Plansmith Blog

Fresh Tips for Successful Budgeting

Posted by Megan Plis on 2/2/21 12:09 PM

Plansmith is a planning company, as our name implies. For 50 years, budgeting has been what we’re known for. We get a lot of questions about our top budgeting advice, and as we kick off a new year, it’s the perfect time to offer some fresh tips for successful budgeting.

Though we certainly suggest using a robust budgeting solution like our Compass software, this advice applies to any process. We understand many organizations still use spreadsheets or outdated software, and that may work for them because they’re used to it. However, quality planning software makes budgeting much easier, more accurate, and more approachable for all parties involved – including the board during presentations.

So, what are some realistic tips for effective budgeting?

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Turn Your Budget into a Plan

Posted by Craig Hartman on 1/15/21 12:04 PM

During the Middle Ages the town controller or accountant would show the citizenry how much was in the town’s “bouge,” a leather bag or wallet. With this knowledge, they would decide how best to spend it to cover the town’s expenses. Eventually, the term became the “budget” and was adopted by various enterprises to control expenses. Since not all expenses are immediate, the idea of forecasting revenues and expenses slowly entered the picture. However, expense control remained the primary objective. Hence the saying familiar to all of us: “That’s not in the budget.”

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Looking Forward to 2021: Happy New Year

Posted by Sue West on 12/28/20 10:17 AM

Quick, what pops into your mind when I say, Budget? Oh… I hear a lot of groans, but nothing specific. When I hear Budget, I feel the same way. Now, I know as the president of a planning software company, I shouldn’t have that reaction, but I am human. Even with the best tools, the fact remains that all businesses struggle with the same issue: balance. How do you maintain balance between growth and earnings given the costs associated with obtaining new business?

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The Outsourcing Dilemma: Time, Cost, and Control

Posted by Dave Wicklund on 12/1/20 10:58 AM

Is IRR and Liquidity Cash Flow Model Outsourcing Right for You?

That is a question a lot of CFOs and Presidents struggle with. Here at Plansmith, it really doesn’t matter to us whether you run the model yourself, or you outsource it to us. In fact, we have many clients on both sides of that fence, and even some that do a little of each. We just want you to be comfortable with whichever option you choose, be confident in your model results, and be sure your ALM process will pass the test at regulatory exams.

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Virtual Compass Roundtable

Posted by Jennifer Mello on 11/12/20 2:08 PM

Times are strange. We haven’t been in our Plansmith offices together since March 16th. That’s over a hundred and sixty days – it feels crazy. But like with anything else, we adjust and move forward to reach our goals, but the plans for getting there have definitely changed.

We still want to get together with everyone. We still want to talk about what works, what doesn’t, and how things are going. Even though we can’t meet face to face at our Schaumburg offices this year, we can still come together virtually!

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Negative Interest Rates Explained

Posted by Dave Wicklund on 11/2/20 9:14 AM

Given the current low-rate environment, I’ve again been getting some questions on “negative rates” and the impact they would have on financial institutions, and more specifically interest rate risk modeling. We’ve all heard about negative rates in Japan and parts of Europe, so it would seem reasonable to wonder about the impact that negative rates could have here in the U.S.

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NEW! Client Spotlight Episode 1: Richwood Bank

Posted by David Schwieder on 10/21/20 10:05 AM

We have some exciting news! Our first installment of Plansmith’s Client Spotlight Series is here. Our intimate spotlights are designed with you in mind. You’ll hear firsthand from our guests as they share their real-life experiences with planning, budgeting, managing risk, and making strategic business decisions.

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3 Activities to Start ASAP This Fall

Posted by Sue West on 9/14/20 1:23 PM

Oh, Autumn. The changing of the leaves, the crispness of the morning air... and the crunching of numbers?

Yep. We're bankers. It's what we do. And fall, it's the perfect time for some of our favorite - and most crucial - banking activities.

Here are the 3 game-changing activities Plansmith recommends starting as early as possible in the fall:

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Gratitude in Crisis Times

Posted by Megan Plis Knapp on 9/2/20 2:36 PM

There’s something about summer that always represents freedom to me. It could be the Fourth of July resonating past the day of, or it could be the warm weather and carefree attitude that comes with it. Maybe it’s the road trips we take and barbecues we host with friends and family. Maybe it’s the trips to the pool or the beach. Maybe it’s the general sense of enjoyment that we try to soak up before the weather gets crisp again.

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My Budget Is Done, Now What?

Posted by Bill Smith on 8/17/20 2:30 PM

Most of us hate planning. So why would I want to start now, when I could wait until the usual time next year?

Actually, there are two great reasons to plan early and often:

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