If your business is into budgeting the old way, you're most likely distributing multiple spreadsheets to some of the most expense staff in your business; like business line managers, or departmental managers. The process takes a long time, costs too much, and then when the Excel budget files are returned, you're faced with a data verification and consolidation nightmare. Oh dear, someone has added additional rows into my model. Sound familiar? Reforecasting due to the effort required and the resistance of the key line managers is often avoided. This often means that a budget set 3 months prior to the start of a fiscal year has outdone its relevance within the first 3 months of the actual fiscal year.
At Olympic, almost 3 years ago, we were looking for a good suite of business intelligence software for our clients to help solve their Excel budgeting and reporting nightmares. After much consideration, we chose the BI360 business intelligence solution from Solver Inc. We were easily sold on it, due to the diverse capability of the product suite from reporting, budgeting, planning, and modelling a data warehouse to a web portal. Another test was a true cash flow rolling forecast, which by itself can be the holy grail of keeping your bank manager on your side.
BI360 distribution works on the basis of “a single template is shared by many”. Utilising Windows Server Active Directory and the additional security within the BI360 administrator, specific roles / users can be restricted to read reports and write budget data only relevant to the attributes of need to know. This means the distribution and consolidation process of budgeting is eliminated, thus speeding up considerably the entire process. Further gains can be made where HR payroll data, Finance Depreciation can be updated and distributed by business line as part of the process.
Budget templates for HR, Capex, Opex, are the key ones that are usually rolled out. Specific budgets required for the dairy industry add milk, feed, nutrients and financial interest budgets.
If you are interested to find out more about how BI360 can help you with your budgeting & forecasting or overall reporting then please contact me.
Russell Weaver is a business consultant focused on helping customers succeed through the use of technology. Russell specialises in the areas of workforce productivity and business intelligence. You can follow him on Twitter, connect with him on LinkedIn or contact him at email@example.com.