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  • 1.  The #Budgeting and #Forecasting Thread πŸ“Š

    Posted 02-14-2022 17:14

    Hello everyone!

    I'm sure a lot of us are recovering from all the excitement from last night's Super Bowl game! I personally get most excited for the commercials as a marketer πŸ˜….

    But how does the Super Bowl relate to Budgeting and Forecasting? There's a fantastic article on the Vena Blog that is an interesting read that touches on: forecasting, scenario modeling, AI, and the Super Bowl Indicator!

    Want to connect with other professionals this week on planning? The Budgeting and Forecasting Meetup is happening on Friday, Feb. 18, so if you haven't already, make sure you RSVP to the event πŸ‘€!

    As always, I always have questions for our members! πŸ€”

    ➑️ Who were you rooting for during yesterday's game? 🏈 (or, did you tune in at all?)

    ➑️ What people, processes, and/or technologies have you implemented for your budgeting and forecasting? πŸ“ˆ

    Let's make this thread the go-to place for conversations on Budgeting & Forecasting!Β 

    πŸ’¬ Continue the conversation after The Budgeting and Forecasting Meetup,Β 

    πŸ’¬ reply to specific posts in the thread to continue those conversations, orΒ 

    πŸ’¬ reply to this main post to start a new topic!

    Thanks all! 🌱

    Irene Tang

  • 2.  RE: The #Budgeting and #Forecasting Thread πŸ“Š

    Posted 06-27-2022 16:15

    Hey everyone & happy Monday! 😁

    I wanted to bring this thread back to life and change it up a bit to get some conversations going about Budgeting and Forecasting!Β 

    For Vena customers - a friendly reminder that tomorrow πŸ‘€ we have a Community Connect on The Keys to Effective Forecasting, where you can discuss with other professionals on their best practices on #ForecastingΒ and planning! Be sure to RSVP!

    But, for those who are seeing this post today, or at a later date, I'd love to hear from you! πŸ‘‡

    • Do you have any interesting stories from current or previous roles on forecasting? (I'll share mine below! πŸ˜†)
    • What were some "wins" that you've experienced from an improved financial forecasting process?
    • What was your takeaway from the Community Connect?

    πŸ“š An interesting story from me! In my previous role at a different organization, I was responsible for managing & reporting on the marketing budget for the dealer network. This included creating PO proposals for future quarters since the marketing budget is based on sales forecast. When COVID hit in 2020, the organization didn't have any tools like Vena to help with forecasting different sales volume scenarios. So I had to create multiple proposals with various scenarios in Excel! Luckily I have an undergraduate degree in Accounting and Finance which helped, but that Excel file easily had 15+ tabs, vlookups referencing many different sheets, pivot tables galore, and over 10+ versions (v1, v2, v3… who else knows this struggle πŸ˜‚) for each quarterly PO. I definitely learned a lot, but I need to know… who's cringing from reading this story?!Β 

    Thanks everyone!

    Irene Tang
    Community Marketing Manager
    Vena Solutions

  • 3.  RE: The #Budgeting and #Forecasting Thread πŸ“Š

    Founding Member
    Posted 06-28-2022 17:51

    Thanks for sharing @Irene Tang!

    At Partners In Health, we typically just do a ​​forecast as we're developing our annual budgets and then a re-forecast once we're half way through the year. All of our budget managers have access to Budget v Actual reports and have freedom to make updates to their budget as needed, but we typically only do formal reviews twice a year as mentioned above, unless our FP&A team notices a large variance to dig into.

    In the past couple of years, we've been working to extend our forecasting time horizon with multi-year planning, which shows when funding is scheduled to drop off (when a grant ends). We use that information to identify which programs/departments will be affected and then try to target our fundraising efforts accordingly. We still have some challenges in doing this efficiently and at the right level of detail (just high level right now), but we're optimistic we'll be able to continue iterating over the coming years to deliver information that can better inform decision making.

    I think my biggest takeaway from the Community Connect was that every organization across every industry has challenges related to their forecasting, whether it's their templates/reports, collaboration and communication, or external factors. There are ideas that we can all share with each other though to help along our respective journeys so a key is just to keep asking questions and be open to new ideas.

    Brendan Eger
    Assoc. Dir. of Information Systems and Analytics
    Partners In Health

  • 4.  RE: The #Budgeting and #Forecasting Thread πŸ“Š

    Posted 07-04-2022 13:34

    Hi all,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Irene and Brendan. Irene, I can definitely relate to the version struggles with forecasting!

    I'm relatively new to my current role and, coming from an audit background, it's been neat to see all the work that goes into forecasting within our organization. We typically start to look at re-projections about six months into the year, but this can be much earlier if we notice significant variances that don't appear to be temporary.

    Our organization is small (<20 people), so the forecasting process is something that most individuals have a role in. We're working to get everyone to embrace their Contributor role within Vena to make the process more efficient. If anyone has tips on how to get team member buy-in, I'd love to hear your ideas! We've moved all of our monthly reporting into Vena now as well (win!) so Contributors are working in Vena more frequently than they previously were.

    I enjoyed hearing everyone's contributions during Community Connect. It was interesting to hear how various industries and organizations, regardless of size, had to pivot and adjust their forecasting during the pandemic. My biggest takeaway was learning about some of the different resources available through these forums, and I look forward to digging deeper.

    Wendy Milligan
    Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation