If you are like most companies, you are doing your budgets in Microsoft Excel. You probably have multiple Excel files with multiple tabs and then you email them to all of your managers and then wait for them to email them back to you. Of course, they rarely come back in the same format that they started. Even if you protect them, people find ways to add columns and add rows and change formulas – your managers can be very creative when they need to be. Unfortunately, that makes consolidation much more of a pain for you when you actually do get them back; if you get them back. There is a better way. We have seen hundreds of clients successfully implement Microsoft Forecaster as their budgeting solution and resolve these issues rather simply. Let’s discuss some of these solutions.
- Multiple Excel files with multiple worksheet tabs – not necessary. In Forecaster, you create an input set definition which can be shared by multiple managers. You create it once. It looks like a spreadsheet with columns and rows. You can make changes at any time, and you can even use the same definition next year, with just a different column definition.
- Managers insert columns and rows and formulas – This is still possible, if you as the administrator decide to give them these options. Of course, even if they do rearrange columns, rows and add formulas, the ending balances are still stored to the appropriate general ledger account numbers so the right balances get stored to the right locations.
- No more emailing files and waiting for return emails – Forecaster allows managers to access their input screens whenever you grant them access. You might email them to let them know they can log in, but you are not emailing them a file; and you do not have to wait for them to make changes and email it back to you. As soon as your managers make changes and click the ‘save’ icon, the data is stored in a central SQL database to which you immediately have access and consolidating reports are automatically updated. All with one (1) click on the ‘save’ icon.
- You never know if your managers are finished or still making changes – Forecaster lets you track the status of each manager’s progress and status. Once a manager is really finished, the manager submits the budget for review using Forecaster’s workflow option. Any reviewing manager will know immediately when someone’s budget is ready for review.
These resolutions alone should impress you with how well Microsoft Forecaster can make your budget administration easier. Get in touch with us, and we can answer any other questions that you might have. We have free 1-hour webinars or we can do custom demonstrations just for you. Making budgeting easier for you – it is what we are here to do.
- Even More Reasons to Switch from Excel to Forecaster
- Forecaster uses your general ledger chart of accounts
- Actuals can be imported easily using a wizard
- Wages, taxes and benefits can be calculated using built-in forms
- New assets can be budgeted and automatically update depreciation expense
- Revenue can be budgeted at a detailed level
- Balances can be allocated across multiple departments
- Security can be SQL or Windows Authentication