The Four Phases of a Budget Cycle – Made Easy with the Right BI Tool

Oh, that budget cycle… Have you ever thought about why the regular financial budget season spans over three months? It‘s because Controlling and FP&A departments have to walk a tightrope between accuracy and timely completion as they often rely on a variety of spreadsheets. What falls short is the flexibility to react to today’s world with its rapid market dynamics. Read on to learn how the right BI tool can help!

Budgeting for business success is crucial. However, managing the budget cycle can be an arduous and time-consuming task. Often, it involves multiple staff members and various spreadsheets and tools to complete. All of this can make it difficult to clearly understand the current financial health of your organisation and make data-driven decisions. The good news is: with the help of BI software, budgeting can become a much more efficient and effective process. The right tool can also help you to navigate the rough waters of today’s ever-changing world. In this blog post, we’ll explore the four phases of a budget cycle and how BI software can improve each of them.

Phase 1 of the Budget Cycle: Planning

The planning phase is where the groundwork for the budget is laid out. Goals are established, and departments or teams are designated their budget allocation. However, figuring out the appropriate allocation for each department can be a complex process. BI software simplifies this task by providing relevant data from past budgets and actual spending. Scenario planning and forecasting can support businesses to use this data to develop the best budget allocation strategy that aligns with organisational goals and objectives.

Phase 2 of the Budget Cycle: Forecasting

This phase is a crucial part of developing a budget because forecasting identifies the factors that may impact actual spending in the coming months. Factors such as market trends, new product launches, changing economic conditions, etc., impact a business’s spending. Companies can leverage BI software to conduct predictive modelling and what-if analysis to forecast spending patterns effectively.

Phase 3 of the Budget Cycle: Execution

The execution phase involves communicating consistent and accurate up-to-date information between stakeholders. BI tools facilitate real-time business management by allowing cross-functional teams to work together and continuously adjust budgets based on changed business conditions.

Phase 4 of the Budget Cycle: Monitoring and Analysis

The monitoring and analysis phase is where you track actual spending versus budget allocation. This process allows you to assess the effectiveness of the budget and the decisions made regarding how to allocate resources. A software for planning and analytics can help you analyse data on actual versus planned behaviour so that you can identify where spending is over or under budget.

See – the budgeting process doesn’t need to be complicated and time-consuming anymore! The right business intelligence tool offers powerful capabilities for every phase of the budget cycle, making it more manageable – and helping the business to make better data-driven decisions. 

You want to see such a tool in action? Simply get in touch and get to know bdg ONE | Finance.

With bdg ONE | Finance, you get accuracy and speed. The solution enables Controlling and FP&A to be more effective and efficient, while providing a consistent, integrated financial budget in a much shorter time. Moreover, it can calculate complex scenarios rapidly, and due to the modular approach, it enables seamless integration of pre-defined finance content and other departments.

Book a demo to see bdg ONE | Finance in action!

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