Using Expense Budget Dashboards to Streamline the Planning Process
How can Budget Dashboards Drive Faster and Better Decisions?
As Budget Managers increasingly become key drivers of the Planning Process, they must rely on modern self-service corporate performance management (CPM) and business intelligence (BI) tools. Using interactive Budget Dashboards like the Expense Budget Dashboard template shown below enables them and users from the executive team to experience near real time budget analysis that help drive faster and better decisions.
Who uses Expense Budget Dashboards and What are Some Key Analytical Features?
In today’s fast-paced business environment, Budget Managers are under high pressure to supply end users like department managers and executives with timely and concise Budget Dashboards. Companies use key features like the ones below to support their users with effective analysis that helps drive more accurate expense budgets and optimized resource planning.
- Expenses for Actual YTD plus Forecast current year versus the Budget for next year
- Expense detail by Account Category and GL Account
- Interactive charts that reflects which row in the two tables the user clicks on
The Expense Budget Dashboard template can be used as a key element of the Planning process:
The Expense Budget Dashboard is a ready-to-use Budget Dashboard from the Solver Marketplace
A Brief Description of the Expense Budget Dashboard Template
Budget Dashboards like the one seen in the image above are interactive and parameter driven and typically contain sections with expense trend and comparative charts as well as variance reports. One of the important features that aid the user in the analysis process is the ability to select the last closed period and the entire dashboard will automatically create and display an estimate (Actual YTD + Forecast) for the current year and compare it to the budget for next year. Expense Budget Dashboards are often used in conjunction with budget input templates, revenue budget dashboards and profit & loss budget reports.
Data Integration to Transaction Systems
Most organizations these days want automated and streamlined planning, reporting and analysis. However, many of the benefits described earlier rely on best of breed Corporate Performance Management (CPM) tools and/or Business Intelligence (BI) capabilities as well as data marts or data warehouses that use pre-built integrations to the organization’s ERP system. Oftentimes, they also need integrations to other key data sources like CRM, subscription systems, payroll tools, etc.
Modern, cloud-based ERPs like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance (D365 Finance), Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (D365 BC), Sage Intacct, Acumatica, Netsuite and SAP have robust APIs which allow for dynamic integrations to CPM and BI tools that are fully automated and flexible to run on a schedule or on-demand.
Additional Resources to Aid with Research of Templates, CPM and BI Tools
- Templates from Solver that are pre-built and that work out-of-the-box using the Solver CPM cloud. Click here.
- Template examples: You find more than 500 CPM and BI Template examples here.
- Interactive Dashboard examples: Try Power BI dashboard templates from Solver here.
- Software evaluation and selection:
- Vendor Comparison and ROI (free interactive tool)
- Evaluating planning, budgeting and forecasting functionality
- Evaluating Financial Reporting functionality
- Evaluating Dashboard functionality
- Evaluating Data Warehouse functionality to achieve “one version of the truth”
- Demonstrations and other specific assets: Solver Tour Central
- Using third party analysts and consultants to aid in vendor selection
- Creating efficient processes: