Working in a changing environment
With the Christmas festivities over and the New Years’ hangover merely a dim memory… what better time than to seize the moment and reassess some of your 2016 budgets.
Conditions have a habit of changing and organisations should periodically consider re-evaluating their budgets. Here are some thoughts to a mid-year budget review.
The Joy of Spreadsheets
With Budgeting comes the “joy” of spreadsheets. Long established in the financial process, spreadsheets have provided a tool which has served the industry for many years.
The downside of spreadsheets are well known. They tend to be like a faithful labrador dog, great when you have them by your side, but let anyone else take them for a walk and they come back all messed up with strange stains on their coats and a number of bad habits…not the least a penchant for chocolate ice-cream…sound familiar? Spreadsheets have a history of similar behaviour. You go on holiday and your replacement takes over……You return two weeks later and your spreadsheets are not as you remembered them. All the links are missing or broken, vital formulas changed or corrupted and your finely balanced twenty-five sheet creation has morphed into an unrecognisable jumble of numbers …..Yes, everyone loves complex spreadsheets!
Making it Easy!
Replacing spreadsheets with a direct link to your financial accounting software, Calxa takes away that pain. Maintaining true data integrity is essential to any good reporting structure and with Calxa you have little chance of anything going awry. If you have existing budgets within your accounting system, the software will bring these in during your initial connection. Or use the Budget Factory to create bulk budgets automatically setting these up in the required format without any need to develop complex formulas or make vague links between spreadsheet pages.
Spreading the Load
Not withstanding the time-saving aspect of eliminating spreadsheets, the ability to outsource tasks such as data entry can be a real benefit. With Calxa you can easily give portions of the budget to relevant program managers to update or reassess. This is simply done by configuring access to give permission to the manager to either view or view/edit certain program budgets only. Again simplifying the reporting load and getting everyone involved, makes individuals responsible for their information collation. It also minimises double handling of data between different operational structures. Combine this feature with the power of Report Bundles and your monthly budget reporting becomes even stronger. Learn more about sharing Calxa with your team at our upcoming Web Chat on 17th February.
The Right Tool for the Right Job
Earlier it was made mention that conditions change and thus the reason to reassess your financial position on a regular basis. This is an important factor for boardrooms to consider as the organisation moves towards the end of the year. With accurate information, trends can be identified before their full effect takes place. This in turn gives the decision makers space to thoroughly investigate options without having to make rash last minute decisions.
Calxa offers a number of practical and powerful reporting options when it comes to picking up these trends and offering solutions. One such report within the standard selection is the Spreadsheet Profit and Loss variance 12 months which shows monthly actuals to date with the remaining months’ projections automatically forecasted and compared vs Full Year approved budget.
Another practical report called Reforecast Unspent Budget shows your budgeted monthly Profit and Loss against actual figures for completed months whilst the unused portion of the budget is proportionally reallocated automatically to ensure the approved FY budget totals are achieved.
The ability to quickly and accurately gain a snapshot of the financials at any time is essential for the ongoing sustainability of organisations as they look to move forward in a steadily competitive environment.
Shine a Little Light…
So as you can see, it can be pretty enlightening to take stock periodically and look at how your organisation is fairing. The ability to make changes part way through the year – or at least provide some perspective to the board – will highlight potential issues and prevent the end of year stress associated with budget justifications. Seek information early and be sustainable! Check out our Web Chat recording.
Want to be even more Proactive?
Join the Calxa team for our upcoming Calxa Clubs in Melbourne and Sydney – get prepared for the upcoming year with a Step-by- Step guide to Cashflow Forecasting or if you are in Auckland, join us and learn all you need to know about the changes to the New Zealand Charity Reporting standards.