Improved efficiency and faster processes are two reasons why your organisation needs a modern budgeting and forecasting system, but they are not the only ones. And the system should of course be in the cloud!
A cloud-based budgeting and forecasting system is the key to modernising your company’s budgeting work, and will make the job of senior and middle managers both easier and more efficient.
Companies that are serious about working in a planned and targeted manner will find that such a system is crucial – both for implementing broad-based processes that provide accurate budgets, and for data collection that makes forecasting a genuine tool for managing the business.
Better work processes
It is not only employees working from home who need to have systems that facilitate good, distributed work processes – this is important for all companies. Naturally, this is more applicable in larger rather than smaller organisations, but giving everyone who contributes to budgeting work access to a continuously updated version of the same system creates a good flow and a consistent direction for their work. If you have read our blog post “6 signs that your business should stop using Excel for budgeting”, you will be familiar with this issue.
When using a budgeting or forecasting solution, one of the most important things is to get relevant, up-to-date and accurate data. Some suppliers aim to export data from the company’s various systems (for example, an ERP or CRM solution) and then import this into the relevant solution. However, such manual processes are vulnerable to errors and inaccuracies. Consequently, it is better to establish a secure link to all relevant systems, so that data can be continuously retrieved. This enables forecasting to be carried out far more frequently, presenting the organisation with many more opportunities.
Shorter path to reporting and graphs
Providing everyone involved in the budgeting work with access to one common, continuously updated version of “the truth” removes uncertainty and saves time. It also allows work to be decentralised without losing control centrally. Another important aspect is that the path to reports, graphs and dashboards becomes both shorter and more secure. Bearing in mind that this tool is designed to assist the company’s management and leadership, we have to be extra confident that the figures are reliable.
Why the solution must be cloud-based
Nowadays, most people quite rightly expect such a system to be cloud-based, but it is still worth reiterating some of the benefits that actually make this a better option:
Availability: There is no need to install special software, sit at a particular computer or use a particular operating system to use the system. Mac or PC, laptop or tablet – anything goes. This facilitates a more collaborative and iterative process. It also makes it easier for more people to contribute to the work, enabling the company to decentralise tasks without losing control centrally.
Functionality: Companies that use a good cloud-based system usually have an ongoing dialogue with the supplier about the new functionality they would like the product to have. When the supplier subsequently develops the solution to meet these wishes, this new functionality is immediately shared with all customers – without the need for time-consuming and costly updates. This means that your company will always have state-of-the-art functionality available for its budgeting work.
Uncoupled from IT: With the system in the cloud, the company does not have to operate its own local server, with all that this entails in terms of security updates, service patches, backup routines, energy consumption, depreciation and the like. The system supplier takes care of all this. This makes the solution secure, while freeing up time for your IT people to spend on more strategic tasks.
Rapid roll-out: Cloud-based systems like this do not require any installations and are flexible and easy to use for all companies and employees. This means that companies considering preparing rolling forecasts can easily run a realistic test on the system when they are thinking about replacing their existing budgeting system with a new approach.
In brief …
A cloud-based budgeting system – at least, one that fully exploits the technological potential – is essential not only to simplify and streamline your company’s budgeting work, but also to make your system more secure and more future-proof.
If you want to find out more, why not read about how Effectplan differs from our competitors’ systems or our article on Seven benefits of using Effectplan ?