established then two things will impact future results, irrespective of what is planned:

Organic growth. The momentum of current activities will continue to generate costs and sales. The value of these is fairly easy to forecast in the immediate future but as time goes on the upper and lower limits could be diverse.

Dynamic FP&A: The Role of Planning

by Michael Coveney, co-author of "Budgeting, Planning, and Forecasting in Uncertain Times"

We live in an unpredictable world where the future is uncertain. If it was then we would all make a fortune by making strategic ‘bets’ on certain outcomes – we would know what products and services to back, what level of stock and staffing to have, and when and where to market our capabilities for maximum effect.

But the world is not like that. When we use the word ‘unpredictable’ or ‘volatile’, what we are really saying is that the mechanisms we use for predicting the future are inaccurate. Things happen that we either didn’t foresee, or that impacted differently from what we expected. Most of these ‘things’ are typically external and beyond our control. For example, a competitor changing their price, a company introducing a disruptive technology, the impact of natural events such as the weather, a change in government policy, a significant change in the local economy, or a combination of any of these. However, senior executives are expected to navigate their organizations through all of these challenges. They are charged with ensuring that limited resources are allocated to the right products and services for maximum return. That the organization is moving towards long-term strategic goals and to provide a reasoned explanation as to when, where and how it expects to get there.

Why Driver- Based Planning and Dedicated Planning Systems Matter for FP&A

By Elena Kiristova, CFO Russia and CIS at Groupon

Integrating actuals into the planning cycle is usually not an easy task. Financial and operating results are spread across multiple databases. Actual results and plan detail are at different levels. Lack of underlying volumes and rates make meaningful causal analysis difficult.

BUT - You want apples to apples. Too often you get a fruit salad.

With today’s more intensive focus on driver-based planning and key performance indicators, this  article will help management and FP&A staff think through the issues for better Variance Analysis and Corporate Performance Management.

Modern FP&A: Some Important Techniques, Methods and Concepts

By Larysa Melnychuk, Managing Director at FP&A Trends group

The world of financial planning and analysis has observed changes of such magnitude that they cannot be described by our traditional statistical and analytical models. In this age of frequent Black Swan events, the traditional business approach to operating on an annual budget and forecast is no longer effective. In order to deliver a competitive advantage to a company, modern FP&A function needs to be flexible and dynamic, be based on sophisticated analytics, examine life-time values of the products and services and encourage business partnering. This significant change in the role of FP&A function requires big cultural shift and modern change management techniques....

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