The typical enterprise runs on internal monthly reporting of actual results recorded in accounting journals and ledgers. This information is then compared to budget and as the year progresses, a current forecast for future periods. Some organizations use what’s referred to as a rolling forecast, whereby future quarters and year end coinciding with the annual report is forecast. The rolling forecast is sometimes used to bridge the annual business plan to a long-range strategic plan that picks up from the current year and may cover 3 or more years into the future.
Practices and management style determine how this information is presented and reviewed; however, it’s not unusual for an enterprise to detail out an accounting calendar with specific dates each month for a preliminary trial balance, usually within 3 to 5 days of the end of the month, followed by a period of 2 to 3 days for adjustments, and final closing within 10 days after the end of the month. Another common practice is full-fledged senior management reviews shortly after the end-of-month close. This allows release of quarterly results within 30 days of the close of each quarter.
So-called mid-month reviews are supplemented with reviews matching payroll periods. Biweekly or weekly operating results at lower levels in the organization become the time where line management focuses on results measured by orders received (bookings), shipments or installs (billings), orders placed (purchase commitments), and headcount changes (hires and terminations).
Accounting and treasury operations monitor payables, receivables, and cash position on a daily basis, and make decisions about exactly which bills to pay, taking several factors into account each day. Why should a communications manager worry about these issues? Wait until the daily or weekly executive conference call has an echo problem, or security breach, or there aren’t enough ports—no, you really don’t want to wait, you want to know the calls occur, and you want to know how long they typically last and you want to know if everything works OK, or you want to be in a position to have installed another four or eight ports just before they are needed. As the individual responsible for all communications circuits, equipment, facilities, and services, you need to know about key operating and strategic actions being contemplated and taken. Be aware though that these discussions are highly sensitive and, valuable as they may be, you may not always be invited, or privy to, all decisions until you’re instructed to take action or asked to advise on a situation.

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