One of the most common calls we take at Plansmith is from a bank or credit union looking to improve their entire budgeting, forecasting and board reporting process. While the organizations vary greatly in size, and the person calling is sometimes the president and other times a financial analyst – most often they all have one thing in common: “I’m currently using Excel.”
I spent the 4th of July Holiday as many Americans do. That’s right, cleaning out the garage. As I engaged in this long overdue spring cleaning, I couldn’t help but notice the abundance of pine needles in the corner. It brought back a bad memory from last December, that I could at least laugh about now. Sort of…
“E-Learning” is rapidly expanding here at Plansmith and client comments have been very positive. Right now there are more than 50 different sessions available and many more sessions are in development.
Why has the “E-Learning” approach been so popular, especially since Plansmith has always provided such a high level of live, personal support and is committed to continuing that?
For most banks and credit unions the annual budgeting process is just that, a “process” that is far from looked forward to.
The CFO gathers data and input from market managers and department heads. The President and CEO then hand down more information as well as targets and objectives that rarely align with the other information. It's then the CFO's and finance team's job to cobble it all together, make it balance, and deliver results to the Board for approval.
As anyone who has been through it knows, the process itself is not cut and dry. To be honest, it can be downright exhausting.
Our budgeting process gives us an idea of where we think we are headed in the next year. Many times, what we think will happen, is not what happens in reality. After all, if we all had a crystal ball at our disposal, you would not be reading this blog right now (I know I would not be writing it!).
Most of us hate planning, so why would I want to start now, when I could wait until the usual time next year?
The purchase of an asset liability management (ALM) system presents a problem to many bankers. Often the process begins with the creation of a checklist of features and functions then progresses to comparing vendors. The vendor with the highest "score" wins. While this may be a good start, there are dimensions to the problem that this ignores, specifically the quality and significance of the features identified.
Backtesting can be a painful topic for bankers. In this post, I'll answer the top 5 most common questions I hear about backtesting. I'll reference my first post, Independent Review, Model Validation, and Backtesting: Same Thing, Only Different, so you might want to revisit it before reading on. In that blog, we looked at the interrelationship of these three items and brought up a few questions on backtesting.
Specifically, we questioned 5 things: who should do it, how often should it be done, what period should be covered, do you need to backtest model results and assumptions, and why even bother if market rates really aren’t changing.
You see some people using them, and they're working great. Why isn't everybody already on board? Maybe the tools are brand new. Perhaps they're too expensive. Who knows, they might be really exclusive.
Except, most of the time, they're not. So, what keeps people from getting their hands on the best time-saving tools in the banking industry?