BUDGETING & FORECASTING

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In todays fast paced environment, its important to have a budget and forecasting tool that can be adjusted on the fly and with Confidence. 


Spreadsheets provide a significant amount of limitations, as a growing & evolving company your budgeting, forecasting and planning become your foundation for success.


Leverage partnered with Budget Maestro from Centage for exactly that reason. Our consultants are able to utilize this tool.


Driver-based, collaborative budgets and plans have never been easier to build and manipulate. Intuitive ‘self-serve’ reports and dashboards show you how well your business is performing today, while automated forecasts help you accurately predict future financial health. 

Automate and Streamline Your Business Budgeting Process

Utilizing Budget Maestro, we offer companies of all sizes a more efficient and reliable way to budget and plan. The software automates many of the time consuming and error-prone tasks associated with using spreadsheets and generates more accurate, driver-based business budgets and financial forecasts. Intuitive built-in modeling capabilities handle everything from workforce planning to expense detail, revenue recognition, and capital assets. 

12 Warning Signs That Your Budget Process Has Outgrown the Spreadsheet

  1. No single version of the truth guides or emerges from the budgeting process. Managers need to roll multiple budgets into a single enterprise perspective, but it’s too hard to do because there are too many variations in roll-up structure.
  2. Ownership and accountability by business users have disappeared, and control over consolidating the budget has been con-centrated to a single person. 
  3. Executives can’t answer the following questions:
    • Who are my most profitable customers?
    • What managers are the most productive?
    • What product line is most profitable?
    • Why are certain metrics “out of sync”? 
  4. Financial statements are not fully integrated because it is too time-consuming to set up or the model was modified too many times to ensure no errors. 
  5. Detail becomes impractical and almost unattainable. Spreadsheets grow so large that budgeting for some line item ex-penses or revenue items is done only at a consolidated summary level. 
  6. Budget calculations become too complex for most budget preparers to follow and the model gets too large for 6 users to assimilate. 
  7. It takes more time to manage and maintain the spreadsheet than to perform the actual analysis and planning. 
  8. The budgeting models break frequently with changes to data structure or rollups. 
  9. There are data integrity issues – mistyped data, broken formulas, missing links, logic errors – that make budget models unre-liable. 
  10. Comparing current year actual results to plan and/or last year’s actual results is a manual, cut-and-paste exercise that takes too much time, invites errors and slows down month-end analysis and reporting. Summary or high-level variance analysis lacks underlying detail. 
  11. It’s difficult to accurately track payroll, taxes and benefits expenditures for all employees, including contract, part time, and seasonal workers, resulting in over- budgeting for payroll taxes or underestimating total employee costs impacting year-end cash flow. 
  12. Deferred revenue projections (for projects, maintenance contracts, royalties, renewals, subscriptions, etc.) are too complex to model, requiring the layering of multiple revenue schedules within multiple periods to create the waterfall effect. 

Benefits of Budgeting with a Packaged Application

 An attractive solution for replacing the spreadsheet in the budgeting process is packaged application software designed specifically to support the budget process. Among the benefits that can be expected from budgeting using such an application are: 


Greater Accuracy - Generally, a packaged application will build formulas for your models based upon your assumptions and workflow, utilizing built-in financial intelligence and business rules to ensure complete accuracy


Centralized Database - Applications typically use a centralized database, eliminating data disparities that evolve when you try to link worksheets together. Any changes to estimates or assumptions are automatically updated in real time so everyone is working with a single version of truth.


Easy-to-Use Interface - As with your accounting and ERP applications, the user is not exposed to spreadsheet formulas and there is reduced danger of formula errors. APplications are built from the business perspective to maintain consistency with business entity names rather than database conventions.


Simple Integration - Many packaged applications have automated processes to import data from commonly used accounting applications, with the ability to support a rolled-up budget and forecast from multiple systems. This expedites data transfer and minimizes errors. The applications should not work naturally with your chart of accounts with all accounts aligning with those in your current general ledger to facilitate variance reporting at a summary level down to the detail level.


Reduced Programming - A budgeting packaged application should do away with the need for spreadsheet-type formulas, yielding more robust results by eliminating formula errors in rolling up from bottom level to top. As a resi;t your budget and forecasting model becomes an accurate reflection of your business.


Drill-through Capabilities - In a preadsheet, this requires changing key variables, then saving the outcome as a separate file or worksheet. Budgeting with a packaged application, users typically can change variables to see their immediate effect on outcomes. A series of models can be replicated, enabling additional analysis and comparisons.


Built-in Finance Logic - Packaged applications can generate profit/loss, balance sheet, and cash flow statements. Spreadsheets musht be manually developed to match these reporting capabilities Packaged applications usually include some pre-formatted reports and the ability to customize a wide range of reports.


Collaboration - The solution should supportinvolvement and collaboration by more end users and contributors to the budget process.


 

CONTACT US AT:

INFO@LEVERAGE.WORKS

403-480-4020

WHERE DOES LEVERAGE FIT IN?

Leverage consultants can provide clients with the following solutions:


  1. Coordinate and advise on the implementation of Budget Maestro.
    (For the hands on Management Team)
     
  2. Engage the integration process of Budget Maestro
     
  3. Engage in the companies entire Budgeting process, establishing targets and management reporting
     
  4. The mid-period update and follow up process ensuring actual results are trailing the budget expectations


If you are interested in utilizing Budget Maestro in your business, please get in touch with us to discuss where we can be of assistance and for a quote on the software and our potential involvement.


CONTACT US AT:

INFO@LEVERAGE.WORKS

403-480-4020

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Leverage Consulting Group Ltd.

1925 18 Avenue NE, Calgary, Alberta T2E 7T8, Canada

403-480-4020 / info@leverage.works