Friday, July 28, 2023

Forbes Finance Council Expert Panel Post : 19 Effective Accounting Tips For Business Success

Keep your books updated every single week and have a "money date" with your business and personal finances.

19 Effective Accounting Tips For Business Success

Forbes Finance Council Expert Panel Post : 20 Solutions For Companies In Financial Crisis

 When facing a downturn, cash is king! That means you need to slash expenses that are not generating income. It also means you need to tap financing before it's too late.

20 Solutions For Companies In Financial Crisis

Podcast Interview with Ivna Curi - Host of Speak Your Mind Unapologetically Podcast

Ever felt like your #career is purely luck or chance, and that you don't have much control over it? 🎲

Well, you're not alone. But here's the thing - your success is NOT just luck. It's about deliberate mindset, decisions, and actions at each point of your career path. πŸ’‘

Let's dive into this week's podcast episode πŸŽ™️ titled 'Luck or Design? Master These 7 Proven Strategies for #Career #Ownership' featuring Geetanjali Tandon, Senior Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis at Ceridian.

In this episode, Geetanjali, shares her #mantra, "I own my career" and her personal journey of transforming this statement into a reality. Here's a sneak peek πŸ‘€:

πŸ‘‰πŸΌHer battle with #impostorsyndrome :
Talk to your mentors and distinguish between not wanting to do something and fearing you can’t.

πŸ‘‰πŸΌHer secret to #careerprogression :
Dare to ask for the promotion even if you think they should know you are ready.

πŸ‘‰πŸΌHer approach to unsolicited #advice:
Decide what to take in and what to deflect away.

By the end of this episode, you'll have a blueprint πŸ“œ of seven actionable strategies for taking ownership of your career:

✔️Battle Impostor Syndrome and Win
✔️Carve Your Path by Asserting Your Career Goals
✔️Navigate Away from Unsolicited Advice
✔️Tailor Your Career to Suit Your Needs
✔️Stay Firm yet Flexible
✔️Harness the Power of Networking
✔️Vulnerability as a Strength in Leadership

Are you ready to shape your professional destiny 🌠, rather than leaving it to luck? Then this episode is for you!

🎧 Listen to this week's episode NOW and embark on your journey to career ownership. Remember, your career isn't something that happens to you - you shape it.

Here's to owning your success 🍾

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Financial Planning & Analysis : News that Matter this Week

This is a weekly commentary on some of the latest news where FP&A has important role to play . These news items will be examples of:
- Where FP&A teams will be part of the strategic business decision making
- Refer to certain developments in the markets that finance professionals should keep in mind while developing strategic financial models to help their companies make decisions to achieve their visions.
- Career advice articles Week of :

September 30th
September 23rd
September 16th
September 9th
September 2nd August 26th
August19th August 12th August 5th July 29th July 22nd July 15th July 8th July 1st June 24th

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

FP&A Trends Blog Post: Ability to learn, unlearn and relearn - Do you need this to be successful in FP&A?

"Technology is changing so quickly while the resources are limited, and the FP&A professional is being asked to deliver more insight and analysis within increasingly limited time frames. The profusion of changes demands that the FP&A professional stay abreast of the changes and be able to understand and quantify the impacts, so insightful decisions can be made." In her new article, Geetanjali Tandon, Digital Transformation Finance Director at Bayer, lists three important skills of an FP&A professional in the ever-changing business environment:

Monday, September 17, 2018

Targets—Do we need to set targets?

With the annual budget cycle comes the process of setting targets. These are set for each area whether it is revenues or costs and then trickled down to cost-center owners or functional owners. During the goal setting process, there is constant back and forth between the  bottom-up process and top-down expectations. Even though companies have backed away from top-down goal setting, every company gives guidance and has a strategic outlook for the growth of the organization. On the other hand, the  bottom-up process helps us understand the needs of the functional managers who recognize  the needs at the lower levels of the organization.

But the give-and-take process between the  bottom-up and top-down processes often leaves a feeling of dissatisfaction for all parties. The managers who worked to develop a  bottom-up approach sometimes believe that their inputs were not taken into consideration and a number was just passed along. On the other hand, top management spends a lot of time managing the politics between different groups and divisions and come to think that strategic needs are not taken into consideration by the functional managers.

Target setting that has become part of the annual budget cycle is an important exercise for any company. As stated in a Small Business Chronicle article,[1] Successful companies set goals. Without them, they have no defined purpose and nothing to strive for; consequently, they stagnate and struggle for meaningful accomplishments.” For the goal setting to be a meaningful exercise, all parties should understand “why” certain decisions were made and the process should be transparent.

The bottom-up process is a very meaningful exercise to appreciate the perspective on the shop floor. Transparency should be built at each step during a  bottom-up process to understand assumptions and the what-if scenarios. The senior managers need to know the impacts and risks of various scenarios without cushioning the numbers. On the other hand, top management needs to provide some high-level guidance on the overall market expectations and guidance to help the teams below understand how decisions will be made during the budget process.

Financial Planning and Analytics (FP&A) teams own the annual budget and strategic planning process for companies. Building transparency of assumptions from the bottom-up and guidance from the top-down helps to streamline the process and reduce friction. The reconciliation and decision-making meetings should be done in a more working-session manner with the ability to do what-if scenarios. This would allow stakeholders to understand the impacts of their decisions, reduce the effects of politics and lead to more data-based decision making. Collaborative technologies, cloud-based computing, and technologies mining big data can help streamline the target-setting process and FP&A has a big part to play in making this process more digital, collaborative and analytical.


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Need for Holistic Analysis

I recently attended the 2nd series of the Greater Missouri Leadership Challenge Program in Kansas City. During those 3 days we looked at a multitude of challenges facing the state of Missouri as well as Kansas City and the creativity of people and organizations trying to find solutions. One of the most impactful presentations was made by Julie Carmichael, Director of Programs at Amethyst Place. She presented simple case studies of how an increase in minimum pay affects the other benefits that a family might be eligible for. There is an interconnectedness to the decisions that may be made such that no policy or action exists in isolation. It is imperative to understand the holistic effects of decisions. Most importantly she did a great job of weaving a story around those numbers and case analyses that got an immediate reaction from the audience.

Governments and communities have a lot of issues to think about and solve for. But this presentation also got me thinking of the need for holistic analysis for short-term and long-term projects that are brought forward for approval within any organization. Finance plays an extremely important role leading the organization through the decision-making process to select and fund projects that are related to the strategic vision of the company, have good value and balance the portfolio of long-term and short-term benefits.

But one of the most important roles that finance teams can play is putting together the holistic story of the short-term and long-term effects of all the various projects under consideration. This narrative needs to be expressed to help the executive(s) understand the full impact of the decisions considered. Every investment dollar has an opportunity cost and a risk assessment attached to it. Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) professionals are in a unique position to understand the big picture and not simply be working within the silos of individual functions. Visually putting together the story of the investment decisions being made not only in the current fiscal period but including in it the ongoing impacts of decisions made previously helps to understand the whole picture and make strategic decision-making a more meaningful exercise with accountability and responsibility. 

Here are  5 most important analytic methodolgies that need to be performed for project selection and strategic decision-making:

  1. Comparison of projects: To understand that balance of the portfolio requires a qualitative as well as a quantitative comparison of projects—market-based, financial-based and resource-based—this should be done various ways. For example market share vs market growth, internal strength vs external need or threat etc. 
  2. Risk impact: This should have two parts which would include not only what is the risk of project delivery, but also, what is the risk for the company if the project is not funded.
  3. Financial impacts: This should include the financial impacts of projected benefits as well as expenses in all parts of the company that are affected by a proposed project. For example, an IT project providing a new mobile customer information app may be projected to increase revenue for one department but will have an increased expense in the IT department.
  4. Historical information: A summary of historical projects approved, and actual benefits or expenses expected from those projects should be included in this analysis.
  5. Dynamic analysis of scenarios: The strategic decision-making team should be able to understand the results of its decisions in a dynamic way to make the trade-offs, understand the risks of those trade-offs in a holistic manner, and consider the impact on current decisions under consideration of previous decisions made.

With the increasing availability of different analytical applications as well as the proliferation of data, FP&A analysts need to transition from the narrow view of just the NPV, ROI, and payback period analyses of projects to performing holistic analysis of financial, risk, market, and resource impacts of decisions and trade-offs.