Budgeting and planning was a frustrating — if not completely futile — exercise for finance chiefs in 2009, as volatility on many fronts made this critical task more difficult than ever. Annual and quarterly forecasting became weekly, and CFOs found themselves managing a wide range of possible scenarios. Many finance chiefs focused on taking costs out of every nook and cranny of their businesses as they braced for rapidly falling or wildly unpredictable demand. CFO looked at the challenges of cost-cutting and forecasting and provided some suggestions for wringing costs out of such specific areas as travel, distribution costs, and legal and consulting fees.
Is forecasting an art, a science, or an exercise in futility? As the recession drags on, companies rethink their attitudes, and their approaches.
A Cornucopia of Cost Cuts
A no-stones-unturned attitude toward cost savings permeates companies’ thought processes.
Ten Signs Your Customer Is Tanking
When it comes to credit risk, watch closely for these red flags in companies you depend on.
A Need-to-Go Basis
How to rein in airfare costs for everyone from road warriors to infrequent fliers.
It’s a buyer’s market for consulting services, but if you don’t manage an engagement carefully, you could pay more than you bargained for.
How some companies are getting a better handle on outside legal bills.
Curbing Fleet Costs
Fewer cylinders, more GPS, backup leases, and better benchmarking are just some of the ways fleet managers are outpacing rising costs.
Turnaround, Here We Come
Companies position themselves to soak up pent-up demand when the economic fog clears up.
Companies Play Credit Catch-Up
Credit managers see a positive sign of economic growth as their customers begin to pay off their overdue balances.
Supply Chains and Demand
As consumers scale back, supply chains are hurting from end to end. Finance can ease the pain.