M29 I

© The McGraw-Hill Companies, 2002

CHAPTER 4 Long-Term Financial Planning and Growth 99

ages between different goals and different aspects of a firm's business are difficult to see. Not only does a financial plan make explicit these linkages, but it also imposes a unified structure for reconciling differing goals and objectives. In other words, financial planning is a way of verifying that the goals and plans made with regard to specific areas of a firm's operations are feasible and internally consistent. Conflicting goals will often exist. To generate a coherent plan, goals and objectives will therefore have to be modified, and priorities will have to be established.

For example, one goal a firm might have is 12 percent growth in unit sales per year. Another goal might be to reduce the firm's total debt ratio from 40 to 20 percent. Are these two goals compatible? Can they be accomplished simultaneously? Maybe yes, maybe no. As we will discuss, financial planning is a way of finding out just what is possible, and, by implication, what is not possible.

Conclusion Probably the most important result of the planning process is that it forces management to think about goals and to establish priorities. In fact, conventional business wisdom holds that financial plans don't work, but financial planning does. The future is inherently unknown. What we can do is establish the direction in which we want to travel and take some educated guesses at what we will find along the way. If we do a good job, then we won't be caught off guard when the future rolls around.

Ross et al.: Fundamentals II. Financial Statements 4. Long-Term Financial of Corporate Finance, Sixth and Long-Term Financial Planning and Growth Edition, Alternate Edition Planning

0 0

Post a comment