The following Insights post is contributed by Josias Pontes – Head of Financial Planning & Analysis at Zafgen, Inc. and expert JPK Group Presenter.
It is always time for planning! Planning is easier than you think. It should be incorporated into your routine, such as a rolling forecast, instead of being an isolated annual process. This way, instead of “following your gut,” you will make well informed decisions based on up to date information. Of course you can still choose one or two versions of your rolling forecast to use as your annual budget if your company really requires one. Otherwise, you can set up business goals instead of having a full traditional P&L Budget.
With abundant cloud tools available today, probably you have more than one available at your company, there are more and more opportunities to reassess current traditional forecasting processes you have been using for many years. Planning process should be simple to maintain. It is like making your grocery list; it constantly changes unless you eat the same quantity of the same foods every week for the whole year. But you don’t.
Business drivers are constantly changing, so take notes. You should apply new information to a live and dynamic rolling forecast model. Consolidation is usually a question of minutes or just few hours depending of what forecasting tool you are using. In fact, if you leverage cloud collaboration tools you can enable transparency, participation and engagement, shortening the process cycle of consolidation and validation of the rolling forecast. Bringing us back to where we started: Planning is easier than you think!
Josias Pontes has more than 35 years of experience in the Financial and Accounting area, with a strong international background. He has worked for organizations of different sizes in various industries ranging from retail, batteries, musical instruments, air conditioning and refrigeration to auditing and consulting – big 5, PCM software development, automotive parts/diesel engines, and pharma-biotech. Working for those industries, Josias had the opportunity to experience different technologies for forecasting, budgeting, scenario planning, valuations, costing, finance, operations, logistics, administration, accounting, and business intelligence. Recent positions he has held are Sr Director of Finance and Controller for Latin America, Oracle Finance Liaison for International Group, Sr Director of Finance Rare Disease US at Sanofi Genzyme, where he spent 11 years of his career. Today he is Head of Financial Planning & Analysis at Zafgen, Inc. Josias is fluent in English, Portuguese and Spanish. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Centro Universitario FECAP and an MBA from Ohio University.