Business planning, budgeting and forecasting

How to better connect planning, forecasting, and budgeting

Finance professionals are taking on strategic duties in addition to traditional reporting and compliance roles, and they’re becoming more influential in their organizations. But they still have an opportunity to make improvements, particularly when it comes to the use of forecasts.

Forward roll: How companies can move beyond traditional budgeting

For more than a decade, Tim Quinn, CPA, CGMA, negotiated the tedious, back-and-forth magic of building the annual budget for Northern Quest Resort & Casino. Every year, it was the same time-consuming endeavor: Quinn, the company’s vice president of finance, would send out budget worksheets to 45 department heads. The

Embrace uncertainty to develop more business acumen

A mere accounting professional is not the same as a full-fledged finance professional. At least that’s how consultant David Axson sees it. The more evolved finance professional, Axson says, considers the business environment, embracing its volatility, and then adapting to it. “Being comfortable with uncertainty is, to me, the difference

Boot the budget? Why rolling forecasts might make more sense

When it comes to budgeting, accountants should stop presenting the numbers and letting others analyze what those numbers mean. If accountants don’t change, warns consultant Steve Player, CPA, CGMA, they’ll lose relevance and possibly lose jobs. “It’s our process that’s broken,” Player said. “We’ve got smart people in finance doing

Tax compliance for acquisitions: Prepare before purchasing

Fears of a “double-dip” recession in 2012 may have subsided, but the overall economic forecast remains uncertain. Therefore, companies are looking beyond organic, internal growth to external growth sources to bolster company performance. A recent study by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) touted the power of acquisitions for growth during

A strategic approach to IT budgeting

Organizations of all types struggle with information technology (IT) budgeting. This often happens because the IT team doesn’t understand the budgeting process and the finance team doesn’t understand IT. CPAs, whether in public practice, business and industry, the not-for-profit sector or government, can remedy this disconnect by changing their organization’s

Intergovernmental Financial Dependency: Why It Matters

Current economic conditions, including job losses, illiquid credit markets, an ailing construction industry and reduced consumer spending, have combined to increase risk and uncertainty not only across all private industries, but also in the public sector, including local governments, states and, perhaps most importantly, the federal government. AICPA Statement of

Planning for Uncertainty

With national debt crises in both Europe and the United States, a shaky recovery from the deepest recession since World War II and volatile currency markets, it’s not surprising that recent research conducted by the Beyond Budgeting Round Table found that more than two-thirds of corporate budgets are irrelevant before

Asset-Based Financing Basics

Once considered financing of last resort, asset-based lending and factoring have become popular choices for companies that do not have the credit rating or track record to qualify for more traditional types of financing. In general terms, asset-based lending is any kind of borrowing secured by an asset of the

Asset-Based Financing Basics: Step-by-Step Examples

Editor's note: Also read "Asset-Based Financing Basics," by Robert A. Modansky, CPA/CFF, and Jerome P. Massimino, CPA, in the August 2011 issue of the JofA. Example 1: GAAP Treatment of Acceleration Clauses and Lockboxes The following is a summary of the provisions of FASB Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) Subtopic 470-10

Scenario Planning: Navigating Through Today's Uncertain World

Imagine you are sitting at your desk in September 2007. The Dow is close to 13,900; U.S. unemployment is 4.5%; and oil is $45 a barrel. You are in the middle of developing your organization’s plans and budgets for 2008. How likely is it that the assumptions in your 2008

Assessing the Allowance for Doubtful Accounts

Calculating estimates of the collectibility of accounts receivable and auditing those estimates is difficult. This article describes three techniques for assessing allowance for doubtful accounts estimates and complying with Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS) no. 57 and AU section 342, Auditing Accounting Estimates, which suggest auditors compare prior accounting estimates

States Bite Into Broken Gift Cards

At the peak of the 2008 holiday shopping season, gift card sales are expected to again have a material impact on the financial reports of many retailers. Gift card “breakage,” or the portion of gift card balances that consumers fail to redeem for merchandise, can boost a retailer’s short-term cash

Managing Customer Profitability

All people may be created equal, but the same can’t be said for customers. Everyone knows that some customers are more profitable than others. Conversely, some are downright unprofitable. Knowing which is which is the all-important question. Despite enormous variations in profitability, many companies continue unprofitable relationships with customers, often


Year-end tax planning and what’s new for 2016

Practitioners need to consider several tax planning opportunities to review with their clients before the end of the year. This report offers strategies for individuals and businesses, as well as recent federal tax law changes affecting this year’s tax returns.


News quiz: Retirement planning, tax practice, and fraud risk

Recent reports focused on a survey that gauges the worries about retirement among CPA financial planners’ clients, a suit that affects tax practitioners, and a guide that offers advice on fraud risk. See how much you know with this short quiz.


Bolster your data defenses

As you weather the dog days of summer, it’s a good time to make sure your cybersecurity structure can stand up to the heat of external and internal threats. Here are six steps to help shore up your systems.