Monday, October 27, 2008

The Importance of Business Forecasts

It is an essential and responsible CFO Service and CFO duty to perform business forecasts. Many clients of Next Step CFO ask what purpose forecasting serves. Traditionally the CFO has been an historian, meaning telling the business owner what financial results happened in the past. Telling the business owner what the historical results have been. Business owners need to know in what direction they are headed. Tell the business owner what is going to happen in the future so that you can tell the business owner when it is going to be cloudy instead of telling them when it is raining. For the most part business owners already know where they have been. Today the Chief Financial Officer needs to tell the business owner in what direction the business is going in the future.

So what is the major question the business forecast answers? The major question answered by the business forecast is whether or not the existing business model is going to achieve the desired results. If not, you need to change the business model. A good CFO can prepare a forecast on the existing business model and then if that model does not work can prepare a forecast based on a model that does work. In order to do this the CFO must have knowledge of the industry and a sharp overall knowledge of business through having experience in owning a business. The CFO must also have accurate forecasting tools at his/her disposal.