Fall is a stressful time for finance professionals as it means the beginning of Q4, and of course, the budgeting season. This lengthy, tedious process has proven to be invaluable to organizations but the methods used to complete them are outdated. It is time to revamp your budgeting process and these methods below can be applied quickly and efficiently to help you complete your 2021 budget.
Here we have the 4 ways to increase your budget efficiency and propel your accounting department into the future.
#1 Set Clear Goals and Objectives
This may seem straight forward but in a year like 2020, it is harder to forecast and plan. In the past, using trends and the gut feeling of experienced professionals was the norm but it is time to stop making assumptions and start setting clear goals based on real insights.
Understanding where your business is now and where it is headed is the only way to set your goals and objectives using facts. A team task management software like Monday.com can help you to not only create goals but share them with your team to make sure they are achieved. Once these goals are set you can send them out to the relevant stakeholders in the organization ensuring everyone is aligned while quickening the entire process.
#2 Collect Data From Existing Systems
Data is scattered across an organization and the majority of operations within a business are run using different types of software. Having all this information in one place makes it quicker and easier to gather the information needed to create the budget. Sales teams utilize customer relationship management systems, like Salesforce, that organize and summarize sales data into easy to use charts and graphs.
Enterprise resource planning systems such as Netsuite compile complicated processes into easily digestible parts. These systems take the guesswork out of operations and provide the ability to download the needed information directly onto a spreadsheet or accounting software. This saves time and effort while reducing mistakes by ridding the need for manual inputs - one of the most time-consuming elements of the budget process.
#3 Create Shared Documents with Permission Specific Controls
Financial data is a finicky business with the majority of finance-related information saved locally. This leaves room for error and centralizing this data by using software rids the need for version comparisons. Centralization makes the lengthy process of diving into each and every department to create your budget a thing of the past.
A shared document ensures no information is lost on the way and allows you to track changes more easily. The reason this change has yet to be adopted is due to the fact that businesses have a vested interest in not revealing specific financial details to those who do not directly need to see it. Financial software companies, like Alphasense, have realized this large, impeding issue and now offer the ability to change document specific permissions. Now you can have all the information you require in one place but limit who can see it, access it, and edit it for an efficient budgeting process.
#4 Adopt an FP&A Solution
One way to easily and instantly increase the efficiency of your budgeting process is to adopt a platform. It may seem crazy, but there are actually solutions out there that have fast implementation and can be running this quarter. The trick is to look for a solution that works with your existing interface.
The majority of financial platforms require the adoption of their budgeting templates and formulas - but a solution that works with your Excel-spreadsheets and can integrate into your current CRM, ERP systems can be applied quickly and easily. DataRails is a platform that does just that - it has an elastic database that wraps around your business processes for fast implementation and immediate results.
Fast, reliable results.
These four methods can all be applied now to help with your 2021 budget process. It is not too late to increase your efficiency, save time, and develop more accurate budgets. The normal budgeting process is outdated, but your budgeting doesn’t have to be. Adopt these changes and reap the benefits of a truly efficient budgeting process today.