In this day and age, every CEO and CFO wants to do more with less.
More reports generated but fewer staffing resources involved; more robust protection for their data but limited IT bandwidth; and better budgeting and forecasting process for as little monetary and time investment as possible.
This is the reality for all organizations. There is constant pressure to see a budget that is aligned with the company´s strategies and goals yet when you look closely at how they do things, they are still using the painstaking ways of excel spreadsheets.
Is this scenario familiar to you?
If your organization needs to improve its budget process, the first step is to realize that the future does not lie in sticking with the traditional ways of excel. We are not saying excel is not a good tool. In fact, quite the contrary we believe excel is one of the best tools ever invented but to solely rely on excel spreadsheets for the entire budget process as your business grows in size, revenue, and complexity – this is the problem.
The amount of man hours needed to build macros within the spreadsheets, the amount of hours needed to manually change sheet after sheet when there are updates, and the amount of hours needed to manually check for accuracy of figures in the sheets all lumped up amount to a massive cost in terms of time and work.
More than that, there is nothing more costly than basing future business decisions on a budget or plan that is irrelevant or inaccurate and in betting on your company´s data security.
Cloud-based budgeting and forecasting solution is the way forward for organizations that desire a better budget process. Here are a few or the many reasons why:
- Cost efficient
On premise budgeting and forecasting solution has certain technical requirements for hosting that can lead to significant logistical challenges. In addition, you have to have a team that can do the updates and maintenance or just have a go to person that can guarantee there is a main copy available.
Cloud based budgeting and forecasting solution on the other hand allows your organization to save as it allows for gradual decline of legacy systems and it allows the organization to outsource certain tasks that are not central to the company´s operations.
Having that knowledge of how much fixed amount is needed year after year for the solution also allows the organization to invest better in other parts of the business that can bring about added revenue or value.
- On-site Infrastructure Savings
As mentioned above, because there is no need for an onsite infrastructure, operating costs can be lowered. In fact, not only do you reduce the load on the IT department, there will also be savings in terms of equipment as the necessary pieces of equipment that need to be budgeted can be significantly reduced.
- Multi-layered Security Settings
There are many ways by which being too complacent on data security can have disastrous consequences.
One, the data when accessed by outsiders or competitors can be used against the company. Two, hidden formula on excel sheets can be altered intentionally or unintentionally which can have a sweeping negative effect across all other sheets that´ll take time to investigate where it came from and how it came about. Three, giving access to decision makers who might innocently make mistakes to sheets they are not supposed to be fiddling with can lead to inaccurate reports that´ll be used as basis for decisions by another decision maker.
Cloud based budgeting and forecasting solution such as Performance Canvas by DSPanel now introduces multi layered security settings where security is not only on excel level, it is also on server level. In addition, to prevent innocent or malicious alterations by people who are not supposed to have access to certain figures, role based security is also now available so that certain sheets are protected and accesses are clearly defined. Any alteration or edits made by anyone can also be traced by the solution through its cause of change and log of who made the most recent change so that there is a great deal of accountability.
- Data Consistency
For a budget or plan to be effective, the data has to be accurate and consistent. In most cases, figures are dependent upon the data of other business units or departments which is why keeping everything accurate and consistent is key.
Cloud based budgeting and forecasting solution ensures that there is standardization such that every single user that has access to specific sheets can only alter that specific sheet they have business fiddling with.
The tool also imposes business rules to sheets to ensure uniformity and that everyone follows a specific corporate wide rule. Lastly, cloud based budgeting and forecasting solution ensures you have a consistent and uniform file that is backed up in the cloud.
- Enterprise wide Agility
Doing the entire budgeting and forecasting process in excel spreadsheets is time consuming and even more time consuming is the task of updating them when there are changes. Just the thought of having a variable that is off in terms of formula can be catastrophic for the entire process.
With cloud based budgeting and forecasting solution, since the figures can be trusted to be accurate and consistent, less time is spent on validating since everything is drillable. More than that, it becomes easier to act quickly in certain situations because you know the insights from your budgets, plans or forecasts can be trusted.
There are many other benefits of a cloud based budgeting and forecasting solution so if you are truly serious about improving your budget process; if you really want to see a budget that is aligned with your corporate strategies: and if you truly want to have a budget that is exactly how you´d like to think about them as several factors change then shifting to cloud based budgeting and forecasting is the first step.
To know more about the most cost efficient and modern cloud based budgeting and forecasting solution, visit www.performancecanvas.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org to see a demo of our cloud based budgeting and forecasting solution.
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