If you’re like most people, you probably cringe at the words budgeting and forecasting. At True Sky, we’re actually budget nerds – we love figuring out how to make this often onerous process more intuitive, easy, and dare we say it, enjoyable.
We’ve put all our expertise into making True Sky as user-friendly as possible, starting by using Excel as a basis. We chose Excel because most people know how to use it – this way, people from all departments, not just finance, can easily enter and access the information they need. This, in turn, makes it more likely that they won’t put their budgeting duties off until the very last minute.
And that brings us to the annual budget. While strategic budgeting is a great option for many companies, some organizations must stick to an annual budget for reasons of their own. At True Sky, we embrace whatever budgeting process you need – all we want to do is simplify the process! True Sky’s budgeting software is designed to be flexible enough to meet any company’s needs, and that includes annual budgeters. If your business is in that group, then take a look at these ways that True Sky can shorten and transform your annual budgeting with Excel.
Shorten the overall amount of time you spend drawing up the annual budget
The process of putting together an annual budget can take months – sometimes, it’s a four-month process. So one problem that businesses run into when they operate on annual budgets is that often, by the time they’re finished, they’re already out of date.
Shortening the amount of time you have to spend putting your budget together, therefore, is always a good thing (and your employees will thank you for it, too!). With True Sky, we’ve made it quicker and easier to complete the various tasks associated with creating your annual budget – compiling information and templates, getting all your department heads to input their data, merging that data into a single document or file, etc. In fact, True Sky allows you to skip the merging step entirely. We’ll tell you how in our next point.
Reduce those repetitive tasks of modifying and reviewing your budget every time there’s a change
In a typical budget management software, every time someone submits a change to the budget- and CFOs know these changes are pretty much unavoidable, if you want your budget to be accurate – the person in charge of compiling all the data and forming it into a finalized document has to go through and make the modification, make sure its effect on the rest of the data shows up, and then re-finalize the file. Until, that is, another change is submitted.
This repetitive process is a huge drain on time and mental resources – and with True Sky, it’s completely unnecessary. Because True Sky makes it easier both to access your various templates and to input data, various users in all departments – anyone who can use Excel – can put in their changes, rather than submitting them to the one or two people who know how to use the software. True Sky’s permissions system and built-in transparency make it easy to see who’s made changes, and what changes they’ve made. Users can even attach notes or documents to their data, to explain anything that needs explaining.
The system then stores and accounts for these modifications, while still allowing users to access previous versions of the budget. The bottom line? Instead of you having to receive the data, input it, save the old budget as a separate file so you can still access it, then make the modification and see what happens to your numbers, all you have to do is open True Sky to see how a given change has affected the budget, whether on a detailed or overall scale.
Change the format for your data input based on your needs
One reason budgeting is one of those dreaded tasks is because often, putting in your data requires some figuring on the part of the user. If your department doesn’t use the same format as the finance department, you’ve got to figure out how to make your numbers work. Maybe you measure quarterly instead of monthly, or biweekly instead of weekly – even if the math required is simple, doing it is still an additional, time-consuming task.
True Sky gets past this problem by allowing for multiple templates, data entry formats, and layouts that can be tailored to a specific user or department. This makes it simpler for every department to put their data in as needed, rather than waiting until the last minute to put in a huge batch of numbers.