When we get to this time of year, it’s well into budget planning season. Now, be totally honest, how is it going?

For many CFOs and budget managers, the budgeting season can fill them with dread.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Today’s businesses have options, including purpose-built technology designed to facilitate budgeting, forecasting, reporting and analysis.

In this post, I want first to take a look at how businesses are approaching budgeting today and where they should be focusing their energies. Then, I’ll highlight how Dynamics GP marries perfectly to this smart budgeting approach.

The Two Sides of Budgeting Today

Regarding budgeting, most organizations fall into two distinct camps.

The first group is still laboring under the traditional method. That means spending an awful lot of time and resources finding, sorting, collating, and manually entering data into a spreadsheet-based system, and then hoping the budget hasn’t been compromised by broken links, formula errors, version control problems or a lack of detail.

This budget is static. It is essentially a snapshot in time. Unfortunately, the data therein could already be out of date by the time the management team event sees the final budget. And bad information only hurts the management team when trying to make good decisions or embrace opportunities for the organization.

Despite the obvious flaws, many businesses continue to use this traditional spreadsheet-driven method even though there are better options out there.

The second camp includes organizations that have embraced ‘smart budgeting’ – an approach that leverages highly adaptive technology with business and financial logic and a built-in connection to the general ledger.

Organizations that rely on smart budgeting have realized that the flow of data and information today is not static.  It’s continuously changing. Sales numbers can fluctuate, supply chain numbers can drop, and human resources can have unforeseen needs. These organizations know that having an accurate budget helps the management team be more agile and make better decisions. This flexibility and speed-to-information is a competitive advantage in today’s fast-paced environment.

Where Dynamics GP Can ‘Level Up’ Your Budgeting

To fully embrace smart budgeting, automation is a crucial component. Without real-time data that is constantly being updated and integrated into the system (without errors), the budget just can’t be reliable.

Microsoft Dynamics GP already has that capability, and it marries seamlessly with smart budgeting technology, making for a quick and efficient transition.  There is no need for additional IT setup, no implementation delays, no programming to make it work.  Finance departments can spend their time analyzing data rather than manually entering it.

On the reporting side, there are many benefits too.

First, having real-time data plays an important role here as well. Key decision makers can easily access necessary reports and dashboards to find the numbers always up to date, perfect for when a quick decision must be made or an opportunity spotted.

It also allows for managers to make fixes to their departmental budgets when necessary. If forecasts are not meeting actuals, they can see this in real time, not three months down the road when it might be too late to course correct.

Reporting can also become more customized. With automation, organizations can create reports that highlight the real data and trends that matter to them, both financial and non-financial. This means organizations can devote more resources to advanced modeling, running scenarios, and what-if planning. Having information like this right at their fingertips means key decision makers will be presented with the right KPIs, rather than generic reports.

When analysis becomes a key organizational strategy, it makes for a much more agile business that’s ready to tackle the challenges of today’s ever-changing markets.

Final Thoughts

Embracing smart budgeting will help your organization go further. It will be more prepared for challenges and able to spot opportunities more efficiently.

Now the question is, are you ready to tap into all the potential smart budgeting has to offer? Learn more about Budget Maestro’s seamless integration with Dynamics GP and the Smart Budgets approach here or by visiting Centage’s booth (#319) this week in Nashville at the GPUG Summit !

Learn more about Centage Planning Maestro

By Guest Author Centage Corporation, www.centage.com

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