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Paradigm Shift: Why Rolling Forecasts Are Ideal for FP&A

  • By Nilly Essaides
  • Published: 8/4/2015

Companies are gradually realizing that the traditional fiscal year-end forecast has become less useful. Only seeing through to the end of the year leaves the company exposed to threats, such as price changes, volatile stock markets, regulatory changes and currency fluctuations. The forecast becomes more about whether the company will hit its targets, versus the reality of where the company and its market will be going forward and the steps management can take to ensure its success.

For financial planning and analysis (FP&A), an annual forecast provides no means of adding substantive value to the conversation taking place at the strategic level of the organization. In contrast, a rolling forecast allows FP&A professionals to play a leading role in strategic discussions and communications by providing management with a range of possibilities that are dependent on market conditions or the actions of competitors. The benefits they provide increase lead time for senior management, thus allowing them to make important decisions on how to allocate key resources in order to drive continued profitability.

The AFP® Guide to Implementing a Rolling Forecast: Success Factors and Pitfalls, discusses this shifting landscape, which has seen the traditional budgeting process lose traction. According to research by The Hackett Group, 33 percent of companies intend to implement a rolling forecasting over the next few years. Another 22 percent are planning to implement a version of a forecast that extends beyond 12 months. This new guide, the latest in AFP’s FP&A Guide series, will help FP&A professionals see the benefits of adopting a rolling forecast through practitioner case studies, as well as explain 10 common pitfalls to watch out for.
Download the new guide here.  

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