Getting ready for budgeting season with the latest budgeting tools

By - August 19, 2014

It’s getting close to budgeting time and you may be thinking there has to be another way other than Excel to organize input from various managers in different cost centers or locations to roll up into a consolidated budget. You may dread updating the huge Excel workbook that includes multiple factors to calculate revenue and cost of sales. The large number of cost centers that have different input factors. There has to be another way.

Learn how the latest trends in planning, forecasting, consolidations and budgeting systems help you improve decision making, raise accountability and operate more efficiently.

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There are four main areas that companies focus on that may need complex calculations: revenue, operating expenses, capital expenditures and compensation.

Each of these areas can contain customizable input areas that look and work like Excel but run on a SQL Server databases with regular backups. They can be designed for different users’ needs (for example operations managers and budgeting team members). There are tools to help build these models such as spread methods and complex calculations.

A huge benefit of being able to interface with your ERP system is getting a starting point from a previous year or previous budget and reporting against actual numbers after you have the budgets built. Our CPM solutions interface directly with your ERP system for budget building and reporting against actuals.

Dashboards can be designed to display the key performance indicators and use security to allow different access to executives and manager to review the financials.

Workflow allows you to manage the budget process by setting up approvals and reminders. Approvals allow users to input their budget and then have a director or budget team member approve before rolling into the consolidated final budget. Reminders are helpful to keep users on schedule and make budget deadlines.

Who needs a step up from Excel?

  • Require input from multiple budget managers/divisions/locations
  • Need a system that is secure and reliable
  • Results that can be sliced and diced, rolled up and rolled down in various scenarios.
  • Multiple reforecasts during the year
  • What if scenarios/parameters that require adjustment during the year

If you need better coordinated way to gather input on budgets, use workflows to manage the budget process and also create reports with actual and budgets, then contact RSM about the options for budgeting, planning and forecasting solutions. If you are using Microsoft Dynamics GP or another ERP system, your first step could be to talk with a member of RSM’s corporate performance management (CPM) team at erp@rsmus.com. We have worked with several products over ten years that we have carefully selected and implemented using best practices for past 15 years. We can help you with finding the best solution for you in the budgeting and reporting software arena.

By: Mary Lenehan – Chicago Illinois Microsoft Dynamics GP partner

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