Business planning

March 31, 2014

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.

September 30, 2013

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

July 22, 2013

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

May 22, 2013

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

July 31, 2012

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

February 29, 2012

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

September 30, 2011

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

September 30, 2011

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

July 31, 2011

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

July 31, 2011

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

February 28, 2011

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

August 31, 2009

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