We use cookies and other similar technologies (Cookies) to enhance your experience and to provide you with relevant content and ads. By using our website, you are agreeing to the use of Cookies. You can change your settings at any time. Cookie Policy.


Join us for SOA & Application Integration in Action Virtual Conference on October 5, 2010. Learn more here.



To compete in today's unpredictable economy mid-sized organizations must keep a very close eye on their operational performance and must be able to use that information to continuously update their business plans and budgets. By keeping their business plans fluid, mid-sized companies can quickly allocate additional resources to take advantage of new opportunities or hold back spending and take a cautious approach when appropriate. This capability allows them to better exploit the two attributes that give them an edge over their larger competitors - speed and flexibility. So what is holding mid-sized companies back from better leveraging these two attributes?

The primary issue is that mid-size companies often operate with limited IT budgets. As a result, they do not have the resources and the expertise to implement a planning and budgeting system that integrates with their operational system which would allow them to continually create and update business plans. Without such a system, mid-sized businesses often resort to spreadsheets as their primary planning and budgeting tool. While spreadsheets provide these organizations with a simple and ubiquitous tool for planning, they also create a number of serious issues that affect their ability to create business plans in a timely manner and continuously update them.

Issues with spreadsheets as a planning and budgeting tool

In order to understand the issues created from a spreadsheet based planning and budgeting environment, we need to first look at a typical planning and budgeting cycle. The planning and budgeting process typically begins with the finance organization which creates a spreadsheet template, loaded with the last planning period's data and top-down assumptions about the current planning period. This template is sent to various department managers, who circulate it within their department to create a first cut of plans and budgets for the upcoming planning period. Throughout this process, each department ends up adding more rows and columns to the spreadsheet to document comments or provide additional details before cycling back to the finance organization.

Soon the finance organization has multiple versions of spreadsheets from various departments, each with different formats, which they need to manually aggregate and reconcile to create a first cut of the company-wide plan and budget. This plan is then reviewed and refined to incorporate top down assumptions, and then sent back to the various departments for iteration. This process repeats itself a few times, with the final version taking anywhere from 6 to 10 weeks in a typical company. Moreover, if the company has foreign subsidiaries, spreadsheets have to be consolidated across currencies, another manually intensive process which causes further delays. Since the budgets are in a spreadsheet format,the process of creating budget variance and other management reports at the end of the quarter is also manually intensive. As a result, the planning and budgeting processes in mid-sized companies tend to be chaotic and lengthy.

-1-

1  2  3  4  

   Next Page

Explore Our Topics

  • EDITOR'S BRIEFING
  • Virtual Conferences
  • Webinars
  • Roundtables

BPM in Action

March 10, 2011

The sixth annual BPM in Action 2011 Virtual Conference will explore cutting-edge market developments in BPM and describe how to leverage them for improved business operation and performance. More

View All Virtual Conferences

Smart Case Management: Why It's So Smart.

Date:Nov 05, 2009
Time:12:00 PM ET- (17:00 GMT)

REGISTER TODAY!

Date:Oct 29, 2009
Time:15:00 PM ET- (19:00 GMT)

REGISTER TODAY!
View All Roundtables
  • Research Library
  • Podcasts
  • News

Joe McKendrick: Part II of II: Designing Evolve-ability into SOA and IT Systems

In part two of Joe McKendrick's recent podcast with Miko Matsumura, chief strategist for Software AG, they talk about how SOA and IT systems need to change and grow and adapt with the organization around it.

Listen Now

Phil Wainewright: Helping Brands Engage with Social Media

Phil Wainewright interviews David Vap, VP of products at RightNow Technologies, and finds out how sharing best practices can help businesses understand how best to engage with online communities.

Listen Now

Peter Schooff: Making Every IT Dollar Result in a Desired Business Outcome: Scott Hebner of IBM Rati

Scott Hebner, Vice President of Marketing and Strategy for IBM Rational, discusses a topic on the top of every company's mind today: getting the most from IT investments.

Listen Now

Jessica Ann Mola: Where Will BI Fit In? Lyndsay Wise Explains

In BI, this tough economy and the increasing role of Web 2.0 and MDM are certainly topics on people's minds today. WiseAnalytics' Lyndsay Wise addresses each of them in this informative podcast.

Listen Now

Dennis Byron: Talking with...Deepak Singh of BPM Provider Adeptia

Deepak Singh, President and CTO of Adeptia, joins ebizQ's Dennis Byron in a podcast that gets its hand around the trend of industry-specific BPM.

Listen Now
More Podcasts
  • Most Popular
  • Quick Guide
  • Most Discussed

Quick Guide: What is BPM?

Learn More

Quick Guide: What is Event Processing?

Smart event processing can help your company run smarter and faster. This comprehensive guide helps you research the basics of complex event processing (CEP) and learn how to get started on the right foot with your CEP project using EDA, RFID, SOA, SCADA and other relevant technologies. Learn More

Quick Guide: What is Enterprise 2.0?

A lot of people are talking about Enterprise 2.0 as being the business application of Web 2.0 technology. However, there's still some debate on exactly what this technology entails, how it applies to today's business models, and which components bring true value. Some use the term Enterprise 2.0 exclusively to describe the use of social networking technologies in the enterprise, while others use it to describe a web economy platform, or the technological framework behind such a platform. Still others say that Enterprise 2.0 is all of these things. Learn More