When an organization grows, the planning, budgeting and forecasting process naturally becomes more complex. More active participants and more data can lead to increased opportunities for issues. When this occurs, there is much more at risk and at the same time, you’ve got more riding on getting the business plans right.
Too many cooks in the kitchen isn’t the problem. Your budgeting process as it currently exists is the problem. So, are you putting your business at risk?
If you’re relying solely on Excel spreadsheets for your budgeting process, you may be. Excel, however, isn’t the problem – it is a great foundational system upon which to build. You just need to be sure that you take up the hammer and do the actual work.
How is your existing process putting your business at risk? In a variety of ways.
Data Errors. Arguably one of the biggest problems companies face, no matter their size, is that of data errors. Issues that arise from manual entry, disconnected linked spreadsheets, merging errors or lost and corrupt spreadsheets are not only common when your system is no longer strong enough to handle the job, they can also wreak havoc on your operations. Additionally, errors as a result of outdated information or confusing templates mean that your numbers are not accurate, thereby creating a picture that does not reflect the actual business stats.
Compromised Data Foundation. When you are basing crucial company decisions on data contained with those budgets and forecasts, you need to be sure that all relevant data is utilized – and that it is up-to-date. However, when that data is stored in multiple locations without centralized storage, the risks of the data not being backed up regularly increases. Without a single location with regular backups and a system of accountability, users are basing their decisions on unreliable data. Furthermore, as the amount of data and number of contributors grow, tracking becomes more complicated, making it harder to review and track what has or has not been done.
Unsecured Data and Spreadsheets. When it comes to security, most companies strive to meet and exceed regulations to ensure data does not leave the company database. But what about those viewing the data from within the company? Company financials, account information, payroll, etc., is often part of the budgeting and forecasting database, and if a secure access hierarchy is not in place, those who should not be seeing that information may still have access. Additionally, when data is stored on mobile devices (laptops, smartphones), rather than in a centralized location, the loss of those devices can result in major issues. A centralized budget with careful security management is the only way to truly ensure information is only seen by the intended audience.
Uncontrolled Process. When you rely on data to power your decision making, a lack of control over that data means you are not in control of the results. Too many spreadsheets, an un-validated data entry, ineffective or non-existent review process, unexplained values, and no contributor collaboration all add to this lack of control. Integration automation and data-shared access can help to eliminate these issues and give you total control over, and therefore trust in, your numbers.
At True Sky, we know how important it is to have control over your budgeting process. Usability, accuracy, security – these are all things that our software helps to ensure. Want to regain control? Call us today to find out more: 1-855-878-3759.