budgeting and forecasting in real life jobs

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Recently I've been doing the interview circuit looking for another job as my company is shutting down in the next year. I'm surprised at how much emphasis companies and job recruiters place on budgeting/forecasting experience.

I've never been a big believer in budgets and the past 3 years have only served to confirm my beliefs. In January our GM handed me a budget for 2010 showing a profit of about $1M. YTD at 9/30/10 we have a loss of about $500K.

The past 2 years haven't been much different. If I had to rely on his budgets I'd have fired him long ago.

IMO budgets can be manipulated any way you want. Make a conservative budget and if you exceed it you look like a genius. Make an aggressive budget and when you don't meet it you look like a fool.
 

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