Organizations around the world are working harder to than ever to deliver sustainable, profitable growth. Part of that growth strategy is achieved through fiscal planning, a process that involves compiling, monitoring, and updating a company’s revenue, spending, debt, and capital forecasts for the inclusion in the annual budget. It is a major operational task that comes once a year but tends to last for longer than expected.
If you ask any CFO of a large company, they have likely lost a few nights (or weeks) of sleep during this period of coordinating people, aligning numbers, and managing approvals. While there are many different contributors in the budgeting process, they are the ones who are ultimately responsible for defining goals, bench-marking business performance, making adjustments, and enforcing the budget company-wide. Needless to say, it can be a stressful time without the right systems and efficient processes in place.
Budgeting is essential to guide day-to-day revenue and expense decisions, allocate resources, and support financial goals in long-term fiscal planning. While it is designed to keep your company on track and pinpoint areas of improvement, the reality is, the budgeting process is not a straightforward task. Instead of profitability and productivity, the budgeting process is often time-consuming and highly labor intensive, with questionable value.
To get to the bottom of these issues, we did our research and identified the top eight budgeting problems most companies face in fiscal planning.
Multiple budget contributors working with multiplying versions of the same static spreadsheet take much time to coordinate, compile, and consolidate. From the time spent validating numbers to the lost hours spent tracking individual budget contributors down, many CFOs have reported spending upward of 250 hours of their time on the budgeting process alone.
There are a ton of moving parts within an entire company before, during, and after the budgeting process. Each stage requires input from budget creators, contributors, and approvers, but many companies don’t have a tool that helps them collaborate. They end up budgeting in silos, with no alignment with other departments or toward the end goal.
Another problem that many budget owners face during the multi-layered budgeting process is dealing with deadlines and unpredicted changes. In what should be a simple fix, any modification or adjustment to a budget results in a complicated back and forth tango of redoing numbers, responding to questions, and re-sending spreadsheets.
When creating a budgeting document to be used by all managers in a company, it’s vital that the form or spreadsheet they are required to fill in be standardized and easy to understand. The trouble is, uncontrolled spreadsheets don’t allow for the structure and labeling you need for all your different budget contributors. As a result, many people get lost in the details and struggle with providing accurate responses.
When working with 30 to 100 Excel files (each with many versions), most companies end up relying on manual data entry and processes to piece it all together. With no easy way to drill down to the numbers, manual processes are infamous for resulting in human error, inconsistencies, and lack of control.
Monitoring and adjusting your budget throughout the year is a highly efficient business practice that leads to higher returns and improved productivity. Unfortunately, it’s not used by many companies due to technology restrictions and the manual labor required to merge actuals and budgets.
Between all the time and resources that the six budgeting problems above consume, the total cost of many annual budgeting programs can add up. In addition to the labor costs of inefficient processes, many companies don’t experience the value that effective budgeting and fiscal planning should bring to the table.
Perceived value is one of the biggest areas of concern in the budgeting process across the board. Is the money you’re spending on planning and budgeting actually worth it? Fiscal planning should help operating managers make informed decisions aligned with the company’s overall financial goals.
At insightsoftware, we have heard these budgeting problems from our reporting and analytics customers time and time again. In response, we want to change the way you budget with a new product, called Jet Budgets.
Jet Budgets is a simple, adaptable, and easy-to-use fiscal planning solution that controls and streamlines the budgeting process in Excel and on the web, from Microsoft Dynamics Business Central, NAV, and GP data. With native Excel integration and an intuitive web portal, users can leverage their existing Excel skills and turn the budgeting process into an easily managed, systematic process that gets finished in half the time.
Here’s how Jet Budgets can help you better control your processes and simplify your upcoming budgeting cycle:
- Reduce the resources required for fiscal planning by eliminating manual tasks and disparate
- Easily build, organize, and report on your budgets on a centralized platform for owners and contributors of the budgeting process
- Cut the budget timeline in half with scheduled, automated workflows that are easy to set up, fast to implement, and built to integrate with Dynamics, instantly
- Import data directly from Microsoft Dynamics Business Central, GP, or NAV for seamless reporting on budgets and actuals
- Increase productivity with fast, accurate budget numbers that improve financial performance across departments
Get a Demo of Jet Budgets
Jet Budgets is an affordable and flexible budgeting tool that works the way people expect a fiscal planning tool to work. Businesses can cut the budget exercise in half, generate more accurate numbers, improve financial performance and productivity, and make faster decisions. If you are interested in getting control over your budgeting processes, click the link below to schedule a demo.