Few things can be as fraught with stress and complication for top executives and business owners as evaluating mergers and acquisitions. Some mergers are consummated to capitalize on new geographic or demographic markets, expand product offerings, facilitate the acquisition of key employees, boost productivity, reduce competition by absorbing a rival company, or even more long term strategies. Whatever the reason, the process and outcome must be measured to determine if it was successful in meeting business objectives.
Budgeting is a systematic process for:
- Expressing future plans in formal quantitative terms
- Allocating resources to achieve strategic goals
- Monitoring progress toward goals
- Controlling spending
- Predicting cash flow and profits
- Serving as a vehicle for communicating plans in an orderly manner throughout the organization
Most organizations are struggling with a disconnect between financial planning and the planning that goes on in operations/production, which leads to challenges in execution of strategy and errors in planning. This makes it difficult for businesses in general (and CFOs in particular) to deliver predictable results. The goal of integrated business planning (IBP) is to connect these disjointed teams, currently planning in their own silos with limited regard for the business realities of the other teams.
Most organizations continue to invest a significant number of hours every month in a particular set of activities related to calculating, manipulating and validating critical financial reporting data using spreadsheets. Organizations should be asking whether this level of effort represents incremental value to the financial reporting process and whether this actually does needs to be done in spreadsheets.
It seems like everybody is wearing a lot more hats these days and finance leaders are no exception. Of course, this means that they are finding it increasingly difficult to balance the multitude of responsibilities and non-routine initiatives facing the finance function.
A fast, close-the-books process provides multiple benefits for the finance function and for the company. First, a fast close process creates more time for finance professionals to focus on strategic activities for the company, such as identifying warnings in financial data and providing the corporation's financial direction. It also reduces the cost of the finance function, since fewer hours are needed to close the books. And it demonstrates that the company's controls and systems are well organized; the company sends the message to its competitors and to the investment community that it is expert at performing business processes.
This extensive list of questions can be asked during an interview for an inventory audit.
Financial consolidation is the process of combining the financial results of several subsidiary companies into the combined financial results of the parent company. During this process, business complexities arise, questions must be answered, and long hours are often clocked by employees in the accounting and finance departments. It’s also a good time to think about how to improve the internal control structure to keep the process running smoothly.
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