Budgeting Best Practices

An effective budget is probably the most valuable tool in a company’s arsenal for setting and meeting an annual profit target. In this course we discuss how to plan and carry out an effective budgeting process, and then how to use it to manage actual results and produce the bottom line goal envisioned by the budget.

We start by defining the tools that the planning department should develop on the front end – the launch directive and the data collection tools. Then we move on to cover best practices for building the budget in each key area – revenues, expenses, cash flow, capital expenditures and the balance sheet. The course then provides proven tools for monthly budget management – addressing problem areas, changing course and accountability.

Strategic Planning – Taking Your Company Beyond Next Year’s Budget

Planning in general is one of those activities that most everyone has an opinion about. Those against it see planning as a colossal waste of time that could be spent doing productive work that badly needs doing. On the other side, proponents see it as the only way to avoid driving in the wrong direction from where they want to go because they didn’t have a map.

Despite the demonstrated value of looking beyond the near term, many companies focus primarily on the next month, the next quarter or the balance of this year. Looking beyond that takes the planning process from near-term tactics to longer term thinking, which is inherently more strategic, taking the company to a place where they can move the needle of performance for years, not months.

This program lays out a proven methodology for launching a longer term look at where the company is going. It is by its nature strategic and not tactical, leaving the immediate actions to the company’s operating plan and budget, but ensuring those tools are driven by where the company wants to go in 3, 5 or 10 years. This is Strategic Planning.

Equipment Leasing for Lessees

This course outlines the fundamentals of equipment leasing from the viewpoint of lessees. It describes the kinds of equipment that can be leased, the pros and cons of equipment leasing compared to other acquisition methods, the best sources for equipment lease financing, and the best way to determine if leasing or buying is the better financial decision for your company.

Special tax advantages available for equipment acquisition for small businesses are reviewed with examples. Also covered are the various types of equipment leases, the advantages and disadvantages of each method, and the key points to keep in mind in administering a portfolio of leased equipment.

During the course, we take a look at the recently adopted accounting rules for lease accounting under Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) Topic 842 – Leases, and provide an overview and basic accounting entry examples for both operating and financing leases, from the viewpoint of the user of those assets, the lessee.

Strategic Planning for the Nonprofit Organization

In this course we discuss how to overcome the challenges to effective strategic planning in a nonprofit organization, in order to enable the executive team and board of directors to appropriately and effectively guide the organization’s future direction.

We start by discussing why strategic planning seems to be so difficult for nonprofit boards and management teams. Then we cover Issues like the board’s role, staff/board collaboration challenges, visionary thinking, risk taking and the relationship between strategic plans and day-to-day operations.