Planning Ahead

By Moore, Howard L. | Global Finance, September 1999 | Go to article overview

Planning Ahead


Moore, Howard L., Global Finance


No one likes budgeting and forecasting, and nearly no one is satisfied with the results. A variety of innovative software companies recognize this and are embracing new strategies, the Internet, and other technologies to make the process more productive.

"What's wrong with planning? "It's unproductive, and it doesn't satisfy management," answers Larry Kerber, vice president of product marketing at Comshare. The reason, he says, is that the process doesn't link the company's financial strategies with the way resources are allocated."No one believes that budgeting is worth the effort put into it, but it's the process that's broken," says Adam Thier vice president, product marketing, at Adaytum. "You're putting financial data in front of nonfinancial people who don't understand the company's financial goals What is required is an integrated solution that supports top-down planning from senior management and bottom-up allocation from department heads. "The two never equal out," says Thier. "The value comes not by pushing them together but by creating points of reconciliation to make them equal." Although the technology used to do this varies, the common denominator is Web-based standards that bring the overall cost down.

All recognize that the process needs to be more collaborative. "Senior management has to share its strategy and objectives in terms of words and concepts, not just provide the targets in terms of numbers. Department heads have to communicate how those strategies affect operations," says Kerber.

The Internet provides the facilities to document the assumptions and variances that are the basis of planning decisions. "The idea is to expand offerings beyond accounting and financial information to enterprise reporting, says Charlene Gust, eEnterprise product manager at Great Plains Software. A Webbased, E-business solution allows easy integration of the front and back offices, is installed centrally, and provides easy access from anywhere in the world.

"There is a concerted effort to combine financial with operational data such as sales transactions and other business events," says George Dearing, vice president of technology marketing at FlexiInternational. A financial data warehouse pulls the two together, and can then apply KPIs (key performance indicators) to measure the organization's performance. An effective enterprise information portal strategy which includes both traditional reporting (profit and loss, balance sheet) with analytic applications and balanced-scorecard reporting effectively links the entities within an organization, pulls it together in one place, does the analysis, and pushes it back out to decision makers.

"The analytic needs of accounting and finance are maturing," says Rich Clayton, senior director of product marketing at Hyperion. "Enterprise performance management is demanding more integration between business planning and budgeting to lower costs and maximize accuracy, accessibility, and efficiency." Companies can't look to their ERP sys tems to link these things together. "Then you can apply external benchmarks to analyze the business against peer groups, to establish targets, and to develop plans," he says. The Internet enables a user to pull together these disparate sources. "It's about business performance, not just taking financials and entering budget figures," says Geri Studebaker, product marketing manager at J.D. Edwards."The key is to discover what is driving the business through what-if and goalseeking scenarios."

"Traditional analysis is a dead-end process," says Jeff Ernst, product strategy manager, at Infinium. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Planning Ahead
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.