Self-Study Course Details
Budgeting consumes a massive amount of time and resources. It's a stressful and busy time. Are there ways to improve the effectiveness of the investment we make in the budget process? Can we make better budgeting decisions that lead to higher performance? There are options within and beyond traditional budgeting. Each company should consider these options and decide which could improve their budgeting process. Budgeting has many benefits that we can continue to capture and build upon.
This course will start by outlining the benefits and challenges of budgeting. Throughout this course, Rob Stephens will provide tips and alternative budget systems that can mitigate these challenges and capture more benefits.
Next, you'll learn or revisit some foundational concepts for budgeting. Rob will build on these to show the pros and cons of later budgeting tips, ideas, and alternatives.
The master budget is a collection of many sub-budgets. Rob will show how these fit together to form an aligned plan to achieve a company's strategic goals. There's a method to the madness of when different types of assumptions and calculations are layered into the budget. However, the process is not entirely sequential. It abounds with iterative loops.
The third section walks step-by-step through the budget formation process. The purpose and role of the budget can best be explained in the context of strategic planning. We'll explore which analyses can be done throughout the year to take pressure off the very busy budgeting season. Some lessons cover the nuts and bolts of budget reporting and budgeting tools.
Rob will explore a series of budgeting alternatives in the final section of the course. We'll look at rolling forecasts, zero-based budgeting, activity-based budgeting, and many others. We'll also look at operating without a budget. Each alternative has pros and cons that I'll list.
Each lesson in this section gives an overview of the budget alternative to help you decide whether you want to pursue that alternative further. Even if you don't fully adopt these alternatives, you can find ideas to improve your budgeting process.
The course concludes by revisiting budgeting process challenges and how the tips and alternatives presented in the course can address or mitigate those challenges.
The course author has been the CFO, SVP of Finance, or Director of Operations of companies with just a few employees to companies with $3 billion in assets and hundreds of employees. He's led, facilitated, or participated in the budgeting process many times.
- Identify budgeting benefits and challenges
- Recognize the role of the master budget and sub-budgets
- Explore key steps in the budgeting process
- Recognize the pros and cons of budgeting alternatives
Rob Stephens is the Founder of CFO Perspective, where he provides courses and tools for superior business performance. He has been quoted in Forbes, U.S. News and World Report, Business Insider, Business News Daily, and many other news sources. Rob has a 25-year career that includes serving as CFO for two banks and a health clinic system. He was also Director of Operations at a $4 Billion bank and SVP of Finance of a $2 Billion credit union. Rob is an adjunct instructor for the MBA program at Gonzaga University.
Rob holds a Masters of Science in Personal Financial Planning and a Graduate Certificate in Financial Therapy from Kansas State University. He received a B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Washington and is a CPA.
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