SMBs can benefit from budgeting and forecasting software to keep their business on the right track.
Small and medium business owners have lots of reasons for why they start out on their own. Providing a new and exciting product, seeing an unfulfilled need in the market, or wanting to help other people or businesses be successful are just a few of the reasons to strike out with your own business.
As a small business owner, if there is something you could do that would increase your chances of success and promote growth, wouldn’t you do it?
Budgeting and forecasting enhance your visibility into how your company is performing and help you better plan how to effectively use your cash flow. Business planning keeps you on the right track, and understanding where your resources will be needed to move your company in the right direction promotes effective and focused decision-making.
Unfortunately, using Excel for forecasting and budgeting can exacerbate issues a small business faces when building a budget and planning for sustainability and growth. Errors, complexity, and conflicts with other users can turn Excel from a quick solution into a budgeting challenge. This means your company is never too small to start using dedicated budgeting and forecasting software.
How SMBs Benefit from Budgeting Software
One of the bigger issues with Excel is how easily errors make their way into a budget. From mistyping a number into a cell to rows not matching and formatting issues, errors are common with Excel budgets. These problems can lead to a lack of trust with other members of the business or even business leaders.
What’s more, tracking down these issues takes time and expertise, something SMBs typically have in short supply. But without validating entries, a small business may be making critical decisions based on incorrect data.
With less manual entry or need for manipulation of formulas, and easier importing and sharing of data, dedicated financial planning tools streamline the process, reducing the potential for errors while freeing your team for more important tasks.
Dedicated Budgeting and Forecasting Software is Easier to Use
Excel was not created as a budgeting tool. To use it for this purpose, you need to either be willing to work with limited options and functionality or be an Excel power user. The kind of features that come standard with planning software – what-if scenarios, frequent changes or updates, rolling forecasts, and multiple versions and users – are complex functions in Excel when using the tool for your business’s budget. Without those features, however, it’s difficult to make strategic decisions to run and grow your business.
Business forecasting and accounting software that is built specifically for budgeting, financial forecasting, and business planning removes the complexity. These software solutions are designed to support budgeting tasks with intuitive interfaces for non-power users, while giving more advanced users the tools they need, like business intelligence and forecasting tools. And while accounting software, like Xero and QuickBooks are better options than Excel, they still do not offer the kind of forecasting capabilities and planning tools that will elevate your business and empower strategic planning.
Delegation of Departmental Budgeting
A small business may not have a large staff, but that doesn’t mean that the owner or business leaders have the time or knowledge to create budgets for every department. However, with Excel, having multiple users manipulating the spreadsheet can lead to confusion and errors.
With budgeting software, your senior leadership is freed from having to do all of the budget work while your department leads are empowered to contribute to the company’s forecasting and financial goals. A dedicated, cloud-based budgeting package is built with the assumption that there will be multiple contributors. Therefore, the security and versioning needed to keep entries from multiple contributors is inherent to the software.
Also, cloud-based budgeting and forecasting solutions can simplify planning with a scattered workforce. Whether in the office, on the road, or working from home, a cloud-based solution is securely available from almost anywhere your team is.
SMBs have many challenges to overcome to have staying power, and cash flow issues can keep these businesses from their full potential. Using the right tool – dedicated budgeting and financial forecasting software – will keep your business on the right track.
Centage Corporation’s Planning Maestro is a cloud-native planning & analytics platform that delivers year-round financial intelligence. With Planning Maestro, Centage offers the sophisticated features needed by small and mid-market organizations to integrate budgeting, forecasting, and deep data analysis within one easy-to-use, scalable SaaS solution. For more information on how to modernize your office of finance with intelligent planning, view our product demonstration video, or call 800-366-5111.