Budget Automation overview
Richard finally takes a deep dive into creation of a budget template that is meant to be shared with the 25 managers who are to give their plans for next year. Automation of the budgeting process has 4 key steps:
Step 1: Budget Template creation
Step 2: Central database set-up with data transformation processes included
Step 3: Automation of historical data transfer
Step 4: Consolidation of templates once returned
The template that Richard finally had accepted had to take into consideration the “Multi-dimensional” organizational structure to ensure that budget data maps onto the business ERP.
The template had to take consideration of Country operations that were viewed as independent entities and business units that were the key profit centers both within each country and across the countries.
Each profit center had three category of products that formed the departments within the business: Parts, Services and Vehicle sales.
To ensure that users would have an easy time with the tool, Richard had some advice. He asked Charles to ensure that the user could easily view the historic data as they plug in their budget numbers.
He also indicated that there should be at least 2 summary pages:
- Page 1- Show the user consolidated numbers by profit center
- Page 2- Show consolidated numbers by Chart of Account line numbers for revenue and expenses.
Richard remarked, also include some visuals on the summary numbers for easier consumption by the users.
Lean more about how a Budgeting Tool Database can help you during your budgeting phase.
Budget Template Creation
Ensure that extension of the template to include additional CofA Lines, Departments, Segments, Business Lines, Regions etc. is easy to incorporate without having to develop the template afresh. This should also easily allow period expansion or parameter additions.
2. Easy navigation
Ensure that there is an easy way for a user moving around the tool. This is best achieved by having a menu driven navigation process that displays only the point of focus.
If budgeting at the profit center level entails giving estimates for each business segment with each of the segments profitability being analyzed, then it would be a good idea to have them placed in separate views for navigation purposes. For easier usability of the template, the layout for each segment page should be similar for easy usability.
3. Summary pages
Although users need to give their budget estimates at a very detailed level, it is essential that they have a summarized view that gives them not only summary in figures, but also visualized summary.
As stated earlier if the main template is done by a Profit Center manager but has to give profitability view at each business segment, then it would be essential to have a summary view showing the estimates of all the business segments in one view.
The summary with visuals makes it easy for the manager who is budgeting to make adjustments on their estimates based on the story that they perceive from the visuals.
Budgeting is a chore for the manager and it is therefore critical that they get a very visual feel of what they have projected which makes it easier to derive insights from it.
If you’d like to implement a Budgeting Template that will help you better understand your expenses and revenues, get in touch with the team at Sunesis Consulting today and see how we can help!