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Is there a course on the relationship between chart of accounts, the budget and the income statement?

alan dybvig's Profile

I'm looking for a course or white paper or other APQC resource that describes the typical annual financial planning process including the relationship between the three items in the title. In "Painting with Numbers" Randall Bolton comments, for example, “As we discussed earlier, the Natural P/L is an excerpt from the information in your organization’s accounting system. The chart of accounts (CoA) is a listing of the finest detail you can extract from the accounting system. In a properly designed Natural P/L, every item in the CoA related to income and expenses should have a line in the Natural P/L into which it is mapped.”


David Cowan
Title: Vice President
Company: Proformative, Inc.
LinkedIn Profile
(Vice President, Proformative, Inc.) |

Hi Alan,

Subsequent to your post, I see you took Gene Siciliano's course Budgeting Best Practices. Did this course and the questions Gene answered help answer your question?

alan dybvig
Title: Managing Partner
Company: Dybvig Consulting
(Managing Partner, Dybvig Consulting) |

Hi David,

What Randall's and Gene's course did, together, was allow me to reformulate my question. Specifically, given the following assumptions:

1. Per Randall, the income statement is the most important financial document
2 Per Gene, the budget is not only tedious and time consuming to prepare, it is also the source of the income statement (configured as described by Randall)
3. Per the trade press, the budget is typically "out of date" within month's of it being published. This is part of the pressure creating interest in the rolling forecast...

This then leads to my question: Is a firm's only recourse when, during the year, one or more key assumptions underpinning the income statement portions of the budget (e.g., significant competitive announcement (reduced revenue from reduced forecast), price of key commodity(s) drop/increase (expenses) or key other cost (e.g., gas)(expenses), is the firm's only recourse to redo the budget? Or, is there a process in place to redo the income statement at its rolled up level of detail without having to go back to the line item detail in the budget? If so, as I fully expect there is or should be, WHAT IS THE PROCESS in place to accomplish the updated income statement? I'm sure Steve Player would like to see it as it would put some wind at the back of the rolling forecast effort.

Sorry for the long answer. I'd appreciate your thoughts.



PS Please pass this along to Sarah Jackson as a suggestion for a new course in 2016. I tried but my question didn't get through to her.

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