As one of California's most prominent financial institutions, City National Bank is a leader in our industry. Similar to other profitable, growing organizations, we had a homegrown Excel-based performance planning and measurement system with all the standard shortcomings. Our biggest problem was the distributed "master" budget-input template. An innocent user mistake, such as someone typing over a formula, deleting or adding a row, or changing a rollup could wreak havoc on the consolidation process and on our ability to do multiple budget iterations.

We went from mid-year forecasted line items to summary level annual budgets, which led to huge actual-to-budget variances as well as a fundamental inability to pinpoint problems and identify trends. Further compounding the problem was the fact that our various data sources were not interconnected - our incentive compensation system was separate from our performance measurement system, making it difficult to accurately scorecard progress.

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