Carlson Thought Leadership in Finance & Technology

Jotham Lane

Recent Posts

Per Unit Planning: A Key Financial Planning and Analysis Exercise

February 22, 2016 / by Jotham Lane
A financial plan with at minimum a balance sheet, income statement and cash flow forecast is critical to managing and guiding a business.  In order for the plan to be relevant, it needs to offer up clear information that stakeholders in the organization can act upon.  A good financial plan also forms the foundation from which additional models and analyses can be developed in order to manage performance along business lines and departments.

Per unit planning is a key exercise that can help businesses formulate a realistic sales plan

Read More →

Is There Still a Role for Spreadsheets in Finance?

October 30, 2015 / by Jotham Lane

Let’s face it - spreadsheets will have a role and offer value to finance to some extent for the foreseeable future. As a “spreadsheet jockey” myself, I use them primarily for ad hoc analysis and reporting. One of the questions that needs to be asked though is, does your FP&A team spend 80% of their time getting data into reports and tying them out for analysis and only 20% of the time actually analyzing the data? Or, do they spend 20% preparing reports and 80% on analysis. If it's the former, which is actually quite common, then you should seriously[...]

Read More →

Building a World Class FP&A Team

November 19, 2014 / by Jotham Lane
Now that budget season is over, it's time to reflect on the effort taken to complete the task and to challenge the status quo. For many financial planning and analysis (FP&A) professionals, it can be a grueling and rote activity as described in my previous blog post, Avoid the Budget Season Blues.  If your company still has a spreadsheet-based budgeting process, your FP&A team likely spent a lot of time on the following:
  • reconciling data to prior period reports such as P&L by cost center
  • keying in or copying/pasting data for analysis
  • writing[...]
Read More →

Manufacturing KPIs

October 30, 2014 / by Jotham Lane
A question that invariably arises when I’m implementing manufacturing budgeting and planning software with clients is - which metrics should we be tracking? I could list any number of perfectly valid metrics, but at that point, I steer the discussion to priorities and strategy. In my experience, key performance indicators (KPIs) are an excellent means for ensuring that budgets align with strategy. Specifically, what are the factors necessary for them to improve competitiveness over both the shorter and longer term? Where should they be focusing[...]
Read More →

Avoid the Budget Season Blues

August 27, 2014 / by Jotham Lane

It's that time of the year known in finance circles as budgeting season. Unfortunately, for many finance teams still using spreadsheets, it can be a time of dread, stress and frayed nerves. Dwight D. Eisenhower famously said "Plans are nothing: planning is everything". That is certainly the case with spreadsheet-based planning as, according to research on the subject, 60% of budgets are already obsolete by the time they are completed. We can chalk that up to the ever-changing nature of business and the rigid nature of spreadsheets. But what if plans[...]

Read More →
Page 1 of 1

Subscribe to Blog Updates

Subscribe to Blog

RECENT POSTS

RECENT NEWS & EVENTS

Follow us on Twitter