All too often finances role in strategic planning is limited to assembling the numbers. But finance people have skills that can add real value to strategic planning. This module looks at how to leverage core finance skills to improve the strategic plan.
- Key elements in strategic planning
- Finance role in supporting strategic planning
- Assessing financial impact of strategic choices
- Challenging the operational and people impact of strategic choices
The role of finance
The demands placed on the CFO by the CEO, other business executives and the board changes as the political and economic environment changes. This module reviews current demands and looks at how leading finance functions have responded.
- Finances role post global financial crisis
- Examples of world class finance functions roles
- Do business ethics have a role in finance?
- Dealing with ethical dilemmas
- Benchmarking maturity profiles for finance - scorekeeper through to business partner
Management of a Finance Function
Managing a finance function has special challenges because of the range of people (qualified and non- qualified accountants), the range of work (daily processing through to project work) and the inherent conservatism of people attracted to working in finance. This module assesses how this variety impacts the normal people and work management approaches and methods.
- Management vs. leadership
- Project management methods for month end / budgets etc
- Motivating finance people
- Retaining finance people
- Managing change in finance
Budgets are often criticised as being fine for financial control but not of much use in running the business. This module looks at best practice for preparing budgets whilst the ensuing modules provides an overview of how the budget process can be modified to make it really useful for the business.
- Role of budgets
- The budget process
- How to engage the business
Rolling Forecasts Overview
This module investigates how the budget process can be modified to make it forward looking and pivotal to running the business effectively.
- Role of forecasts and the link to strategy
- Comparing and contrasting budgets and forecasts
- Identifying key business drivers
Budgeting and Forecasting Workshop
(Exercises and Discussions)
Delegates will get an opportunity to explore (via group based exercises) the budgeting process and key planning and forecasting techniques used to build and manage reliable budgets and forecasts, adjusting to reflect changing conditions and to improve performance.
- Setting budget targets and goals
- Budget responsibility centres
- Categorising and regrouping relevant information
- The key budgetary statements
- Budgeting Pitfalls
- Top-down & bottom-up budgeting
- Zero-based & sctivity based budgeting
- Multiple-scenario based and flexible budgeting
Types of Budgets
- Departmental budgets
- Cash budgets
- Capital and operating budgets
- Master budgets
Types of Costs
- Fixed & variable costs
- Controllable & uncontrollable costs
- Appraisal techniques (net present value, internal rate of return, economic order quantity, simple payback)
- Identifying corrective action
- Why have a rolling forecast?
- The rolling forecast process
- Creating forecast for revenue and expenditure
- Rolling forecast as a catalyst for change
Budget and Forecasting Templates
- Actual template
- Variance reporting template
- Reporting template
Benchmarking and Reporting
- Financial and non-financial key performance indicators (KPIs)
- Milestone monitoring
- Presenting complex budgets
Annual Budget and Forecasting Cycle
- Key drivers behind sales, costs and margins
- Scenario planning for uncertain futures
- Budget and forecasting timetable
Finance Business Partnering - How to find out what Finances customers really want
Whilst there are well established ways for identifying and interpreting what external customers want these need modification when being used for internal customers. This module looks at best practice for identifying what finances customers want and need.
- Conducting well-structured interviews
- Designing carefully considered questionnaires
- Monitoring customer satisfaction
Management use of Budget and Forecast Data
A revised budget process will produce new information. This module reviews this new information and how the business needs to change to make effective use of it.
- The different types of reports and their use
- Developing quality commentary
- Structuring the monthly management meeting to best use the new information
Risk management is key to effective corporate governance. But very often the way it is implemented is heavy handed and a real burden on the business. This module looks at finances role in risk management and how to ensure that risk management in its own processes are cost effective.
- Role of risk management in corporate governance
- Finance role in supporting risk management
- Cost/effective risk management in finance's own processes
Managing/Communicating with Board/CEO/CFO
Whilst managing downwards has its challenges, managing upwards including the people who are Finances customers is really challenging and can have a significant impact on your career. This is exacerbated when there are significant events such as M&A or bankruptcy of a major customer. This module looks at how to manage upwards and how to manage in a business discontinuity event.
- Fundamentals of managing upwards
- Balancing requirements against resources
- Managing expectations and maintaining credibility
- Managing in a business discontinuity
Cost Control and how to reduce costs
Some businesses have on and off cost control when times are good costs arent controlled and when times are bad budgets are slashed with little regard to what really makes sense. Other businesses have a relentless focus on costs; cost management is part of the DNA of the business. This module reviews the elements of world-class cost management and how to transition a business from on and off cost control to embedded cost management
- Role of cost management in the business strategy
- Cost management and motivation
- Embedding cost control in the business
- Role of Finance in cost control
Improving performance and reducing costs - Using Lean 6 Sigma methods in Finance
Companies like Toyota, Dell and GEC have been using Lean and 6 Sigma methods on the factory floor to obtain their dominant market positions. These methods are just as effective in Finance and other administrative processes but cannot simply be lifted from the factory floor; they have to be modified to work in a service-type environment. This module introduces the concepts and how to use them in improvement projects.
- Introduction to Lean and 6 Sigma
- Designing Lean 6 Sigma projects
Using Lean 6 Sigma methods in Finance (continued)
This module identifies the key Lean 6 Sigma methods that work effectively in finance. It illustrates how they work using a variety of case studies covering transaction processing, reducing the time taken for period end reporting and other finance tasks across a range of industries particularly banking and insurance.
- Key Lean 6 Sigma methods
- Lean and continuous improvement in finance
Course summary and close