Complete these steps to kick off your annual budget process.
The Annual Budget Process includes these steps:
- Create a New Plan
- Import Actuals
- Update Drivers & Assumptions
- Update Dashboards & Reports
- Share with Collaborators
- Make the Budget a Plan of Record
Before you kick off the annual budget process, think about the following:
- How would you like to improve upon your budget process from previous years?
- Who should be included in the budget process?
- How many years do you want to budget for?
- How many months of actuals do you want to include in budgeting templates for reference?
- What methodologies (drivers, assumptions, data input) do you want to use to budget for the next year?
☑️Step 1: Create a New PlanA Plan represents a specific planning scenario. A new Plan should be created as part of the annual budgeting process.
- To create a new plan for the budget process, go to Plans 📈 > Select the ∨ next to the current Active Plan to open the context menu and Select Manage Plans.
You will need to decide which plan you'd like to clone to use as the basis for your annual budget.
- Click on the hamburger menu to the left of the plan you'd like to copy to activate the context menu and select Clone.
- The new Plan will be added to the Archived section.
You will need to decide how many periods of Actuals you'd like to display in your planning templates and how many periods you'd like to budget for.
- Update the Name, Actuals Period, Forecast Period & Description as desired and Save.
- Click on the hamburger menu to the left of the new Budget plan to activate the context menu and select Clone.
- Move any Active Plans that are no longer relevant to the Archived section.
Additional Resources: Plan Management
☑️Step 2: Import Actuals
Historical trends can often be a key factor when projecting the future. It is important to make sure your actuals data is up to date so that any drivers referencing prior periods and staffing-related expenses calculate as expected.
Actuals data is imported from Setup ⚙️> Actuals. Imports for Accounting, Workforce & Custom data should be reviewed and reimported as needed.Import Custom Table Actuals from GoogleSheet or Excel
☑️Step 3: Update Drivers and Assumptions
Drivers and Assumptions are used to formulaically project values in the future. Be sure to make sure Drivers are applied to all relevant accounts and that Assumptions are updated for the new year.
Plan Drivers are managed from either the planning tables or the drivers tab within Plans 📈. A Driver is a formulaic expression used to forecast the value of an account. Each Driver has a Start & End Date and multiple drivers can be used to forecast the same account as they are additive in nature.
A quick check to verify P&L Drivers have been appropriately applied is to view each area of the P&L, i.e., Revenue, COGS, OpEx and Other, and identify any "gaps" in the budget. Gaps can occur if a new account and/or department has been added since the previous budget was planned for. For example, in the screenshot below, we can see that Payroll Related costs have been budgeted, but there is a gap in the budget for Consulting/Contractors, Professional Services and Travel & Entertainment.
Fill these gaps by creating new drivers, sub-tems and/or inviting in collaborators to input their budgets.
Drivers can also be reviewed from the Drivers tab within Plans. The Drivers tab includes all Drivers across the current plan for both the P&L and Balance Sheet.
Key assumptions are managed from Plans 📈> Assumptions. Assumptions are referenced by Drivers. For example, you might have an Assumption for Benefits per Headcount and a Driver that multiplies that Assumption by Cumulative Headcount.
Update these Assumptions to reflect the current budget.
☑️Step 4: Update Dashboards and Reports
Now that you have a new Budget, Reports & Dashboards displaying Budget vs Actuals should be updated.
Edit tiles referencing budget data and update the data source to point to the new budget plan created in Step 1.
Edit Columns on reports referencing budget data and update the data source to point to the new budget plan created in Step 1.
☑️Step 5: Share with Collaborators
🚧Under construction, check back soon for updates!🚧