What are they?
CIMA Official Terminology defines these as plans or budgets that are continuously updated by adding a further accounting period when the earliest accounting period has expired. A rolling forecast is continually updated, whereby each time actual results are reported, a further forecast period is added and intermediate period forecasts are updated.
Budgeting and forecasting can be viewed as part of the planning process, which looks into the future beyond the immediate timeframe. Planning is an attempt to shape the organisation’s future, while forecasting and budgeting aim to predict the value created and resources used in a specific period. Adopting a rolling approach helps to inform a more realistic and timely planning process.
What benefits does a rolling approach provide?
This approach reduces uncertainty in planning and forecasting. It allows flexibility where long-term costs and/or activities cannot be forecast accurately.
The rolling approach encourages a regular reassessment of plans at all levels within the organisation. It also allows the business to respond quickly to current events.
Questions to consider when implementing a rolling approach
Do we have the time and resources to prepare plans on a more frequent basis? How can we get buy-in from the rest of the organisation?
Actions to take / Dos
Involve budget holders in changes to the planning process Base your forecasting on the key drivers of the business. Should there be a major change with any of these drivers, management can be quickly informed of the impact and react accordingly
Actions to Avoid / Don'ts
Don’t take a top-top approach – understand and work with the business at all levels Avoid wasting time preparing detailed plans for the full year – focus mainly on the earliest period and make outline plans for subsequent periods
CGMA, Online im Internet: http://www.cgma.org/resources/tools/essential-tools/pages/rolling-plans-and-forecasts.aspx