Budgeting for 21st Century Firms in the Post-Spreadsheet Era
Posted by Martijn van der Hoeden
In the 20th century, spreadsheets were the cutting edge. They were so popular that even now, as we near the third decade of the 21st century, the majority of firms are still using antiquated spreadsheets for mission-critical data.
For professionals in budgeting, planning and finance, however, spreadsheets aren’t up to the task anymore.
How Budgeting and Finance Are Handled Now
Modern businesses that want to stay ahead of the competition are deploying cloud-based budgeting dashboards, supported by automated data capture and visualization.
These customized dashboards can be accessed from any mobile device, anywhere you go, and give the entire enterprise a single, shared version of financial reality.
Within each field, you can easily drill down to see forecasts per project and head off any surprises, like cost overruns or task delays. You can then adjust resource allocations from a central location so that all stakeholders are instantly brought up to speed.
Another essential feature of 21st-century budgeting tool would be simple integration with PSA software, employee schedules in Outlook and financial validation tools. That way team members can collaborate across departments, sometimes across continents, with perfect assurance that they are working from the same data sets.
Spreadsheets were notoriously difficult to correct when an error crept into a formula or bad data corrupted countless versions of reports. Endless reports, even the faulty ones, would remain in email boxes or servers throughout the organization, compromising corporate faith in the reliability of the numbers.
Today, the software logic is built into the infrastructure, ensuring that the cleanest, most updated data is always in the dashboard, with data from prior dates stored in the cloud and easily searchable.
Where Business Is Headed Next
There is a great deal more that budget and finance professionals can do with access to the right tools. Unit4 would like to invite you to watch the limits of what’s possible now in our on-demand webinar, which covers topics like data forecasting, visual scheduling, mobile timesheets and insights from machine learning. There’s still time to lead your vertical if you make your move now.