Preparing the annual budget is a tedious and time consuming exercise but it doesn’t have to be. Many folks rely on the tried and true tool they are most familiar and comfortable with – Microsoft Excel. Sound familiar?
Excel is great if one person is solely responsible for budget preparation, but as soon as input is required from multiple people it gets really difficult if not impossible to track revisions and various iterations. It is prone to errors from broken formulas and faulty macros.
Fortunately there are several budgeting and forecasting tools available today that can allow you to become a decision maker rather than a spreadsheet administrator. Here are a few that can add value right away and are built to work with your Microsoft Dynamics ERP solution eliminating data redundancy.
Full Circle Budget [for Dynamics GP, Dynamics NAV]
Full Circle Budget is an Excel Add-in that saves budget amounts from Excel directly into Microsoft Dynamics enabling analysis of budget information via any reporting software. It is NOT budgeting software, but for those of you Excel die hards it is an essential tool that overcomes the pitfalls and frustrations of budgeting in Excel. This product is easy to configure; you can budget in a format designed by your company. It allows you to eliminate complex budget workbook linking; it supports multiple budgets in the same worksheet and detail line item budgeting. Two comment / description fields are supported per budget amount; there is full audit trail of all budget updates and errors and it automatically creates new accounts in Dynamics.
Budget Maestro [for Dynamics GP, Dynamics NAV, Dynamics AX]
For small and mid-sized business this intuitive solution (both on premise and cloud based) has all the business logic built in. As users make budget entries that describe the operation of their business unit – headcount, sales projections, overhead – Budget Maestro builds a profit and loss statement along with a synchronized balance sheet and cash flow automatically. As changes are made to the plan, all reports update automatically. With this rapid ‘what if’ scenario capability, you can make clear business decisions and project how proposed hiring or other changes in line items will affect your profit or cash position. The system is based on real language prompts, wizards, preformatted templates and menus. No programming or formulas are necessary.
Dynamic Budgets [for Dynamics GP, Dynamics NAV]
This is an intuitive and robust budgeting tool that provides real-time drill down reporting and transactions and eliminates Excel-based budgeting chaos. Dynamic Budgets offers 3 styles of data entry forms –
- Dashboard overview listing of accounts in your department displaying various attributes and drill down capability to enter itemized budget requests in the account details screen.
- Basic Budget Entry form designed for organizations with simple needs; for those who may not need to see their users work, for those who simply need to roll the numbers up for corporate consolidations. Users can quickly key in, or copy and paste values, or enter annual amounts and assign spread methods.
- Custom Budget Entry provides an administrator the flexibility to design their own column set, mixing and matching data entry, reporting and calculation columns to suit the organization.
For mid- to large- sized organizations with more complex budgeting, forecasting and planning requirements, Encore has a strategic alliance with Prophix. Prophix is a premiere solution for Corporate Performance Management.
For more information regarding any of the solutions featured in this article contact us.
If your business experiences these red flags, your diagnosis is clear: time to adopt the cloud!