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What does Randall Bolten think?

An accomplished executive who has directed the financial operations of public companies and startups, and interacted with many boards of directors and investors, Randall Bolten is the author of "Painting with Numbers: Presenting Financials and Other Numbers So People Will Understand ... See full profile

Tim— You’ve gotten lots of great feedback on what metrics to use and the process by which you create, track, and manage to those metrics, so I won’t...
It depends on what you mean by “financial analysis” – if you mean “financial analysis” in the context of investment management and financial planning...
Wayne Spivak had it right from the start – it’s a two-edged sword. Obviously, holding sales people responsible for collections – presumably by tying...
There’s no easy way to do this, which is why I advocate the same approach to reporting throughout the organization, from top to bottom. How you deal...
As far down the organization as you can possibly stand. I understand the need of some startups to stay under the radar, and confidentiality in a...
There’s no hard & fast answer to this question. But if you’re wondering how much time you should spend organizing, laying out, and presenting...
Yes, startups are a world unto themselves, and reporting is always going to be a moving target, as you learn what kinds of reporting do and don’t...
Good question; I’d encourage you to view this in the same way you’d view getting people to focus on ANY sort of document that you want them to read...
THIS IS A QUESTION WHERE I HOPE PEOPLE WHO HAVE HAD A RECENT EXPERIENCE IN THIS AREA MIGHT CONTRIBUTE TO THE DISCUSSION. Uniting and coordinating...
This is a meeting management issue. If the only purpose of the meeting is to review and discuss the contents of the reporting package, the agenda...
Yes, it’s always a good idea to have a one-page (or even shorter than a full page) summary of the content of a package. You may find it useful to...
This is a really good question – reporting and advising are both critical roles of a successful finance organization. My strongest advice here is to...
I like Chris Holtzer’s response. There is a time and a place for cherry-picking – when you’re trying to make a point that’s especially relevant to a...
Installing a "fully functional ERP system" BEFORE "setting up an efficient FP&A organization" is an insanely bad idea. First of all -- as several...
Blair’s points are all excellent. This is fundamentally a communications challenge, and that’s how you need to look at it. I particularly like Blair’...
I'll add one more point that may be clear to all who read this, but I'll make it anyway: All of this discussion presumes that when the BOD meets to...
You should check with a tax expert. My knowledge is a few years old, but legally speaking, the a company (i.e., via the board of directors) can grant...
This question starts with the false premise that everyone WANTS to get rid of spreadsheets, or that we NEED to “escape” from them. Norman, Ralph, and...
My experience is mostly limited to technology companies, but I’m inclined to agree with Ernie & Bryan – the marketing/finance relationship is...
Regis, all of these are excellent comments. I especially like your last point -- if you are getting feedback about your reporting, listen to it and...
The predictions of Excel’s imminent death have been made for the last, oh, 25 years, and yet today Excel is very much alive. Once you get past the...
This question is a tough one -- it isn't always worth provoking a conflict with someone who's truly influential in the enterprise. However, here are...
I respectfully suggest that a couple of the comments in response to this question are going in the wrong direction. See my point #2 ("Get Help") in...
Generally you want the Management P&L to be the same throughout the enterprise, from top to bottom and across all functional areas. This will get...
If capital expenditures are a typically important piece of management information, by all means include them in the Management P&L. Another...