As we have mentioned in our previous blog post, although companies approach budgeting with varying levels, the majority of the time, responsibility rests with the finance team to manage and bring the process together for the Executive Team. However, collaboration between departments and the accountability of those departments is key to ensure that the budget aligns with the strategy and decision-making process.
So how can a systematic approach ensure accountability in departments, and a more collaborative process?
1. Data Integrity
To ensure accountability of departments, the finance team needs to make certain the quality of their data is accurate and secure. Most finance teams still use spreadsheets for their budgeting process which comes with a massive risk of data integrity. Inputting data several times into spreadsheets that are not governed in a unified source makes it difficult to track the data. Additionally, spreadsheets have no mechanism in place to track the changes in the data. There’s also a significant risk for human error, which may has proven to be catastrophic in some cases.
Automated systems provide better data security and integrity, reducing the changes of any inaccurate data or discrepancies in place, leading to better compliance. Having the requisite data to implement accurately into the planning and budgeting process means that the integrity of the data is secure; and CFOs can leverage this information to consider business strategy and plans.
2. Managing Workflow Across Departments.
Another significant aspect in finalising budgets is getting the data from the right people in a timely manner to achieve the right outcome. Often personnel provide input to the budget work remotely. They could be working on an outdated or soon to be outdated version of the budget, or a budget that is required to be merged to another.
A systemised approach to budgeting means that multiple collaborators can work on the same version (or multiple) of the budget, from any location through the internet. Workflow functionality and an audit trail enables those managing the process to clearly see all activities from collaborators, in real time, so that progress can be viewed and assessed instantly.
Having the tools to allow data-driven budgeting and planning process provides organisations more flexibility, accountability and accuracy. CFOs and finance teams can now adopt technological solutions to transform their budgeting and planning to be more efficient and accurate.
If you would like to enquire about any of these points in detail about implementing a systematic approach to budgeting and planning contact us at www.oyb.com.au