Beyond budgeting

November 15, 2010 from FSN – ““The annual budget is an artifact rooted in managing feudal governments in agrarian societies,” declares Robert Kugel, analyst and research director for financial performance management at Ventana Research, and although many organisations are putting aside some of the assumptions that are usually associated with this (such as ever-increasing expenses) and ramping up the frequency of budgeting revisions and forecasts, the latter can prove problematic for the many more that are using inadequate, ineffective and inappropriate software and systems…

Fortunately, the tools to make budgeting and planning more efficient are increasingly accessible – even for those determined to retain the much-maligned spreadsheet as part of the process. As FSN has previously highlighted, the collaborative nature of cloud-based applications such as Microsoft Office 2010, Google Apps and various other online productivity tools can make collaborative processes such as budgeting much easier to manage, by removing the need to distribute data via email, and eliminating the confusion and complexity that can be created by version management during the collection and consolidation phases…

The next level up is purpose-built budgeting software. It was once the preserve of the very large and those with very deep pockets, but cloud-based offerings are making these specialist systems more widely accessible and affordable…

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180 View – Many organizations go through hoops to complete their annual budget using inadequate tools. The article suggests a number of alternatives and suggestions for improving the budgeting and planning process.

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