TIME FOR THE YEARLY BUDGETING APPROACHES
Optimize the process with the right setup
Budgeting season is close at hand, and many companies are preparing for it to take up a lot of internal resources.
However, with the right preparation, the pressure on resources can be significantly reduced – in some cases, as much as 85%.
Identify the problem
To establish a new and more efficient and resource-saving process for budgeting, one must begin with identifying the underlying issues that a new solution is meant to resolve.
For the most part, these can be summarized as:
- All budgeting units work locally with their own Excel files, which are not collected and consolidated until the final budget is drawn up.
- Validation and qualification of data takes place in a follow-up process by the process-responsible controllers, who thus face a long process in which they have to contact several of the budgeting units.
- Validation and qualification of entered data is challenged, as changes and additions in the manually handled Excel files are not traceable with dating and user ID. For complete security, the controllers responsible for the budget have to follow up with the budgeting unit.
- There are several different scenarios and budget versions.
Get off to a good start
Optimizing the budgeting process begins with establishing a setup that supports a new and more efficient way to contribute and collaborate.
This entails three main elements:
The first step to streamline and optimize the budgeting process is to establish a shared budget database for collecting and handling data.
This means saying goodbye to the many locally located Excel files, which are replaced by one shared Excel file, the digital platform's user interface, where users can work on their part of the budget and add data directly to the SQL database. The shared user interface can be tailored to meet the company's specific requirements for which parameters and data should be included in the budget.
With a budget solution based on a database, both administrators and the users – the budgeting units – can work "live" with data which is thus constantly updated with the relevant realized numbers.
A budgeting process on a database-based platform also means that trust in data is ensured. By mirroring the company's access and rights management and logging all changes and inputs, one can ensure full traceability.
A digital platform based on an SQL database means that it is possible to integrate seamlessly with other systems. For example, the company's various ERP systems and external relevant sources from which one can extract updated master data and fluctuating key figures such as exchange rates, hourly wage rates, transport rates etc. in real time.
The last important element in the establishment of a setup that supports a new and more efficient way of contributing and collaborating is the automation of processes that would otherwise have had to be handled manually by an employee. An element which the switch from analogically handled Excel files to a digital platform makes possible. This is one of the most resource- and time-saving elements that will ensure that key employees both in the budgeting units and centrally in the finance department can focus on their value-creating core tasks.
Read more about how your company can go from locally and manually handled Excel files to a shared digital platform here.