Saturday, September 22, 2012

Checklist for financial planning? Are we doing?

Checklist for financial planning? Are we doing?

q       Targets are agreed on and committed to before the tactical and financial planning processes commence.
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q       Tactical planning includes the development and approval of contingency plans to meet targets under a range of future scenarios.
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q       Tactical plans clearly state the tasks to be completed, by whom, when, how, and with what resources.
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q       Tactical plans address the actions to be taken to sustain current operations, make improvements to current operations, and embark on new ventures.
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q       Benchmarks are utilized in setting goals to ensure that performance compares favorably with that of competitors or peers.
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q       Projects and initiatives are evaluated based on both strategic fit and economic value.
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q       Criteria for abandoning a plan or project are clearly stated and followed.
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q       Politics and influence are minimized throughout the process.
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q       Risk factors are clearly identified in all aspects of the plan.
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q       Trade-offs made in developing contingency plans are explicitly stated and agreed.
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q       Interim decision points are clearly identified together with the course of action under each likely outcome.
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q       The process for making decisions that impact the plan is clearly defined.
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q       Rewards for success and the penalties for failure are defined and communicated.
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q       Financial plans/budgets provide a financial representation of the tactical plan.
q       Agreement on the overall summary-level budget is reached prior to preparing detailed budgets.
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q       Baseline budgets are generated automatically based on actual trend data; managers can then focus on the ‘‘net change’’ that will result from new or changed tactics.
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q       Financial plans integrate capital budgets with operating budgets.
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q       The financial planning process is fully integrated with the forecast process.
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q       The level of detail (number of line items) is greater for earlier periods and less for later periods, based on the organization’s predictive ability.
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q       Financial plans are fully linked to strategic plans through tactical targets derived from strategic objectives.
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q       Current-year budgets are seeded using inputs from multiple sources (the latest forecast, variances from prior year, competitor assessments, internal/external information, etc.).
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q       Budget reiterations are focused on identifying actions to achieve tactical targets.
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q       Each level of the organization budgets a limited number of line items that are relevant to its area.
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q       Line item detail is derived from the key performance drivers and is based on materiality and volatility.
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q       Measures defined in the tactical and financial plans directly feed into the management reporting process.
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q       Tactical and financial planning is a collab

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