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Winning CFOs: Implementing and Applying Better Practices, with Website by David Parmenter

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CHAPTER 5

Timely Annual Planning Process: Ten Working Days or Less!

This sounds impossible, yet it is achieved. It takes good organization and recognition that the annual planning process is not adding value; instead it is undermining an efficient allocation of resources, encouraging dysfunctional budget holder behavior, negating the value of monthly variance reporting, and consuming huge resources from the board, senior management team (SMT), budget holders, their assistants, and of course the finance team. When was the last time you were thanked for the annual planning process? You have a situation where, at best, budget holders have been antagonized; at worst, budget holders now flatly refuse to cooperate.

The future for your organization is quarterly rolling planning, which is covered in Chapters 14 and 15 in this book. However, it will take upward of nine months to implement, and your annual planning cycle may be just around the corner.

This chapter is an extract from a white paper1 I deliver around the world that has revolutionized how many finance teams manage the annual planning process. Due to space constraints I have highlighted the main better practices that will also be carried over into quarterly rolling planning and forecasting. For further information it may be worth accessing this white paper.

Sell the Change through Emotional Drivers

It is important to sell to management why a quick annual plan is a good annual plan. This is not particularly difficult because it is ...

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