The 5th Zurich FP&A Board: Beyond Budgeting Philosophy

February 8, 2018

By Larysa Melnychuk, Founder and MD of London FP&A Club

Zurich FP&A BoardIt was famously quoted by Bjarte Bogsnes from Statoil: “The main purpose of Beyond Budgeting is liberation from dictatorship, micromanagement, number worshipping, calendar periods, hierarchies, secrecy, stick and carrot”.

In February, the 5th FP&A Board in Zurich continued our global debate on the BB Philosophy and how to transform the traditional budgeting process into more flexible and dynamic one. 34 senior finance professionals, representing such companies as Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic, Mondelez International, Swarovski and many others, took part in this lively discussion.

Agenda

  • Beyond Budgeting: key definitions and principles.
  • Swiss Post Case Study: How Beyond Budgeting pushes cultural change towards entrepreneurship”. Stefan Spiegel, CFO SBB Cargo AG, former Head Controlling at Swiss Post.
  • Small groups discussion on Beyond Budgeting Philosophy. "Are we ready to abandon the budget and what does it require?"
  • Conclusions and recommendations.

After the meeting, the Zurich Board came to the following conclusions:

  • The buy-in from top management is essential.
  • Define the process that is applicable to the whole organisation.
  • Define the key measurable drivers, models and use flexible systems.
  • Educate people.
  • Separate incentives from budgets.
  • Design smart relative incentives.

Many thanks to Stefan Spiegel for sharing his amazing Swiss Post case study on how “How Beyond Budgeting pushes cultural change towards entrepreneurship”. Truly, this is an agile management system that transforms the whole organisational culture towards agile performance and better decision making.

Many thanks to Page Executive/ Michael Page and CCH Tagetik for supporting Zurich FP&A Board.