It’s Budget Season Again—Can Excel Keep Up?

The need for control over the budget has never been greater. However, the need to rapidly adjust plans with minimal confusion is equally critical. With budget season in full swing for many organizations, it is important to take a step back from the current process and consider new practices and tools that support better visibility, agility, and insight into budgeting and planning.

In this article, we review a few signs that indicate you may have outgrown your current budgeting process. We also provide a list of ways your organization can benefit from a robust budgeting tool to enhance your annual or monthly budgeting processes. Happy budgeting!

Five signs your organization has outgrown Excel for budgeting and planning:

Any one of these signs may be enough to consider moving away from Excel for your planning, but if you are experiencing two or more of these challenges, you have likely outgrown your current Excel budgeting process.

1. Complexity – Does your budget spreadsheet contain forecasting models and formulas understood by only one or two employees within your organization?

2. Formula Errors – Have you ever discovered a formula error within your budget spreadsheet, which affects calculations on multiple tabs and budgets?

3. Multiple Versions – Do you have multiple document versions, which may lead to accidentally working in an old version of your budget instead of the most current?

4. Sensitive Data – Have you unintentionally sent a version of the budget containing salaries or other sensitive data to employees who should not have access to that information?

5. Bottlenecks – Does your organization have a single individual compiling budgets and reports for the entire business, which sometimes leads to unnecessary wait times for updates and report distribution?

Five ways your organization can benefit from a budgeting tool such as Sage Intacct Budgeting and Planning:

If you answered yes to more than one question in the previous section, you are one of the many professionals struggling with budgeting in Excel. A budgeting tool, such as Sage Intacct Budgeting and Planning, offers many benefits over Excel, including:

1. Reduced Complexity – Easily model revenue and expenses and create cash plans using pre-defined templates. Get actuals from your financials into your budgets and forecasts with just a few clicks for quick comparisons and what-if scenarios.

2. Streamlined Tasks – With Excel-like formulas, best practices, and pre-built functionality, budget owners can take advantage of an easy-to-use interface and intuitive navigation (without spreadsheet errors!).

3. Process Control – Everyone works on the latest version, knows who updated the budget and when, can create and save multiple scenarios within a single budget, and develops a solid understanding the process.

4. Data Security – Move sensitive data out of spreadsheets and emails and into a single, secure solution. Limit access to budgets and payroll data with user-level security.

5. Collaboration – Easily invite department heads to build or edit their budgets, present forecast or budget options to management, create multiple what-if scenarios, and dig into the details.

Sage Intacct Budgeting and Planning is an easy-to-use, yet powerful, cloud solution seamlessly integrated with Sage Intacct. Once implemented, you can easily update your Sage Intacct dashboards and reports referencing budget and forecast data. This allows for quick comparison of current performance versus plans, and facilitates drill-down directly into the budgeting and planning details. Best of all, this product can be deployed in just a few days, so you can say goodbye to the spreadsheet headaches.

Have questions?

P&N’s software selection team has more than two decades of experience implementing cloud accounting solutions for businesses of all sizes. If you have questions about Sage Intacct or its integrations and functions, contact our team and we will be happy to help!

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