Completing your budgets at the eleventh hour?

Completing budgets at the eleventh hour?

It’s already June and yet again you’re spending late nights and weekends trying to get the budget ready for review by the board. The same old problems crop up each and every year and you swear never again!! Do these problems sound familiar…..?

  • Only 3 out of the 10 budget input spreadsheets consolidate seamlessly to the Excel master version, the rest have been altered by cost centre managers and are causing broken links and formulae errors
  • The marketing manager has not submitted her budget at all, because she claims her Excel file got corrupted and she needs to start again
  • You’ve been emailed 4 different spreadsheet versions from the logistics manager, and you’re not sure which one is correct
  • You discover total overheads are too low because the input templates were missing several new accounts which were added to the ERP system last month
  • The master spreadsheet takes over 20 minutes to open and often crashes when recalculating
  • The sales margins are too high because units costs for new product lines are missing, despite repeated reminders to the factory accountant to fill out all colour coded cells
  • The CFO is questioning the sales revenue figure, however the notes and assumptions are located on a separate disconnected spreadsheet file that the Sales Manager (now on holidays) has neglected to save on the network drive.
  • The total HR spend was locked in last week, but the figure has since changed and there is no audit trail to understand what change has been made and by whom

These are the typical problems and issues that we hear when approaching the tail end of the budget period using Excel spreadsheets. It is not a good time of the year and many are forced to plan their year around it with long hours burning the midnight oil.

Much of that time is actually spent re-working, fixing and cleaning up data and formulae issues in Excel as opposed to scrutinising the numbers and understanding the key assumptions and drivers for the new year. It’s a huge effort just to consolidate data from all the budget contributors once, let alone for each budget version that must be endured.

Fortunately there are cost effective solutions out there and many top performing organisations are already using them to continuously plan through monthly rolling forecasts. While budgets are important – it is certainly not as important as re-forecasting and consistently looking ahead. Budgets are outdated pretty much as soon as they are completed.

QMetrix has helped many businesses improve their budgeting and forecasting processes by combining our expertise together with marketing leading technology (Adaptive Insights for cloud as shown above and IBM Cognos TM1/Cognos Express for on-premise).

Our consultants are qualified accountants (CA/CPA) and understand the pressures and pains of completing corporate budgets having held senior finance positions in the past. Allow us to do a free evaluation and recommendation to assist your business today in moving away from the pain of Excel spreadsheets next year. Don’t let the pain of the budget cycle repeat itself come 2016!