A good business plan and a budget are critical for every business and organization. This critical need requires a structured and organized strategic plan that should be created before budgeting.
What is Strategic Planning?
A strategic plan includes strategies of an organization for potential actions and operations, targets, guidelines, and sources needed. Its duration is 3 to 5 years or more. The current and expected market environment is also included. These marketing forecasts help clear a view about demand and supply assessment, market inflation, and financial needs.
Strategic Planning and Tactical Planning
Tactical planning includes determining exact objectives and resources that will be used to accomplish strategic tactics. Tactical plans are of two types:
- Long-term, for example, in some tactical plans, corporate policy statements deal with cyclic situations. Short-term (1 to 18 months) are made to deal with specific situations or a particular phase. They are usually for single use. An example of a tactical plan is the annual budget which is used for a sole plan. A budget is a resource used to achieve goals of strategic and tactical planning.
- Quarterly and monthly plans are incorporated into the annual budget to formulate it more successfully.
The budgeting process is not strictly associated with strategic and tactical planning. According to the former CEO of General Electric, Jack Welsh, a company’s most ineffective management practice is budgeting. The disengagement among the budget and the strategic planning is the most significant reason for an ineffective budget.
Here are several steps for a better connection between budgets and strategic planning recommended by Carlson:
- Executive-level must participate in the initial step of the budgeting process:
The individuals involved in strategic and tactic planning must be involved in a budgeting cycle to ensure an efficient budget. There should be a clear connection between strategy and budget. Most strategic goals are achieved through the budget. The connection between strategic goals and the role of every employee should also be assessed. How the role of every employee can help accomplish goals should be discussed at all levels.
- The budget cycle includes a long-term plan:
The annual budget is for one year only, and the business plan outcomes are not delivered within this short period. A yearly plan should be a part of a business plan. In this way, the tactical planning of the budget aligns with the company’s strategic planning, and this connection should be validated from time to time. Consequently, the level of goal achievement can be determined, and any adjustments could be made if needed.
- Measurement of KPI success:
KPIs (key performance indicators) of achievement should be formulated. They should be regularly calculated and discussed with all to determine the level of goal achievement and any adjustments if needed.
Validation of targets:
The percentage of successes should be determined according to the economic setting, and this information should make better decisions.
Review of strategic and tactical planning
Strategic and tactical planning should be reviewed at least quarterly to determine their validity as a measurement of success. Organizations sometimes set idealistic expectations based on better past performance, but a changed market environment makes their strategy flop. Periodic assessment enables organizations to make necessary changes to meet the targets successfully and within the stipulated time.
Key budgeting and planning points are:
- There should be a direct relation between budgeting and planning
- All strategic plans are covered in the budget
- How market affects budget planning
These elements are the root for creating the alignment of strategic and tactic planning to the budgeting process. The strategy is the planning to achieve goals while the budget is utilized to achieve this goal. For achieving goals, strategy and budget should be a true interlink.About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.