Planning for the Recovery
By jmorourke on Dec 22, 2010
As we plan for 2011, there are many positive signs in the global economy, but also some lingering issues. Planning no longer is about extrapolating past performance and adjusting for growth. It is now about constantly testing the temperature of the water, formulating scenarios, assessing risk and assigning probabilities. So how does one plan for recovery and improve forecast accuracy in such a volatile environment? Here are some suggestions from a recent article I wrote, which was published in the December Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) newsletter from the AFP (Association for Financial Professionals):
- Increase the frequency of forecasting
- Get more line managers involved in the planning and forecasting process
- Re-consider what's being measured - i.e. key financial and operational metrics
- Incorporate risk and probability into forecasts
- Reduce reliance on spreadsheets - leverage packaged EPM applications
To learn more about these best practices, check out the FP&A section of the AFP website and register to receive the FP&A newsletter. AFP recently launched a new topic area focused on the FP&A function and items of interest to this group of finance professionals. In addition to the FP&A quarterly newsletter, AFP will be publishing articles, running webinars and will have an FP&A track in their annual conference, which is in Boston next November. Brian Kalish, AFP's Finance Lead, is hoping this initiative creates a valuable networking and information-sharing resource for FP&A professionals.
Here's a link to the FP&A page on the AFP web site: http://www.afponline.org/pub/res/topics/topics_fpa.html
If you register on the site you can access and subscribe to the FP&A newsletter and other resources.
Best of luck in your planning for 2011 and beyond!