Mistress Marilyn (mistressmarilyn) wrote,
Mistress Marilyn

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Damn flash reports!

Okay, I just had to verbally vent for the second year in a row about the financial process we use this time of year to calculate where we'll come out at year-end. We call it our 'flash report' and the process is simple enough: Look at your revenue/expenses and update the spreadsheet based on the general ledger information and your knowledge of what's yet to come, *then* fill out a report that explains the discrepencies that are both $1,000 or more *plus* 5% or more from budget.

It's the "from budget" part that flips me out, because back in late April we did this exact thing to try to anticipate where we'd be, and we called it the 'forecast.' Our budgets are done in October, we like to get a snapshot right before the festival, then we need to figure out where we actually are prior to our annual meeting (two weeks from today).

Seems to me we should be looking at a spreadsheet that tells us how well we did on our forecast, so that process makes some sense. Until two years ago we did what was called an "adjusted budget," and we made our comparisons to that. Now our forecast is just a waste of time -- at least doing the detailed reports is.

And why do I have to relive the same pain I felt in April? I knew then my big budget was going to underperform. Why can't I now be congratulating myself that my forecast was only 3% from actual rather than the 11% discrepency from the original budget.

I had to put this bitch up, because I know I'll feel the same way in a year, and I might as well be able to chuckle at my inability to change a flawed process.

ETA: Make that 10% from the original budget! Things are looking a little better at the moment.

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