What to look for when choosing budgeting software and how to improve the budgeting process – Kamil KarbowiakMD at Data Courage | Jet Global Distributor | Director at JR Services Europe
Budgeting is one of the most important processes in the life of an organization. In this article, we will talk about what problems companies face while budgeting, and most importantly, how to avoid these problems and how to improve the budgeting process.
How is the budgeting process built into your organization? Our practice shows that the budgeting system has not always been implemented as a separate system. It often happened that this process was formed gradually as requests from the leadership arrived and, as a result, it was chaotic and practically not systematized.
Sometimes this process is based on Dynamics BC. As a result, users face many difficulties. The budgeting process is complex and many actions must be performed throughout it such as joint planning, correction, and approval before your department can enter these numbers into MS Dynamics. Dynamics itself was not made to control the budgeting process.
In both the first and second cases, it all ends up as sending Excel files back and forth to colleagues and copying and pasting data which is often complete chaos.
What is important to focus on when developing a budgeting system?
In our opinion, it is important to focus on the interaction of the participants. The budgeting creation process consists of constant communication and collaboration, so the interaction should be as simple as possible. Any difficulties in the exchange of information can lead to the inability to control the process and complicate the work of managers who have to find and fix possible errors as well as collect and collate many Excel spreadsheets.
The choice of a uniform system will improve the budgeting process.
When choosing a unified budgeting system, pay attention to the following key factors:
1) Common database and a document for editing
In organizations where several users participate in the budgeting process, pay attention to systems that allow collaboration within a document. This eliminates the need for multiple Excel transfers from user to user and minimizes mistakes.
2) Plain software and intuitive interface
Try to avoid software where you have to spend several weeks only training employees on how to use them. Remember about the possibility of staff turnover and the fact that you will have to train every new employee again. Try to choose a program that will be intuitive to the user, regardless of their qualifications.
3) Restricting access to data
Ideally, make the budgeting process so manageable that you can easily choose which users have access to the data and to which kinds of data.
4) Choosing a program for the processes
A common mistake is to buy software and build company processes around it. The software should correspond to already existing processes that complement and simplify them, and not vice versa.
5) Choosing a flexible software
It doesn’t matter which budgeting method your organization uses today, whether it be top-down, bottom-up, zero-based, hybrid or another kind, as this method can change in a few years. Make sure that the software you invest in supports changes.
The budgeting process is very time-consuming, but we are sure that there is a simpler way, both painless and effective, which is easy to integrate with Microsoft BC and which will be clear to users and enables to improve the budgeting process