Budget Season

Tips for Surviving Annual Budgeting Season

So, How is your budgeting for this season going on? Got a perfect budget and forecast planned for 2021? 

Or you are pulled back by the limitations and challenges? Or is it running smoothly?

Don’t worry! If you think you are the only one struggling, you’re wrong. You are not the one facing challenges while preparing budget. Many organizations are struggling too!

May be you are sick of manually collecting data, finding & fixing errors, multiple excel consolidation etc., How will you feel if we say, we have a solution for you to thrive during this budgeting season?

We have a better way to do it right! Streamline your annual budgeting methods by these survival tips.

  • Think Forward

          Choose the right tool for your organization. Always operate a step ahead of your competitors, forward thinking is the key here. Hire a software for your budgeting needs; it should have zero training period, task automation and data integration. Most softwares nowadays are extremely flexible, scalable and does financial operations automatically. 

            Even our own software PivotXL offers Excel as a front-end solution for all your data problems like reporting and consolidating, thus completely wiping out training time since we are more handy in Excel.

budgeting software based on excel

  • Focus on your Key driver

Do not waste time on emphasizing every small detail in your organizational level. Just concentrate only on the main key factors that drive your business and move on to the secondary drivers. 

If you are looking out to buy an application, make sure it is expansible and covers the entire organizational level.

  • Make real Budgets

          Budgets are not just numbers and targets. The budget you design should be truly effective and has to be developed based on past results and future forecast. 

          Using last year’s information, create a budget that is achievable by your employees. Blindly do not go beyond unrealistic numbers.

Budgeting and Forecasting

  • Deploy right people

          Create a team separately for budgeting and include people who fit perfectly for the role. Go with staffs having financial responsibility and are natural in figures & data estimates for budgeting.

           Think different and involve people outside your circle who can bring a fresh perspective & accurate predictions for your budget.

Create a Budgeting Team Thrive during this budget rather than surviving. Go on full attack mode! When you do budget in traditional way; it will eat a lot of your time & energy and are prone to errors.

Modern budgeting techniques include usage of software or application for budgeting. These softwares reduces time and are accurate, also report consolidation and sharing are automated. Try to follow these thriving tips and rock this budgeting season. For queries or demo, Contact US and get expert insight.

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Ways to Prepare for Budget Season

Ways to Prepare for Budget season

You like it or not, Budgeting season is around the corner and we cannot avoid it. Like halloween, budgeting gives you thrills with many tricks and treats around every corner. 

Sometimes your assumptions might be correct and other times it might go wrong. 

Budgeting and forecasting keeps you at the edge of your seat for the entire Budget season upto December.

Brace up Before Budgeting Season Hits

Don’t jump into the budgeting process straight away; Initially discuss the budget with your operations team and managers, Fix your due date, review time and the staff who should be involved in the process. 

Like creating a game plan and involving the key players, you need to work for this budgeting season before it hits you by surprise.

Read More : Budgeting, Planning and Forecasting

Study, Research and Analyse

Do a time study within your team, study each and every resource thoroughly; Get a clear picture on which staff to be allocated for every task included in the budgeting process. Ask your resources to track their timesheet to gain a clear idea on their efficiency.

Research your sales report, sales breakdown and the past year performance. Completely analyze the organizations past records and prepare budget, do not simply copy paste the previous year’s budget report. 

Take time and build your budget for 2021, always take your employee’s opinion into consideration. Have a brainstorming session with few teammates for your budgeting process, your goal is to make your company grow and how to budget for the growth.

Research and Analyse

Import and Collaborate Data

Collecting data from various departments across the organization is a traumatic process. But this job needs to be done; transferring data from one team to another is prone to errors for which the budgeting team has to spend hours to aggregate and reconcile data before beginning the budgeting process. 

But smarter organizations outsource their budgeting process or use software that takes care of all the budgeting requirements like data integration, storage and risk calculation.

Import and Collaborate data

Put your Plans into Action

Execute your plan step by step without any flaw, also save some resources for unexpected expenses in your budget which will protect you from falling into the debt trap. 

When everything said above is done, do not stress yourself out. Budgeting is an important process which has to be done based on the organizations history and the current market trend. 

Use tools that reduce your workload, automate the budgeting process with PivotXL which helps you during the budgeting season based on your reports sent across during the last financial year without the need to import data from various departments. Weigh down the advantages and recruit a software before it is too late.

Budget Plan

A tool will help you know exactly what kind of budget needs to be done for 2021 because 2020 is not like any other year; many organizations took hit of the coronavirus pandemic and these damages should be corrected by the upcoming budget. 

 Write to us or Contact us for any product related queries or Demo.

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Budgeting and Forecasting

What are Budgeting and Forecasting?

Are you satisfied with the profit your business is making?

If you are satisfied, then you should think of making it consistently. But how are you going to do it?

Usually, business owners start with Accounting.

  • Estimation? Check  ✓
  • Expense?    Check ✓
  • Evaluation? Check ✓

Did we miss something here! Well… Most businesses forget about Budgeting (Some do it) and Forecasting.

These two game-changers drive your business in the right direction towards uphill.

 

Business toward upward direction

 

Budgeting is a detailed outline of how your plan for this fiscal year to be carried out from time to time. It covers items like revenue, cash flow, expense, and debt reduction.

Budgeting is as crucial as planning. Every business requires budgeting to manage their expenses and revenue plan. When the actuals exceed the budget then the financial model can be adjusted accordingly, which allows us to make necessary changes to the company whenever something goes wrong or out of hand.

 

Budget planning

 

Next comes Forecasting; it analyses the past performance of your business and plans for the financial future of your company.

Forecasting predicts how your company is going to perform in the future considering sales & targets. This prediction is done with a clear understanding of a company’s historical data and current market scenario. The management team can anticipate the result based on past financial data of the company.

The features of forecasting are:

– Forecasts should be updated regularly; when a change in inventory, operation, or in your business plan.

– Immediate action can be taken on the forecasted data.

 

Increase revenue

 

As per an internal survey that we conducted among the audiences, it is clear that budgeting helps businesses keep revenue and expense on track while Financial Forecasting works similar to weather forecast; the management team can avoid potential malfunctions in operations/inventory for the smooth running of your business.

Now that Budgeting & Forecasting became easier with Cloud-based software. They generate accurate predictions & budgets in a jiffy with fewer errors.

Today, Budgeting and Forecasting need not be a cumbersome process. There is specialized software in this category that you utilize. You must have careful when choosing a Budgeting and Forecasting software. Here are some questions all purchasers should think about before looking for the right partner:

  1. Am I looking for a cloud solution or an on-premise hosted solution? 
  2. Do I want an Excel replacement software or a software that works closely with Excel? 
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Streamline Your Budgeting And Forecasting

How To Streamline Your Budgeting And Forecasting Process Using Cloud Software

Even if you are not in the market for a cloud budgeting and forecasting software, you probably are curious about whether such a tool can streamline your budgeting and forecasting process. Creating a budget or updated forecast with a dedicated tool can help you feel more in control of your budgeting and forecasting process and let you obtain trusted numbers while saving valuable time. The trick is to figure out the right combination of tools and processes to help you get the job done with reduced stress. This post will help teach out how you can use cloud budgeting and forecasting software to streamline your budgeting and forecasting process. 

Step 1: Understand your current budgeting and forecasting process

The first step in using cloud budgeting and forecasting software to streamline your budgeting and forecasting process is to understand your existing process deeply. Keep in mind, however, that it’s easy to get caught up in too much of the details. It is important to chart the budgeting and forecasting process at a high level so you can determine the pitfalls associated with it. 

Many organizations that we deal with want to reorganize their chart of accounts into P&L statements for each budget head. Using these Actuals, the budget heads will work with their internal team and build a new forecast. Then the finance team consolidates these forecasts and produces management reports and does further tracking. 

Understand your current budgeting and forecasting process
Understand Your Current Budgeting And Forecasting Process

Tip: Try to get to a high-level process in the form of a flow chart so you can discuss this with your finance team and refine it further. This step is very useful in understanding how your cloud budgeting and forecasting vendor of choice will help you streamline your budgeting and forecasting process. 

Step 2: Map out how a Cloud Budgeting and Forecasting Software will improve the process. 

Almost all cloud budgeting and forecasting software is built around three fundamental concepts:

Rearchitecting your data storage in the form of Multi-dimensional Cubes:

Almost all cloud budgeting and forecasting software is built around the concept of Cubes. Multi-dimensional Cubes allow for a more robust way of data storage as supposed to Spreadsheets. You can imagine a cube as a spreadsheet with more than 2 dimensions. If the chart of accounts takes up the rows and months are used up for the columns then the third dimension can be Year, the fourth dimension can be Scenario and etc. 

Rearchitecting your data storage in the form of Multi-dimensional Cubes
Understand How Cubes Work

Cubes are the foundational aspect of a Pivot Tables. The data in the Cube can be easily sliced and diced using Pivot Tables. Your cloud budgeting and forecasting vendor of choice should provide you with easy tools to do data analysis on your Cubes. 

Separating the presentation of data from the storage of data:

The biggest benefit of storing the data in Cubes is in separating the storage of data from the presentation layer. Any good cloud budgeting and forecasting software should allow you to present the data in the cubes in the form of multiple presentation templates. This is important because each budget head will require different forms of data presentation. All the data can be connected to a centralized cube and can be easily consolidated. 

Separating the presentation of data from the storage of data
Separate Your Data Storage From Presentation

Tip: Most finance users are savvy in Excel so ideally selecting a cloud budgeting and forecasting software that uses Excel as its primary presentation layer will be easy to adopt. 

Utilizing a task management system as an alternative to email chains:

If you are still using email chains to manage your budgeting and forecasting process, you know how painful the process can be. Emails were meant to be for one-off messages. For managing Tasks, there needs to be specific task management functionality in your cloud budgeting and forecasting software. 

Utilizing a task management system as an alternative to email chains
Use a Budgeting Task Calendar

Ensure your cloud budgeting and forecasting software has a robust task management system so you can run a stress-free budgeting process. The common features of the task management system

  1. Ability to create a task calendar where appropriate roles and due dates can be scheduled
  2. The task management system should email regular updates so everyone associated with the task can see the risk of completing the task on time. 
  3. The task management system should have a role-based approval system so the finance team knows that they are consolidating approved numbers.
  4. The task management system should be closely tied with the Cube data and Templates. For example, the tasks should have the capability to assign specific templates along with it. When the final approval is done, all the cells associated with that task should lock-up so no further edits can be done. This allows for clear audis and trustability in the numbers. 

Step 3: Determine the role of Excel in your Cloud Budgeting and Forecasting software

There are many cloud budgeting and forecasting software vendors. Many of them tout themselves as Excel replacement software. While replacing Excel may have some advantages, it is important to remember that many Finance users have already built deep expertise in Excel. Excel has great ways to organize and present data, derive calculated numbers through formulas and create charts from the data. It is the most ubiquitously used spreadsheet software in the market. 

Any good cloud budgeting and forecasting software should let you work within Excel. Make sure your cloud budgeting and forecasting software vendor let you use Excel as the primary interface. If it doesn’t, you’ll have trouble adapting to a new presentation layer. 

Determine the role of Excel in your Cloud Budgeting and Forecasting software
Some Organization Want An Excel Add-In Others Want An Excel Replacement

Many do not know that Excel is actually very cloud friendly. Even Excel that you use on your desktop or laptop is fully integrated with the cloud. Office 365 provides a cloud API connection to each individual cell in Excel. Through this method, multiple apps can be developed and deployed in the Excel app store. 

Note: PivotXL is an Excel Driven Cloud Budgeting and Forecasting software. contact us to learn more.

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