This article focuses on part two of the importance of budget templates series.
In part 1 of the series of The Benefits of Budgeting with Budget Templates, it is mentioned that budgeting is a topic that is not very popular in many companies, and the process may seem like a headache to many employees. It’s painful yet necessary to communicate the importance of a budget to the entire company. In this article, we will continue the discussion of the benefits of budget templates.
We’ve talked about assumptions templates, capital expenditures templates and more to help organize your budget. Many companies typically use the expense budget template. The expense budget allows for input for accounts that have not been budgeted already through templates like personnel and capital. There are several ways of handling other expenses. Below are a few recommendations to make the input more accurate and efficient:
Show prior year actual and forecast by account. This allows users to simply compare to the prior year and confidently make sure that they are not under or over budget for each account.Allow users to enter detail for each account. For instance, marketing expenses will be beneficial to know what makes up the monthly amount rather than having employees keep this information separately. Show the accounts that were budgeted in other templates, but also lock the accounts so that the values cannot be modified.
Revenue and cost of sales can be budgeted in a similar template to the expense template above, but many times companies want to get much more detailed. Other templates that can be used are a balance sheet, a travel template, or a budget.
There are many templates that are being used today. The revenue and cost of sales templates are more industry-specific, and they are built towards the specifications of the organization. It is important to try to use only a handful of templates that can be designed and used across the company. It is also a good practice to create templates that will auto-calculate many of the revenue accounts and cost of sales accounts.
A public sector expenditures template is available after the departmental manager has input his/her adjustments and comments. The baseline budget and the departmental adjustments calculate the departmental requested amount. Other parts of the organization such as the budget office, the executive team, and the board make adjustments to the departmental total to determine the final amount also known as the Board Requested amount.
The retail revenue sample allows users to input unit count by product. This calculates the revenue by multiplying the count by the price per unit. Each month can be expanded to show the individual weeks while the other months are minimized in the example.
The final industry template is a commission template where the employee calculates the monthly salary and commission. This template can also include employee termination.
Tie to Goals
It is extremely important to tie the budget back to the goals finalized for the strategy. If the goals and the budget are not consistent, then what truly are the goals for the company to achieve? As stated in the prior sections, the goals should be communicated to the entire organization so that the budget stays consistent with the goals and there is no confusion among the staff.
There are a few ways to assist the users in knowing the goals and initiatives while entering their budgets and forecasts. It is much more effective to include the information directly in the template than in meetings or documentation.
Top-down budgeting is a valuable first step in the budgeting or forecasting process. It allows a limited use of resources to quickly create a budget or forecast early in the process. It also allows for a comparison to the bottom-up budget, which can take months to complete. There are disadvantages to a top-down approach, but a bottom-up and top-down budget can eliminate that. When a top-down budget is created, it can impact employee morale as they are not invested in the success or failure of the budget. This is because employees do not experience the same ownership in the budget process.
There are several ways to create a top-down budget, but our team has come up with a solution that will enable a budget to be created in minutes. It is a called a Breakback template. In this case, a manager or administrator simply enters the desired net income. He or she creates a monthly 12-month budget. He/She can make additional assumptions around specific departments, account groups, or individual accounts.
For instance, the desired net Income is $3,000,000. Store the template and create the the top-down budget. This enables the user to perform variance reporting. This template is typically used to create either the entire budget or the forecast budget.
If you would like to get a better understanding of the various templates above or corporate performance management tools in general, you can download the free ebook here.
Take the time to set budgeting goals that align with your organization goals. This will help you with consistency and achieving those goals strategically. It will also help you save time and energy. It is easy to get caught up in complex templates and the details in budgeting. Therefore we suggest you to ask for help! We have a team of experienced professionals who can assist you build the right template for a successful year.
Solver enables world-class decisions with BI360, a leading web-based CPM suite made up of budgeting, reporting, dashboards, and data warehousing, delivered through a web portal. Solver is reinventing CPM with its next generation solution. BI360 empowers business users with modern features including innovative use of Excel in the model design process. If you’re interested in learning more, our team is excited to hear about your organizational needs and goals.