After years of developing, implementing and supporting complex Budgeting and Forecasting solutions, I can confidently say these are the top 5 essentials you need to look for:
A well-designed Budgeting and Forecasting solution should provide budgeting managers with:
This process-based workflow reduces costs by saving time and effort and increases productivity. It also minimises the chances of incorrect data entering the system.
When data integrity is compromised, it affects management’s decision-making capabilities. This is particularly important when financial data is involved.
Therefore, the principle of data integrity should be at the core of any Budgeting and Forecasting solution, via:
Multiple copies of the data on client devices cause unnecessary duplication, which is one of the leading causes of data integrity issues. This bumps up costs by reducing productivity and allowing erroneous data to enter the system.
Instead, there should be a single version of the truth with the underlying data stored centrally in a full atomicity, consistency, isolation and durability (ACID) compliant database that is accessed remotely.
ACID compliance guarantees the validity of the data even if there’s a sub-system or entire system failure.
A good Budgeting and Forecasting solution should be able to answer “who changed which data at what time?” This comes via a detailed audit trail which can report on various levels of granularity.
When an undesirable situation arises, the audit trail helps investigate the issue by tracing back the steps. It also keeps employees responsible and accountable for their actions and helps revert and restore the system back to the last known good state.
What-If Analysis helps organisations model their business financials on multiple possible scenarios in parallel. Each scenario can be independent and predict totally different outcomes. It can be a powerful tool to simulate the effects of multiple changing variables on a business.
A flexible Budgeting and Forecasting solution should create scenarios based on existing ones, change drivers and variables to provide predicted budget figures based on those particular settings.
So, in a nutshell, a robust Budgeting and Forecasting system should:
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Mondelio Worldwide is an Australian company having commenced operations in 1982. Mondelio's single focus is to provide predictive data modelling and data analytics services to organisations throughout Australia and overseas.
Mondelio has partnered with Stonebridge Consulting, Naveego and Sisense expanding our product offerings to the wider APAC market.