Another month end means another round of the same questions. What went well, what went badly and what does that mean going forward? In most organizations all of the effort is spent on answering the first set of questions – the ones about what happened. Precious little time is spent answering or even attempting to answer the last one – what does the future look like? Obviously, it’s critically important to know and accurately record performance from both a practical and regulatory perspective. But that is not sufficient, especially in today’s highly complex, rapidly changing and constantly evolving marketplace. Companies cannot operate on autopilot and must adapt their tactics to meet challenges wherever they arise and take advantage of opportunities when they appear.
Senior executives are aware of this and it is why they are asking for forecasts with more frequency and with more detail. They expect that the books will be closed properly and accurately, but they want to know what decisions need to be made going forward and what the impact of these decisions will be. They are also keenly aware that the existing management tools are woefully inadequate in solving this problem.