Strategic Planning, Effective Budgeting & Cost Control

Euromoney Learning Solutions

How long?

  • 3 days
  • online

Euromoney Learning Solutions


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About the course

Get ahead in the planning, control, and budgeting cycle

Today, the human mind is often absorbed in so much data, that it has difficulty processing the multitude of facts and relationships simultaneously and sometimes forgets important elements. Thus, as plans become more and more intricate, they should be documented in writing and include qualitative narratives of goals, objectives, and means of accomplishing the objectives.

This budgeting and cost control course will allow the participant to explore and share with other participants new thoughts in the planning, control, and budgeting cycle, resulting in a renewed energy in returning to the workplace and implementing a more focused budgeting process, which communicates useful and timely information to management.

The course will provide a framework for each topic covered, and then will make extensive use of exercises and case studies.

  • Live group instruction
  • Detailed practical examples
  • Use of case studies and real world examples
  • Interactive participation

All participants receive a comprehensive binder containing copies of the presentation slides, handouts and other course materials


  • Introduction to planning and control
  • Budgeting overview
  • Behavioural aspects of budgeting
  • Understanding cost behaviour
  • Flexible budgets and standard cost systems
  • Developing an annual/master budget
  • Conceptual aspects of budgeting
  • Resource allocation
  • Activity-based management and activity-based costing
  • Controlling Costs: Economy, Efficiency & Effectiveness
  • Delivering operational excellence

What this course will enable you to do:

  • Acquire best practices in budgeting
  • Understand the strategic role of cost concepts
  • Explain the costs concepts to the use of cost information for management control
  • Describe the role of budgets in the management process
  • Discuss the importance of strategy and its role in the master budget
  • Prepare a master budget and explain the interrelationships among its supporting schedule
  • Understand zero-base, activitybased, and kaizen approaches to budgeting
  • Explain the essence of control systems
  • Develop flexible budgets for evaluating short-term financial performance
  • Identify different cost control measures
  • Measure and evaluate performance
  • Leverage emerging technologies for delivering operational excellence


Day 1:

Session 1:

Introduction and Course Objectives

  • Context of the global crisis and the ever-increasing demands made on strategic planning
  • Course Director and delegates (call out who’s in the virtual room)
  • Reasons for attending (call out as far as known in advance) at time of booking

Strategic Planning

Finance’s role beyond assembling the numbers.

  • Finance’ role in supporting strategic planning
  • Assessing financial impact of strategic choices
  • Making Strategy Work - Improving communication, tracking implementation, adapting

Management of a Finance Function

Current demands and how leading finance functions have responded.

  • Management vs. leadership
  • Motivating finance people
  • Managing change in finance

Discussion or Task: Finance at the heart of strategic development / Formulating financial strategy

Session 2:

Budgets & Rolling Forecasts (Outcome Driven Budgeting & Event Driven Forecasting) Learn to modify these to make them forward looking and pivotal to run business. * * How to engage the business * Role of Budgets and forecasts, linking them to strategy * Comparing and contrasting types of budgets and forecasts

Post-Budget Analysis

  • Identifying corrective action
  • Rolling forecast as a catalyst for change
  • Annual Budget and Forecasting Cycle

  • Key drivers behind sales, costs and margins

  • Scenario planning for uncertain futures

  • Budget and forecasting timetable

Reflections on Case Study: Planning, budgeting and forecasting: Putting it all together

Session 3:

Performance Reporting and Analytics

Make reporting intelligible and succinct.

  • Advanced analytic tools and executive dashboard
  • Addressing sustainability issues
  • Digitising the finance function: Information architecture, legacy systems and manual interfaces

Benchmarking and Reporting

  • Financial and non-financial key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • Milestone monitoring
  • Communication in fewer words to non-financial audience

Reflections on Case Study: Enhancing presentation of reports / Tackling digital

Day 2

Session 1:

Building Relationships and Influence

Managing expectations and maintaining credibility

  • Handling conflict and issues calling for judgment
  • Fundamentals of managing upwards
  • Managing in a business discontinuity

Case Study and Discussion: Developing gravitas and personal presence

Finance Business Partnering

Identifying and interpreting what internal customers really need and want.

  • Barriers and limitations
  • Measuring success

Case Study and Discussion: Obtaining buy-in, embedding partnering across the organisation

*Session 2: *

Risk Management

Risk management is key to effective corporate governance. What is finance’s role?

  • Understanding risk jargon: appetite, tolerance, aggregation and mitigation
  • Strategies to respond for risk
  • Cost/effective risk management in finance's own processes

Discussion or Task: Overcoming challenges in embedding risk policy

*Session 3: *

Financial Plan

Appraisal techniques in action – commonly used techniques noting limitations

  • Net present value, internal rate of return, profitability index, discounted payback

Crisis Management

Ensuring a pragmatic approach

  • Assessing situation, identify biggest problems
  • Knowing your stakeholders, rebuilding credibility
  • Scenario planning and risk assessments / Plan B

Discussions: Why first few days are most critical in any crisis?

Recap of Days 1 & 2 by Raj

Day 3:

[We use Harvard Business School (HBS) two cases on operational excellence to guide our discussion]

*Session 1: *

Introduction and Course Objectives

  • Strategic importance of cost control in a networked economy
  • Operating models for firms in times of crisis (shared experiences – virtual)
  • Understanding and evaluating cost control priorities and measures

Strategic Costing Techniques

Executive focus on operational effectiveness.

  • CFO, COO, CIO mandates on cost controls
  • Evaluating cost concepts for implementation
  • Role of the CFO – Assessing synergies and innovations

Managing Costs

How leading companies manage costs for strategic advantage.

  • Innovating with target costing
  • Drivers of costs, and controlling direct costs
  • Managing in times of change

Discussion: Decision making in challenging times – shutdown or stay afloat?

*Session 2: *

Strategies for cost reduction and operational effectiveness

Reduce cost, improve speed of service, and improve quality

  • Responsibility accounting
  • Lean principles
  • Six Sigma methodology Techniques for delivering cost control

  • Activity Based Costing

  • Value Chain Analysis

  • Total Quality Management

Case Study and Discussion: Cost control and profitability

Session 3:

Decision making under uncertainty

(How to deploy techniques to make effective short-term operational decisions to influence strategy)

  • Contribution Analysis
  • Short term decision making
  • Relevant cost analysis

Leveraging emerging technologies to deliver operational excellence, (Manage costs and to deliver operational excellence, with real-world examples)

  • Customer relationship management (CRM),
  • Enterprise resource management (ERM)
  • Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)

Day’s summary: Controlling costs becomes a strategic thrust that increases profits, improves operations, and maximizes shareholder wealth to improve effectiveness

Case Study and Discussion: Delivering Operational Excellence


Niran Subramaniam

Dr Niran Subramaniam is a Fellow Chartered Management Accountant (FCMA) with an exemplary record of senior management leadership roles in the strategic planning and implementation of performance measurement and management systems. His rich experience in finance and strategic information systems, ...

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Strategic Planning, Effective Budgeting & Cost Control at Euromoney Learning Solutions

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

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