SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

Aberdeen Group

March 16, 2010 11:00 ET

Agility Assists Top Performers in Achieving 99% Forecast Accuracy

Visibility and Flexibility Are Necessary Components in Planning and Budgeting

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - March 16, 2010) - In 2010, with a renewed focus on corporate performance, organizations that hope to achieve leading status must be armed with tools that provide visibility and flexibility to strike a balance between caution and driving changes to create a competitive advantage as the market improves, according to "Financial Planning, Budgeting, and Forecasting: Will the Economy Emerge? Will You?" a new study recently published by Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS).

"Finance executives are using the aftermath of the financial crisis to get budgeting and planning in their companies better aligned with the new realities," said Nasreen Quibria, senior analyst at Aberdeen Group. "Companies are realizing the limitations of static annual plans and the shortcomings of limited horizons. To enable more agile processes, leading companies are moving beyond spreadsheets and leveraging financial planning and budgeting, and consolidation and reporting tools to perform scenario analysis and forecast performance more frequently -- quarterly and even monthly -- to ensure that financial planning is continuous and dynamic."

Now in its third year, Aberdeen's annual survey on financial planning, budgeting, and forecasting benchmarked over 170 companies, finding several notable differences in the pressures and actions impacting these processes year over year. Commenting on the trends, Cindy Jutras, vice president and research fellow said, "While budget accuracy was of paramount importance in 2008, the demand for accuracy plummeted last year and actual performance against accuracy declined along with it. This perception continues in 2010, although accuracy rebounded. The budget itself has been transformed into more of a 'stake in the ground' while the precision of the dynamically changing forecast has emerged as the dominant business driver."

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About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen provides fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having queried more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen or call (617) 854-5200, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748.

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