CONCEPTUAL AND PRACTICAL ASPECTS OF FINANCIAL PLANNING AND CONTROL
by G. William Thomason Manager, Los Angeles Office
Presented before the Budget and Forecasts Committee, Petroleum Accountants Society, Los Angeles Chapter-March 1971
Someone once said jokingly, "... .That works fine in practice, but will it work in theory?" In reflecting on this statement, it occurs to me that perhaps this is sometimes not a funny thing at all—but rather a reflection of a failing that many times exists in the administration of the management process in many corporate hierarchies today.
By this I mean that, all too often, we tend to get so entranced by the mechanics of "doing things" that we completely lose sight of not only the "real goal", but also the basic conceptual framework that should always precede the "actual doing."
What I would like to provide today is not a discourse on all aspects of the complex theory of corporate management science, but rather a brief discussion of how abuse of this concept can occur in the process of developing an effective and viable system of financial planning and control, and of what can be done to avoid it.
THE MANAGEMENT SYNTHESIS
Let's first define what it is we are attempting to achieve by the management process.
As a business grows ever larger and more complex in today's competitive world, management's need to assign responsibility for results becomes ever more urgent, for the work of the many individual managers of a company adds up to the total profitability of the enterprise. Managers must be motivated; their work must be coordinated and controlled; and the results must be evaluated in the light of the goals of the business.
Now, since management is simply the art of getting things done through people, things can't really get done unless people know what the goals are—what is to be accomplished, why it should be accomplished, how they