Business budgeting process is a painful yet necessary process that every organization must perform if it wants to compete in the market and continuously improve its operations.
Year after year, finance departments of medium to large organizations are faced with massive spreadsheets to fix and comb through as well as large volumes of data to compare and analyze in order to answer important questions concerning the business.
In the many years we have been working with CFOs, their voices echo the same ambition – optimize business budgeting in a way that is both cost efficient and accurate.
All the CFOs that we have talked to agree that their personnel are more focused on mundane tasks because they are too buried in collating figures from different departments, fixing errors, validating numbers, and consolidating statements.
An exercise that should ideally take a few days to a couple of weeks end up taking more than half a year thereby producing outputs that are not in tune with the current market condition and outputs are not in any way realistic or concrete enough to be used by front liners.
The good news is that there are a variety of ways to optimize a business´ budget. Below are the 3 guaranteed ways to optimize your company´s business budgeting process.
- Integrate Internal Systems
Many established companies´ business budgeting process takes forever to complete because of the number of business units involved in the inputting of data and the time needed to gather data from different systems used within different departments.
Most often, these systems are not linked to each other which results in conflicting versions of the truth and further delays because of the need to validate and revalidate figures.
Linking all the line of business systems or ERP systems used within the organization ensures that you centralize your data for easier tracking. By centralizing, it also becomes easier to enforce corporate standards and streamline processes. Consolidation of information also becomes seamless.
By integrating internal systems, there will be less waiting period and business budgeting process does not have to take months at a time.
- Use hybrid Excel and Server-based Technology
There is wisdom is using Excel spreadsheets for business budgets. Excel has been and continues to be one of the best tools Microsoft has ever built. However, as many finance departments know too well, Excel was not built for business budgeting or forecasting or reporting.
Soon as the business grows in revenue and complexity, handling huge excel spreadsheets become too burdensome and inefficient. This is why using hybrid technology that allows both excel modeling and server modeling is the perfect solution.
A tool that focuses only on excel modeling where all the figures are stored in excel will not succeed because it will be met with the same problems – error prone sheets, broken links and macros, storage capacity problems, performance issues, security issues.. the list goes on.
However, if your company uses a technology like Performance Canvas by DSPanel where the user interface is Excel but it sits on top of a powerful server then this means that you do not lose any of the excel benefits when modeling. Instead, you can do complex modeling without worrying about any performance, security or data integrity issues because they are all stored in the server. Being able to do excel modeling and server modeling at the same time truly is a good way to optimize business budgeting.
- Intelligently Automate
There is no question that one of the most effective ways to optimize business budgeting is through technology. However, we want to point out that it is not enough to use a technology that can automate. The technology must be able to intelligently automate.
Automating what is an ineffective and outdated process at its core does very little optimization. You may save a few hundred hours by simply automating but this does not in any way guarantee a more efficient process and a more reliable output.
Therefore, choose a technology that not only automates but also streamlines the business budgeting process through intuitive workflows. A good example is a workflow that allows the users to see a list of pending tasks, submitted tasks, person responsible, approver, etc. This type of workflow ensures greater transparency and accountability.
The technology must employ best practices in the way it streamlines and automates to ensure that the outputs are not only reliable but also relevant and that they are accomplished in as little time as possible.
If you are looking for more ways to optimize your business budgeting process, visit www.performancecanvas.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. We will be happy to walk you through our budgeting solution and explain to you the latest best practices in the business budgeting arena.
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