Financial planning is a very, if not the most, important aspect of organisational management. It is a central function of most organisations and many finance departments have come to anticipate their annual appointments with budgets with anxiety, frustration and trepidation.
This is only understandable as organisational growth has brought with it increasing complexities in the financial planning process. Although some very good budgeting tools have been developed to deal with such situations, their cost is often prohibitive and their return on investment is often negative for small and medium-sized enterprises, especially when customisation, supplier lock-in risk and training requirements are taken into account. Financial Planning teams therefore turn to the tool they are most familiar with and which they know is flexible enough to recreate their organisational world-view in a model which they can adapt to multiple uses – MS Excel.
Although many financial planning teams are made up of MS Excel power users, they still fail to use MS Excel optimally to see their jobs through with the minimum effort with the result that resources are strained, in part unnecessarily, during the budgeting period.
This method of budgeting also gives rise to the tendency of siloing, where different departments adopt different assumptions to come up with the figures requested of them, which figures are subsequently amalgamated into an overarching budget without the knowledge that different assumptions have been used to come up with departmental figures. Not surprisingly, in such cases, the attainment of one set of budgetary objectives means that another set of budgetary objectives cannot be met.
Budgets, however, are not only an exercise in modelling the interrelationships between endogenous organisational variables in a MS Excel environment. Proper budgeting requires an understanding of forecasting techniques and their shortcomings, an understanding of the bigger economic picture and the markets of interest with which to calibrate such models, as well as a good understanding of how other people and departments need to be managed to minimise inter-departmental frictions during the budgetary process.
This 4-day course seeks to help attendees gain an appreciation of the foregoing issues and to impart an in-depth understanding of the financial planning process, its linkages with other organisational activities and budgeting best practices from around the world. In doing so, it endeavours to be practical, providing tools, tips and techniques that can be directly applied at the place of work.
The high-level objectives of this course include:
- Learning to identify the Implications of the Global Economy on an Organisation;
- Getting an Economic and Business update from Markets of interest to European businesses;
- Understanding the Bigger Economic Picture and the Markets of Interest with which to calibrate such Models;
- Forming expectations about Major Currencies and Major Investment Opportunities over the coming year;
- Understanding the Organisational Politics of Budgets;
- Understanding how other People and Departments need to be Managed to Minimise Inter-Departmental Frictions during the Budgetary Process;
- Understanding the Relationship between Budgets and Performance Appraisal;
- Gaining an understanding of Forecasting Techniques and their Shortcomings;
- Understanding the different Forecasting Algorithms on Common Software Platforms and what they do;
- Using MS Excel optimally to see tasks through with minimum effort;
- Gaining an appreciation of the Foregoing Issues and to Impart an In-depth understanding of the Financial Planning Process; and
- Using Budgeting best practice approaches from around the World.