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5 Questions Every CFO Asks Each Budget Season

Budget Season Has Arrived

It’s 5:00 in the afternoon and your CEO calls to ask: What would happen if the company divested itself of the New England division? Can you regenerate different budget scenarios to show how such a divestiture could affect next year’s profitability? And are there any hidden surprises that may come back to bite the company’s balance sheet 12 or 18 months from now? And, by the way, the CEO needs the answers for the Board Meeting tomorrow morning. It’s a time when CFOs must do the impossible: Pin down a budget plan despite constant flux and uncertainty.

This exercise leads CFOs to ask the same five questions every budget season:

  • Can I run as many budget scenarios as I need, or will my budget model restrict me?

  • Am I confident in the accuracy of the numbers coming out of the budget model?

  • Can I simplify the consolidation of budget sheets from all contributors?

  • How valuable is my budget for managing the business next year?

  • Will the budget highlight any cash or balance sheet surprises?

Details

It’s 5:00 in the afternoon and your CEO calls to ask: What would happen if the company divested itself of the New England division? Can you regenerate different budget scenarios to show how such a divestiture could affect next year’s profitability? And are there any hidden surprises that may come back to bite the company’s balance sheet 12 or 18 months from now? And, by the way, the CEO needs the answers for the Board Meeting tomorrow morning. It’s a time when CFOs must do the impossible: Pin down a budget plan despite constant flux and uncertainty.

This exercise leads CFOs to ask the same five questions every budget season:

  • Can I run as many budget scenarios as I need, or will my budget model restrict me?

  • Am I confident in the accuracy of the numbers coming out of the budget model?

  • Can I simplify the consolidation of budget sheets from all contributors?

  • How valuable is my budget for managing the business next year?

  • Will the budget highlight any cash or balance sheet surprises?

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