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Best (and Worst) Practices in Budgeting and Forecasting: The Story of a Successful CFO

In this ASMI webinar from October 27, 2011, Arlin Hall, Chief Financial Officer at The Blood & Tissue Center, reflects on his real-world experience moving out of spreadsheets.

Attend this webinar and learn how to:

Avoid the common pitfalls that lead to budgeting software failure
Design an evaluation plan that dramatically reduces the risk of failure
Estimate the ROI of moving your budgeting process out of spreadsheets
Improve forecast accuracy
Better communicate the financial model to management

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Best (and Worst) Practices in Budgeting and Forecasting: The Story of a Successful CFO

  1. 1. Best (and Worst) Practices inBudgeting and Forecasting:The Story of a Successful CFOFeaturing:Arlin Hall, CFO, Texas Blood and Tissue CenterLisa Torbin-Shaw, Director of Financial Planning Solutions, AlightModerated by Ben Lamorte, VP Marketing, Alight Planning © 2011 Alight Planning Slide 1
  2. 2. Today’s ModeratorBen Lamorte Business Activities  Vice President, Marketing & Sales, Alight Planning  Principal, Decision Consulting (Adobe, Kaiser)  Manager, Business Intelligence,  Management Consultant, APM/CSC Healthcare Publications  Author of 2 research papers, American Mathematics Society  Co-author of planning white papers Education  MS Engineering, Stanford University  BS, Engineering & Math, UC Davis © 2011 Alight Planning Slide 2
  3. 3. Polling #1 Which best describes your experience with ASMI FP&A In-Person Training Events? 1. Attended an ASMI event in the past 2. Have not attended ASMI live event…but want to! 3. Attended an FP&A event but not ASMI 4. Not sure/why are you asking? © 2011 Alight Planning Slide 3
  4. 4. Oct 27th Fun Agenda Part 1 Set the Stage (Ben)  Planning Maturity Curve Framework  Question #2  Worst Practices and How to Avoid Part 2 Adventures with Budgeting Software (Arlin & Lisa)  Life before Alight  Life with Alight  Question #3  Best Practices Presentation Part 3 Q&A and Wrap Up (All) © 2011 Alight Planning Slide 4
  5. 5. Business Value from Planning Insights  Understanding things we didn’t see before Actionable Knowledge  Understanding and acting upon operational drivers Decisions  Planning scenarios gives us the financial impact of choices  Having choices sets up decision making © 2011 Alight Planning Slide 5
  6. 6. The Planning Maturity CurveEffort Forecasting Reporting Agile Planning Budgeting Scenario Analysis Budgeting Forecasting & Reporting Business Value © 2011 Alight Planning Slide 6
  7. 7. Polling #2 What best describes your budgeting and forecasting technology: 1. Happy with spreadsheets. 2. Not happy with spreadsheets; considering a software tool. 3. Purchased software, it failed; we’re back in spreadsheets! 4. Purchased a software tool, it was a success! © 2011 Alight Planning Slide 7
  8. 8. Part 2: Why Budgeting Software Fails?  For Ben’s In-Depth Analysis of Software Failure  FOCUS Research Brief:  do-about-it/  Sid Ghatak, President of Rolling Forecast Solutions and Senior ASMI Fellow  Instructor for ASMI Rolling Forecast  Podcast Featuring Sid Ghatak:  performance-mangement-software-failure-4-t/ © 2011 Alight Planning Slide 8
  9. 9. #1 Worst Practice: Software on the Shelf  Situation: Management thinks buying software licenses for everyone will somehow get everyone more involved and create a culture of collaborative budgeting.  Problem: Buttonwood Group Survey examined 100 companies who deployed budgeting software to replace spreadsheets:  44% of companies reported complete failure to get anybody outside of Finance to actually log into the system in the past 12 months.  How to Avoid: Start with a “Minimal Configuration” ADD Non-Finance USERS LATER! © 2011 Alight Planning Slide 9
  10. 10. #1 Software on the Shelf Source: Planning Software Usability Survey By Buttonwood Group © 2011 Alight Planning Slide 10
  11. 11. Worst Practice #2: Go over your budget!  Problem (Quote below from real customer interview!)  “Our software will be just $2,000. We forgot to tell you it costs $10,000 for consulting help to build your model – oh yeah, it’s really easy to use. Of course, that’s just to get you going, it could take $18,000 for it to be fully deployed.”  How to Avoid (Send me an email with other ideas)  Build discounts into pricing if vendor goes over the price!  Example: “Great! So, if we do in fact pay $10,000 upfront for the 50 hours, can we get a bill-rate of $100/Hr thereafter if additional consulting is requested? After all, it is unlikely we will need more than 50 hours.” © 2011 Alight Planning Slide 11
  12. 12. Worst Practice #3: Wrong Consultant Problem  A month after you buy software, you find out you’ve been assigned to a consultant whos built one model as practice and recently completed an MBA degree! How to Avoid  Do not agree to purchase any software until you’ve at least met the consultant assigned to your project. If you don’t click with your consultant, the project may be doomed from the start . © 2011 Alight Planning Slide 12
  13. 13. Today’s SpeakerLisa Torbin-Shaw Business Activities  Director, Financial Planning Solutions at Alight  Hyperion Planning Consultant, Apogent Tech  Product Management, Hyperion Solutions  Principal Consultant, Hyperion Solutions  Built the Alight model with Arlin! Publications  Author of Planning at the Business Unit Level White Paper Education  BS, Accounting Simmons College  CPA, Inactive © 2011 Alight Planning Slide 13
  14. 14. Today’s SpeakerArlin Hall Business Activities  CFO at The Blood and Tissue Center of Central Texas for 21 years  30 Years in Healthcare Finance  Budgeting, Forecasting, Performance Management  Built the Alight model with Lisa! Education  BS, Idaho State University  CPA © 2011 Alight Planning Slide 14
  15. 15. • Created by the Travis County Medical Society in 1951• Tissue Division created in 1988• Serves 10 county area in Central Texas• Affiliated with: • Travis County Medical Society • TCMS Foundation • Medical Service Bureau © 2011 Alight Planning Slide 15
  16. 16. History of Budgeting & Forecasting1991 - Paper!!1992 - Lotus 123 / Excel2004 - Prophix2005 - Excel2008 - Microsoft Forecaster2010 - Alight PlanningLived happily ever after © 2011 Alight Planning Slide 16
  17. 17. Our view of Key Best Practices with Alight planning1. Flexibility of a spreadsheet without the inherent pitfalls2. Driver (Statistics) driven3. Ease of scenario modeling – What Ifs4. Timeframes & comparisons with actuals5. Ease of rolling forecasts © 2011 Alight Planning Slide 17
  18. 18. Polling #3 If you’ve ever failed with a software implementation – what was the primary reason for the failure: 1. Non-Finance users never really used it. 2. Went over budget and/or took too long to “go-live”. 3. Consultant did not work out (was a bad match etc.) 4. Other (Send Ben an Email and you may be featured in an article!) © 2011 Alight Planning Slide 18
  19. 19. ASMI’s Customer Loyalty Offer Rolling Forecasts Training December 12th-14th, Washington, D.C. (ASMI Training Facility) Why should you attend? So you can…. •Obtain the solutions to integrate Rolling Forecasts into your management •Discover how leading companies have supplanted their budget process with Rolling Forecasts •Learn the positive effect of Rolling Forecasts on operational performance. •Identify the proper path to take when fostering buy-in for Rolling Forecasts •Gain Entry for $999 (normally $1,799) If you have would like to register or have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Andrea DiRaddo 202-739-9601 © 2011 Alight Planning Slide 19
  20. 20. Free Resources Resources  Why 1 in 3 Budgeting Software Projects Fail  FOCUS Research Brief:  what-do-about-it/  Sid Ghatak, President of Rolling Forecast Solutions, Senior ASMI Fellow  Podcast Featuring Sid Ghatak:  mangement-software-failure-4-t/ Follow up with Alight  Email:  Call Ben at: (415) 456-8528 © 2011 Alight Planning Slide 20