Over the years we have worked with several finance departments in their attempt to improve their current financial processes. They invest a lot of time in developing a budget that will hopefully be more adaptive and resilient amidst looming economic crisis, new competitors, and other pitfalls in their specific arenas.
We have listed down the top 5 most common problems when doing Budgeting and Reporting.
Lack of comments/explanations
One of the noticeable problems in many finance departments is the lack of notation behind the numbers. The explanations and assumptions for the numbers below the General Ledger Account number is missing. Consequently, every year as a new budget is initiated and there is cross tracking of the actual expenditures against the approved budget, there is a misunderstanding or disconnect that leads to frustration and/or delay the budgeting process. When there are questions or clarifications, one must always wait for the budget owner for a justification or at least a sound explanation.
Conflicting budget versions
Several accountants dispute the numbers entered in their respective accounting systems claiming that the version of the budget used was the wrong version or that it was done for a completely different purpose. Too much confusion results if there are too many budget versions.
Several repository of budget numbers
It is normal for companies to have several IT systems with a huge number of historical data. It then becomes hard to compare the current numbers from the previous ones if one tries to learn something from it (which should ideally happen).
In addition, during the dispute period when there is cross checking of numbers, the supporting details of budget owners are nowhere to be found as they tend to get lost in the big spreadsheets or in random notes found all over the place. At times it is saved in personal folders in personal computers or maybe even scribbles on papers found inside individual drawers.
Manual Consolidation of spreadsheets
All of the accountants we have worked with are not particularly thrilled at the thought of spending many weeks trying to consolidate several departmental plans into a single master plan. The bigger the company, the more hassle it becomes of course. Just imagine if you had over 100+ departmental plans to consolidate. It ends up in several unnecessary and manual work. It does not even include yet developing a rolling forecast.
Manual Expense tracking
Another problem we usually encounter is the poor tracking of expenses. These things are usually done manually (or painfully) by many finance departments today. It does not matter if the finance team is able to set a good budget if the tracking of the expenses is not as good because enforcing the budget is as good as developing it.
Today these problems have been addressed by modern technology. Performance Canvas products by DSPanel offers a solution based on Microsoft technology and SQL Server database.
Performance Canvas Financials – a financial budgeting system offers an easy to use and cost-effective way to automate the entire budgeting and reporting process which allows for comments/annotation, a single version of the truth, a single repository with supporting analytical capability, and an automated way to track expenses and consolidate numbers. With this, corporate management can now make faster and informed decisions as well as afford transparency in all of its activities.
DSPanel offers cutting edge technology platform for business analytics, planning, and visualization. DSPanel designs, builds, and operates with the end users in mind. Performance Canvas was created by DSPanel to answer the unarticulated needs of the market not addressed by previous available solutions. With Performance Canvas, information is transformed into valuable business insights for the business executives to utilize in their decision-making process. DSPanel currently has over 2500 organizations deploying their solutions.