NEUBRAINER, the official blog of Neubrain


Posted by Neubrain Communications

If you have ever worked in a governmental organization, you probably experienced the mental gymnastics of the dreaded “what-if” drills.  The annual bureaucratic budget review and approval processes, changing priorities based on political agendas, and emerging agency requirements make these drills a frequent occurrence at all levels of government.  Governmental organizations are often tasked to  “develop options”, “look for efficiencies”, or other code words to deal with real or perceived budget cuts.  These units are scrambling to play defense – to defend (or re-defend) planned resourcing levels. A reason why budgeting is so difficult is that many government organizations have difficulty tying resource allocation to objective criteria that clearly enables decision-makers to make conscious trade-offs, as well as providing transparency throughout the organization. 

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Topics: forecasting, planning, best practices, performance management, budgeting analytics, data analytics, predictive analytics

Best Practices of High Performing Comptroller Organizations

Posted by Neubrain Communications


High performing Comptroller organizations can add tremendous organizational value beyond just financial transaction processing and audit readiness tasks.

By leading in the establishment of key processes, promoting enterprise-wide collaboration and a disciplined financial management culture, they can drastically improve the ability of an organization to achieve performance targets, strengthen the link between financial plans and strategic objectives, and enhance strategic decision-making.

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Topics: budgeting, forecasting, planning, best practices, performance management, budgeting software

Budgeting, Planning and Forecasting Best Practices

Posted by Yana McConaty

It is a common mistake to assume that automation alone will bring necessary budget process improvements to an organization. Automating an inefficient or unintelligent bud­get process just makes the same process faster, not better.

The reality is traditional practices that govern budgeting, planning, forecasting, reporting and  risk management are becoming obsolete in the context of a fast paced digital marketplace and a volatile and uncertain global economy. Long established budget practices provide a false sense of security and fail to cope with the speed and volatility of today’s markets.

Additionally, the traditional budgeting process is widely de­cried, both by FP&A personnel—who must reconcile the requests from business managers with the targets handed down from the C-suite—and the business line managers they support—who view the budget process as a bureau­cratic exercise, a distraction from their job, a drag on their time, and a purely finance-driven process.

As you consider a new budget system, remember this is the optimal time to evaluate the strategies that can help your organization develop a more agile and intelligent budget process, use this process as decision making tool rather than a negotiation, and positively change your orga­nization’s perception of budgeting.

The following are a few strategies and best practices to consider:


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Topics: budgeting, forecasting, planning, best practices, performance management, budgeting software

“Spreadsheets Are An Excellent Hammer, But Not Everything in Your Business Is a Nail.” (Val Sribar, Meta Group)

Posted by Yana McConaty

After speaking with many customers about the disadvantages of using spreadsheets to support their company or enterprise-wide budgeting and planning activities, we’ve decided to come up with a short list that features technical limitations of spreadsheets.

  1. Poor integration with back-end systems
  2. No way of knowing what data is missing
  3. 2-dimensional, not sophisticated enough to model complex organizational structures; the process of defining hierarchies and creating aggregations is time-consuming and cumbersome
  4. Limited analytics capabilities (what-if scenario, forecasting, trending, time-based analysis, etc.)
  5. The ability to perform fast calculations across multiple dimensions is missing
  6. Lack of separation between logical structure and presentation. In other words, it lacks the ability to change grid-like data views (or other kind of external representation) without making changes to the data structure
  7. Lacks power: not robust and quick enough to support large data sets
  8. Multiple versions on multiple computers (controls and security)
  9. Lack of support for enterprise-wide collaboration (workflow, versions)
  10. Difficult to document and time-consuming to maintain as an enterprise platform


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Topics: budgeting, planning, excel

Key indicators to measure the agility in financial planning

Posted by Yana McConaty

NEU Infographics: Key indicators to measure the accuracy and agility in financial planning, budgeting, and forecasting. How Does Your Organization Compare?

Aberdeen Research conducted a survey of over 200 organizations to analyze their financial planning, budgeting, and forecasting practices. According to the results, core metrics that measure accuracy and agility of the financial planning, budgeting and forecasting processes include:

  1. Financial reports delivered on time

  2. Actual costs within budgets

  3. Actual revenues within forecast

How would you rate your organization: Best-in-Class, Average or Laggard?


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Topics: budgeting, forecasting, planning

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