Traditionally, corporate business planning has been a finance function task comprising budget preparation and a series of periodic forecasts based on an organization's financial reporting calendar and existing transactional information. While this process may apply in the short term, it can also yield plans that quickly lose strategic impact and become irrelevant as unanticipated events and shifting markets alter the playing field.
It's not surprising, then, that in KPMG's recent global CFO survey, high performing companies (those with more than 10 percent growth in revenue and EBITDA in the past three years) tend to be those most committed to improving their forecasting processes and capabilities. While some companies already have the infrastructure, tools and technologies to improve their capabilities, many Canadian organizations remain largely static.
It has not been easy to bring about a top-down change in the perception of what budgeting, planning and forecasting should really do for an organization. However, Canadian finance functions are now recognizing that in order to remain competitive, they need to get better at forecasting.