Critical Skills for Strategic Forecasting & Budgeting Success

This series of recorded webinars is intended to give analysts, managers and senior managers (would-be and otherwise) an overview of the key concepts, tools and skills to undertake timely and efficient strategic forecasting in the 21st century.


Content Description

Insight + Hindsight = Foresight

How often have you looked back with the benefit of hindsight and wished you knew then what you know now? How do you compare what actually happened with what you thought would happen? Have you a strategic appreciation of your company’s future and which milestones will show you’re on track?

Part 1: Theoretical Considerations

This recorded webinar considers what should be considered before wading into the numbers. Too often, managers cannot see the wood for the trees and this session looks at ways this may be avoided and the tools / metrics / techniques that can help.

  • Two strategic approaches – not as simple as “top down” and “bottom up”
  • Key preparation for the effective senior manager
  • BCG matrix and the Product Life Cycle: greater than the sum of their parts
  • Framing the decision: what’s the key question?
  • Using a strategy table
  • KPI identification
  • Difference between KPIs and CSFs
  • Using a strategy table
  • Mind mapping your model
  • Model bias
  • STOP: what it means and why it is important
  • Reporting considerations
  • Consultant or no consultant?

  • Part 2: Where Am I Now?

    “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” – George Santayana

    Before any budgeting and forecasting takes place, do you know where your business is now and what the key drivers are? If you don’t know where you are and how you got there, how can you know the route forwards? And if you are a new business, what’s your baseline? This session looks at how to address these questions and get more comfort on confirming where your business is, its position

  • Are your KPIs SMART?
  • Variance analysis
  • Operational vs planning issues
  • Breakeven analysis
  • Key driver analysis
  • Importance of ABC
  • Smoothing capex.

  • Part 3: Where Am I Going?

    With an understanding of your present situation, how do you budget and forecast for the future? This session looks at the common tools available, why simpler is often better and the common mistakes made. It even considers using a key technique applied out of context…

  • Difference between budgeting, forecasting and strategic forecasting
  • Recap: BCG matrix and the Product Lifecycle revisited
  • Types of forecasting
  • -Regression analysis
  • -Moving average
  • -Weighted average
  • Forecasting tips
  • -The four types of input data
  • -Granularity considerations
  • -Moving averages
  • -Weighted moving averages
  • -Regression analysis
  • -Hockey sticks and swordfishes
  • -Seasonality and cyclicality
  • -Exponential triple smoothing
  • Ratio analysis.

  • Part 4: What-If? Analysis

    No matter how hard you try to get your forecasting right, no matter how much you learn from the past and competitors, one thing we know with certainty is we’ll get our budgets and forecasts wrong if we try and use single-point estimates. We need to consider ranges of success through scenario and sensitivity analyses. This session considers what they are and how they may be used.

  • Risk vs uncertainty
  • Scenario analysis
  • -Scenario manager
  • -Scenario tables
  • Sensitivity analysis
  • -Goal seek
  • -Model bias
  • -Data Tables
  • -Tornado chart
  • -Waterfall / bridge chart
  • Introduction to simulations analysis.

  • Part 5: So How Did / Will We Do?

    Ranking evaluations and projects in a timely and efficient manner is what will set your business apart from your competitors. Those that learn from their mistakes quickest, prioritise appropriately and value effectively what they have, will be best placed for today’s market place. This session looks at concepts, tools and techniques that will help with ranking, evaluation and valuation.

  • Ranking / evaluating projects
  • -NPV analysis
  • -Key factor analysis
  • -Why IRR is the first three letters of the word “irrelevant”
  • -Break-up basis and FVINA
  • -Future Maintainable Earnings
  • -Terminal value considerations
  • -Bullet charts.

  • Part 6: Reporting Considerations

    One of the areas business lets itself down is in using effective communication to explain the rationale of the business, its budget / forecast and strategy to all key stakeholders. This session considers best practice ideas for presenting the story.

  • The four key requirements of a successful business
  • Know your audience
  • Importance of narrative: situation, complication, resolution model
  • Considering timescales
  • -Periodicity
  • -Duration
  • -Historical vs. actual vs. forecast
  • Effective dashboarding
  • Tables vs charts
  • Which chart, when, where and why.
  • Learning Outcomes

    Upon satisfactory completion of this recorded webinar you will be able to:

    • Practically explain data forecasting and budgeting.
    • Quantify the risks and rewards of estimating future assumptions.
    • Explore different forecasting and trending methods.
    • Develop several ways to analyse and present key outputs.


    Aimed at all finance professionals / decision-makers involved in the budgeting and forecasting process, this course shows you how to reduce the risks in your decision-making and recommendations by using budgets, qualitative and quantitative analysis, by utilising our kit bag of tips, tools and techniques.



    Topic: Business Mindset, Corporate Finance, People & Leadership

    Sub-Topic: Business Planning & Analysis, Finance Management, Leadership, Risk Management, Strategy

    Format: Recorded Webinar

    Proficiency Level: Intermediate

    CPD: Upto 9 hours