A longitudinal perspective on rolling forecasts & interactions
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- Master Thesis 
Increasingly complex and dynamic business environment has led to the introduction of contemporary management control systems and management accounting innovations, such as rolling forecasts that is an important tool in the Beyond Budgeting philosophy. This thesis is a case study exploring the practice of rolling forecasts as a dynamic management tool within an organization – namely FiGo. Through qualitative research method, the study aims to get an in-depth understanding of how forecasting information, in a longitudinal perspective, affects top management interaction. Specifically we investigate: (a) how top management make use of forecasting information; (b) what changes has affected the forecasting information and influenced top management discussions; and (c) what challenges in regards of forecasting processes have affected top management attention. Our main findings indicate that top management strives that rolling forecasts is used in the whole organization, and that there is a consistently business understanding. Rolling forecasts and the forecasting information is an important tool for knowledge sharing, learning, and reflection at top management level. The study finds that there is a cultural change going on, together with an anchoring of the Beyond Budgeting mindset, which has led to an increased business understanding and more accurate forecasting information. However, the top management faces a big challenge due to variation in the use of rolling forecast, and still having “old budget mindset” in the organization, which increase the forecasting uncertainty and decrease forecasting accuracy. The top management has a standardization agenda in mind, trying to solve these problems, and manage to get comparable forecasting information from the whole organization. The study finds that there is a decoupling and a tension between how the top management wants the forecasts to be used, and what the operational levels in the organization needs.