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April 11, 2012

The first quarter of 2012 is behind us! Can you believe it?

By : John Barbar

It is important to reflect on how the company is doing in relation to the budget and plan established for the year. The importance of a good budgeting and forecasting process has been stressed in previous articles. These two disciplines allow for control, accountability and planning. Three recommendations to be accomplished in the next 15 days: First, prepare and review financial reports comparing budgeted information to actual results. This should be done for the current month and quarter. The comparison to budget will allow you to understand where you are compared to the expectation at the outset of the year. Take the time to understand the reason for the result. Have suppliers increased costs? Does the pricing structure need to be adjusted? Have the sales activity been consistent with objectives? Has customer retention increased? Has overhead crept up at all? It is also a good idea to compare the current year to the previous year. Again, it’s important to understand the reason behind the differences. Seek to find the cause for the variance. An important result of this exercise is identifying areas to be adjusted in order to accomplish the goals for the year. Second step is to create an action plan to implement the changes needed to bring the desired results. This plan will have specific and measurable steps, assigned to a person or team to execute. The team can provide feedback and ideas to ensure the results are accomplished. It is important someone has responsibility to make the changes required and will be held accountable. The team is depending on them! After the review of the historical information has been completed, an action plan created; let’s move to the final step. The third step in the process is to update the financial forecast for the year. If you are really motivated, you may have a rolling twelve-month forecast (updated quarterly, always looking ahead for 12 calendar months not just through the end of the calendar or fiscal year). Armed with the actual data, and measurable actions steps, quantifying the expected results in the forecast will show the updated expectation for the year or next 12 months. This information may be helpful for key members of the team – stakeholders, leaders, managers, and the team. Dan, you are now informed, with an action plan, and quantified expectations…now it’s time to execute! Call me at 561.302.6304 with any questions you may have about the process. Live Passionately! John 561.302.6304 Click here to sign up for the weekly article from Barbar Financial This is the Barbar Financial Minute: A weekly business strategy brief for entrepreneurs and business owners.


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