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The CFO demands a budget estimate how many months in advance???

During a teleconference hosted by ACC’s Law Department Management, Litigation and Small Law Department committees, the general counsel of FMC Technologies, Jeff Carr, explained his company’s budget timetable. Carr said that the budget-forecasting process starts in May, but in August his department must submit what is effectively treated as the final budget for the coming year. Four or more months before the start of the budget year!

Most law departments cope with similar lead times for their budgets. No wonder metrics are vital to proficient law-department management.

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One response to “The CFO demands a budget estimate how many months in advance???”

  1. Paul Reynolds says:

    While counsel at Mirant in Asia-Pacific we shared the budget timetable described by FMC – Certainly by September each year we were locked into our annual budget request. Over the years I felt we could get individual projects, such as acquisitions or a single item of litigation (involving several law frims and barristers), on budget. We could come pretty close to meeting those single item budgets. However the collective process never came close to the overall budget. My management colleagues who were accountable for building $1 billion power plant or operating several billions of assets with fuel, weather and many variables were bemused that the law department could never end the year remotely close to the budget. We overspent or underspent by huge margins. All that could be said was that Legal was consistent in missing its budget. It was a very frustrating experience but one in which our outside law firms were of little help.