Did your last budget planning season involve a lot of time spent working with spreadsheets? Are you forced to rely on email to distribute and receive budget information between the finance team and various departments? If so, you’re not alone.
Spreadsheets may seem simple, and most finance teams and department heads are adept at creating standard budget templates and reports and inputting the relevant data. But relying on spreadsheets and email creates serious flaws in the budgeting and planning process that keep you from seeing the whole financial picture.
For starters, using email to distribute budget information creates collaboration challenges and slows the process down. Key personnel have to spend time sifting through emails in an attempt to find the latest version of the spreadsheet. The finance team is stuck trying to manage information coming in via email from multiple sources. All of this delays the review and approval process. More importantly, you run the risk that someone isn’t using the latest version of the spreadsheet, causing critical planning decisions to be based on flawed information. And once your department heads start making changes to their budgets, it’s virtually impossible for the finance team to keep the consolidated report up to date.
Spreadsheets create an even bigger challenge when it comes time to analyze budget-to-actual variances. The consolidated report only reflects the version of actuals extracted from the accounting system when the report was created. The report becomes outdated the second the actuals in the accounting system change – leaving you at risk of making important financial decisions based on outdated information. And with spreadsheet-based budgets, the finance team doesn’t have access to the assumptions and context that drive the budget planning process. So, when there’s a need to address significant variances, finance personnel have to spend significant time going back to department heads to identify and understand the assumptions underlying the budget. Or worse, they provide an analysis that doesn’t take those assumptions into account.
To see the big picture, you need a budgeting and planning tool that consolidates your financial information in one place, stores key underlying assumptions, and automates reporting, providing one source of truth for everyone in your organization. Sage Intacct Budgeting and Planning can provide you the complete view you need to make key financial decisions.
If spreadsheet budgets, shared by email, are hiding critical pieces of your financial picture, Sage Intacct Budgeting and Planning may be the answer. Contact MicroAccounting today at 855-876-3773 or firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.