How to Get Your Time Back during Budget Season
Let’s face it: Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets have their place but not in the budgeting world, no matter the size of your company. Finding a solution to your budgeting woes doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Chances are, there’s an easy and accurate fix that is simple to implement; it’s just a matter of first identifying the task at hand. Then, the ideal tool and partner will fall into place. Here are some top concerns spelled out to get you psyched up for budgeting season.
Getting everyone on the same budgeting page
Leading the charge of having your department heads submit their budget on time is no small task — never mind actually knowing what needs to get done in order to make this happen in the first place. You’re not alone, and now is the time of year to reflect upon what worked and what will help get you through the next six, 12, 24 months, or even three to five years. Outlining the ins and outs of your company and making adjustments throughout the process will help keep your desired earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization on track or increased. Ask yourself: How many different budget Excel files are you compiling, triple-checking, and securing to get to the numbers you need, and how many different hands are trying to access these files? Does everyone know what the overall business direction is and how to use that to come up with their budgets? There’s always room for a more streamlined, accurate and faster tool to meet your budget timelines.
Enlisting budgeting help
In the interest of time and efficiency, the budgeting onus shouldn’t be left in the hands of one person. The goal of the budgeting process should be to have non-tech executives access the information they need to without waiting on your help reporting on the files and figures. A self-sufficient, ad hoc budgeting, planning, and reporting tool can give executives the numbers they need to see at any given time. What’s more, a consultant can help create a dashboard that’s intuitive to understand based on your business needs. Get with the times and invest in a cloud-based solution that can be accessed from anywhere by anyone so that everyone can be prepared for that next board meeting. It may be time to break up with your current data analytics tool.
Reporting on the level that you need
Your compensation and benefits payroll is inevitably going to be the most expensive aspect of your budgeting process, possibly reaching upward of millions of dollars each year. The process of calculating the taxes and benefits at the employee level can be a time-consuming and complex process. Add to that the potential of having to run the same model every time there is a different entity or company in different countries with different taxes and benefits. Every budgeting cycle is a chance to analyze how much time and money you’re spending on duplicated efforts.
Considering the safety of your financial data
An underlying issue that often goes unaddressed is that of security. During the budgeting season, spreadsheets floating around leave open the potential for highly confidential information, such as salary gaps, to be exposed. Giving multiple department heads access to highly complex calculations leaves room for such exposure, in addition to inaccurate data. Your data system should not only be fast, accurate, and easy to use, but also have all the security protocols needed to protect the sensitive personal information of your employees.