December 2017: What We’re Reading

By The Center Team on December 22, 2017

News and insights to keep you up to date and on track—FP&A best practices, the new role of AI in accounting, creating an effective expense policy, and more.

We’re here to help you make your business spending more strategic, intelligent, and connected. Stay up to date and on track with recent insights from business strategy experts and fintech thought leaders.

Is Your Planning System a “Measurement System” or a “Management System”?
Michael Coveney for FP&A Trends | @michaelcoveney

The fundamental differences between measurement-based budgeting and the more robust management-based budgeting approach.

“Most [companies] tend to focus on outcomes—the ‘gold medals’ of profit to be made, the total amount to be spent—while the actions required to produce the ‘gold’ are left as a note in an operational plan document, only to be forgotten when actual results are produced.”

Innovation Series: Artificial Intelligence in the Office of Finance
Alok Ajmera for Prophix Blog | @prophix

Artificial intelligence is well on its way to turning accounting on its head; in the near future, accountants will be spending much less time on repetitive tasks, allowing more space for big-picture thinking.

“Your time is better spent analyzing information and uncovering insights that enhance decision-making, allowing you to confidently offer predictive insights, not just report on the past.”

12 Principles of Best Practice FP&A
Laurence Serven for Strategic Finance | @SFMagazineIMA

Serven introduces the 12 best-practice principles of Financial Planning & Analysis and explains how FP&A is truly a strategic, decision-making practice, instrumental in ensuring business success.

“No other process managed by Finance has as much potential to create or destroy business value as FP&A.”

The Return of Zero-Base Budgeting
Matt Fitzpatrick and Kyle Hawke for McKinsey & Co. | @McKinsey

The zero-base budgeting approach has been been making a resurgence recently, with increasing popularity in certain industries and organizations. Fitzpatrick and Hawke explain how the approach differs from other budgeting practices, and how it can reduce unproductive costs by giving management a more granular understanding of spending from the ground up.

“[Zero-base budgeting] is most successful when managers stop trying to prove why something is the way it is and start thinking actively about ways to make it better, the same way they do at home when the money is coming out of their own wallet.”

Have a helpful article or publication to share? We’d love to hear from you: