I recently visited New Orleans where you can have your future told by one of the many palmists and crystal ball readers in the French Quarter. I am unsure of their accuracy record, but the desire to know something about our future has great appeal. We all would like to know if we will be rich or famous, get married and have kids or stay single, and so on. Because we have no way to judge whether or not these predictions will come true, we can only live our lives to find out how correct they were.

Corporate enterprises are no different in their desire to understand their future. In many ways, it is more important than ever for companies to be able to reliably discern what to expect from their revenues and expenses, whether their customer base is healthy, their product offerings profitable, their employees productive, etc. Competition and economic hardships have made the ability to foretell where the enterprise will be - in three months, six months, a year or more - critical to its overall health and viability. Even more useful are the decisions and actions that will help the enterprises reach their financial goals.

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