Plansmith Blog

Planning: Crisis and Recovery

Posted by Bill Smith on 5/13/20 12:55 PM

Plansmith believes in the power of planning to help manage the future.

Our mission has been to provide the best tools and services to strengthen execution for sustained growth and quality earnings. Over the past 50 years thousands of financial institutions have benefited from the tools we build and the services we offer.

In the current crisis there is no better time to rethink the use of complicated and confusing systems in favor of an easier, more flexible and a more understandable way to avoid the risk of bad decisions. Plansmith provides resources including dedicated people, expert advisors, educational offerings and great decision technology components for managing your future.

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Why Shouldn’t My Financial Institution Use a Budgeting Program That Transcends Industries?

Posted by Megan Plis Knapp on 5/5/20 10:28 AM

Banking, like Yogi, is a unique bear. If you haven’t worked in the trenches, you probably just don’t understand it. It’s an industry best served by those who have lived it.

As unique as the industry is – you guessed it – your budgeting solution should be just as unique.

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Wayne Gretzky, the Barber Shop, and Your Contingency Funding Plan… What They Have In Common, and What You Should Be Doing NOW - Part II

Posted by Dave Wicklund on 3/25/20 9:37 AM

In my 20+ years at the FDIC and now 8 years here at Plansmith, I honestly never imagined that all those Contingency Funding Plans (CFPs) I’ve read and written would actually be relevant. I always viewed them as a good way to layout the framework for monitoring funding risk and alternate sources of liquidity, but I certainly didn’t think that the “systemic stress” scenarios would really ever be something we’d actually be dealing with. 

For those of you who didn’t see it, click here to read the blog I posted yesterday focusing on some things you can do help your community get through this current crisis. Today, we’re going to turn our focus to what you can, and should, be doing to limit the impact that this crisis might have on your institution.

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Wayne Gretzky, the Barber Shop, and Your Contingency Funding Plan… What They Have In Common, and What You Should Be Doing NOW - Part I

Posted by Dave Wicklund on 3/24/20 9:40 AM

In perhaps the most overused sports quote of all time, hockey legend Wayne Gretzky said, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” That piece of advice is usually used to inspire people to look ahead to emerging markets and business opportunities. Right now, however, I think that quote can serve as a guide for us to examine where this is all going, and how we should be planning for what’s coming next. We know where the puck has been; rates have dropped to historic lows, the stock market has plummeted, most of you have closed your lobbies to commercial traffic, and you’ve probably taken numerous other steps to try to limit the impact that this pandemic will have on you and your bank or credit union.

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Planning In Crisis Conditions

Posted by Sue West on 3/23/20 8:42 AM

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?”

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How Will Rate Changes Impact Your Budget?

Posted by Craig Hartman on 3/11/20 9:48 AM

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:

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Communicate Your Numbers Like a PRO!

Posted by Jennifer Mello on 3/4/20 11:16 AM

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?

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Planning Doesn’t Stop At 5:00 On Friday

Posted by David Schwieder on 2/12/20 1:45 PM

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.

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Stop Budgeting and Start Planning

Posted by Craig Hartman on 1/17/20 9:16 AM

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?

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Turn Your Budget into Action

Posted by Bill Smith on 1/9/20 11:05 AM

A budget without a Playbook is just numbers on a page.

You know what your targets are but you also need to define how you will get there.  A Playbook defines the actions needed for success, and the people who will manage the process.

But many managers say they just don’t have the time or resources.

Plansmith’s Playbook is a simple online platform to help you create clearly defined initiatives, track progress, and reach your targets by creating an action plan for your budget.

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