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.
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.
If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that plans change.
For example, I had a cruise booked and paid for, including excursions to play with sea turtles and visit Mayan ruins this spring. Two of my close friends and I were set to venture from Tampa to Cozumel, Belize, and Honduras – live our best tropical lives, if you will. We were supposed to set sail April 19th and return April 26th.
As Plansmith’s ‘budgeting software’ evolved from its onset in the early 1970s, it became referred to as a ‘profit planning model.’ This distinction was made because it was much more than just balances on a spreadsheet or basic historical trends cast forward for the next year.
The world is turned upside down and inside out as we confront the unexpected challenge of a pandemic. None of us has been here before and confusion is rampant. Yet, as business leaders expected to carry on for the survival of our companies, the World War II expression, Keep Calm and Carry On, seems applicable today.
At Plansmith, we communicate with hundreds of financial institutions like yours across the country who are affected by this crisis. We understand that you face even greater challenges ahead as you try to adapt. We know you have to assess the financial impact of lost wages, increased unemployment, low interest rates and a fragile economy and we ask ourselves, “How can we help?”
Everyone probably has their budgets in place for 2020 by now. And now comes along the Coronavirus and messes everything up. The Fed has already lowered rates by half a point. So, now you’re scrambling to figure out how this will impact your 2020 plans?
Seems like you have a few choices:
I know my numbers, but how do I communicate them to others within my organization?It’s a valid question that Plansmith fields regularly from our clients. We’ve got some answers for you.
Everyone relates to numbers, no matter who you're talking too, but not everyone reads them in the same way. So how do you make the most out of your conversations with everyone who needs to relate to the same numbers?
At Plansmith, we focus on not only helping our clients with preparing an annual budget, but identifying the action items involved in making the plan come to fruition. When you work all week helping banks and credit unions do a better job of planning, it’s probably not uncommon to take a step away on the weekend and refresh the batteries.
But do we ever really stop planning?
Last weekend, I was making plans (there’s that word again) to attend a concert at Chicago’s Thalia Hall. Since this was a general admission show, my goal was to arrive early in order to be relatively close to the stage. If you’re a bank or credit union CFO, think of this as my desired ROI.
Most of us have been building annual budgets forever. First on paper spreadsheets, then with electronic spreadsheet like Excel, and now with software budgeting tools that amount to little more than more convenient spreadsheets. But a budget is typically all numeric built with trending and last year’s information. Usually the CEO provides a growth and earnings expectation and we build the budget to make the math work. If you have a system that can also provide rate risk analysis and draw detailed data from your core system, you really have a great system. So, what’s the problem?