Introduction Part 1: BUDGETING AND FORECASTING ESSENTIALS 1. Understanding budgets and forecasts Definitions of budgets and budget forecasts Profit and loss forecasts Cash flow forecasts Spreadsheet-based budgets and forecasts for day-to-day management Forecasts not the sole province of accountants Planning cycles Fixed, rolling and perpetual forecasts Can a forecast ever be right? Does it need to be? Summary 2. Using budgets and forecasts Budget management Planning and 'what if' Cost control Raising finance Cash flow control Summary Part 2: SPREADSHEET ESSENTIALS 3. Understanding computer spreadsheets How to use the example files What are spreadsheets? Examples of principal facilities and functions Handy tips and shortcuts Summary 4. Spreadsheet techniques for budgeting and forecasting So many ways and means Essential practices and conventions Example forecasts Examples of non-essential but useful techniques Summary Part 3: BUILDING THE ILLUSTRATION FRAMEWORK 5. Preparations for the illustration budget Are everyone's objectives the same? Budgeting methods Review of a budgeting process The example business 'Widget Makers Ltd' Deciding the requirements of the example budget A single or departmental budget? Cost categories Cost headings Categorising the cost headings Revenue headings The forecast's duration and periods Summary 6. Creating the illustration framework Making the sales forecast The budget forecast The cash flow forecast Summary Part 4: USING THE ILLUSTRATION FRAMEWORK 7. Assembling the budget Making the sales forecast Making the budget forecast Cash flow forecast adjustments Charts and key indicators Key ratios Summary 8. Causes and effects Adjustment and refinement The reiteration process Examining causes and effects Simple cause and effect Address the cause or the effect? Gross profitability of each product Summary 9. Allocation, monitoring and reviewing Visibility, clarity and relevance Budget allocation Performance monitoring principles Setting up monitoring for the Widget Makers Ltd forecast Recording actual figures Reviewing the forecast Summary 10. Further analysis The impact of change on cash flow The effect of rapid growth on cash flow 'What if' analysis Summary Part 5: HANDLING VAT 11. VAT in the forecast What is VAT? Calculating and paying VAT Cash flow forecast VAT calculations Summary Part 6: MEASURING AND CONTROLLING COSTS 12. Measuring and controlling costs First things first Absolute figures and percentages Measuring production costs Measuring manpower costs Activity based costing (ABC) Summary Part 7: A PRACTICAL FORECASTING FRAMEWORK 13. A practical forecasting framework Features and uses of the practical template Structure of the practical template Sales and direct costs Profit and loss / budget Cash forecast Asset register A typical month end routine Summary
Malcolm Secrett began his professional career with BT, initially as an Electronics and Telecommunications Engineer and then in a variety of management roles. After leaving BT he established a consultancy providing financial planning and forecasting, cost and productivity analysis and improvement, analysis of work flow procedures, productivity improvements, quality systems, and the implementation of IT systems for financial planning and control. Building on an innate ability to de-mystify and explain, Malcolm has developed a uniquely pragmatic approach to aspects of management all too often regarded as the sole domain of specialists including financial forecasting and control, conventional and activity based costing, and the day-to-day application of spreadsheets. His articles and books have been published throughout the world in English, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese, Chinese, Russian, Ukrainian and several other languages. Malcolm is the managing director of iBase Media Services Ltd, (www.ibase.com) a software development company specialising in digital asset management and digital multi-media library systems. He also offers business consultancy with special emphasis on increasing profitability through cost management, and the avoidance of insolvency.