The budget is an important undertaking for your government, education or healthcare organization to complete each year, but due to disorganized documents and inefficient processes, is often viewed as a challenging and frustrating time for your staff. When your organization is working hard to satisfy the demands of your stakeholders, you may believe there’s not enough time or resources to find a better solution. However, a comprehensive budgeting software can transform the way your organization budgets by streamlining the process to save you time, reducing errors, fostering collaboration and providing more opportunity for strategic planning and analysis. It’s easier than you think to implement budgeting software and take back control of your schedule.
Implementing cloud-based budgeting software that seamlessly integrates with your financial, human resources and other systems, can transform your budgeting process and provide insight into your organization’s strategic priorities and outcomes. The benefits include:
Improve the budgeting process
Budgeting software improves the budgeting process by automating your workflow and providing the dynamic functionality required for preparing, reviewing and approving the budget. An efficient budgeting process will free up time for your organization to focus on strategic planning, forecasting and other higher-level projects. Moreover, with budgeting software you can roll forward your current budget, and any associated documents or links, to the next budgeting cycle. It’s a relief not to have to start from the beginning each year.
Spreadsheets require a significant number of staff hours for manual entry, checking for accuracy and making adjustments. Research has shown that spreadsheets contain errors in 1% or more of formula cells. When organizations use multiple sets of spreadsheets, it’s not uncommon for there also to be entry errors, broken links and missing information, resulting in your staff needing more time to fix the mistakes. Budgeting software can remove the risk of errors by safekeeping budget data in one place and providing a audited system of checks and balances to correct errors without affecting the current budget.
While spreadsheets may be popular for budget preparation, their rudimentary format makes it difficult for your agency staff to collaborate and share information. Budgeting software with a system for users to submit changes and authorized staff to review and approve the proposed changes, results in a more efficient process. The reviewers can also see in real-time the outcomes of the proposed changes allowing for quicker decision-making and preventing any surprises at the end of the budgeting process.
Learn from your budget
With an organized and accurate budget, your government, education or healthcare organization will have more time to understand how programs and services impact your financials. Budgeting software offers tools for analysis and forecasting, as well as standard and customized reporting that provides insight on where your organization is performing well or needs to make changes. In addition, being able to create what-if scenarios and complex modeling for revenue, projections and activity-based costing can give you a better understanding of the best way to approach your budget. A software solution that allows you to create unlimited scenarios and formulas and keep them for future reference will save you time going into the next budgeting cycle.
Increased transparency and accountability
After creating an accurate and balanced budget, sharing the financial information publicly is the next step for increasing your organization’s transparency and accountability. The Government Finance Officers Association recommends as a best practice a transparent budgeting process for building credibility and trust with constituents. Budgeting software that integrates with data visualization software, budget book tools or a budget simulator, can save your organization’s time in preparing interactive and easy to understand financial information to share and engage your stakeholders.
Getting started is easy
When your organization’s resources are limited, it’s easy to believe you don’t have time to introduce a new budgeting system and train staff to use it. However, budgeting software is designed to be intuitive to use, and can accommodate users with different skillsets and technical knowledge. In particular, Questica Budget provides a user-friendly interface that allows users to drag and drop, and drill down through information, as well create dashboards based on their department, cost center or project. Security is based on your organization’s hierarchy with managers and staff only permitted access to their own budget data. As a cloud-based web platform, your budget data is not only secure, but accessible from anywhere.
If your government, education or healthcare organization wants to take back control of your schedule, a cloud-based budgeting software solution can transform your budgeting process. By using budgeting software with levels of staff access, and a system of checks and balances, your agency will reduce the risk of errors, foster better staff collaboration, and save time during each budgeting cycle. According to one Questica customer, they freed up 80% of their budgeting time for analyzing information, as well as working on funding forecasts, projections and long-range financial plans. Stop spending hours checking and fixing spreadsheets, and concentrate on the priorities and projects that provide value to your constituents by implementing budgeting software.
From Questica Customer Case Studies
“Questica has streamlined and simplified our budgeting and reporting processes. They were responsive to our needs during implementation, and more importantly, continue to provide excellent customer service after the project ended.”
Roger Davis CPA, CGA, Manager, Planning and Analysis, Providence Care
“Questica Budget has provided us with a powerful, flexible tool that allows us to budget in an environment that continues to grow in size and complexity.”
Enza Dininio, Finance Director, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital
“Streamlining our budget process with Questica Budget has saved the City three months in the compilation of budget information.”
Teri Ferro, Retired Financial Services Director
“Questica Budget Capital will provide us with a valuable tool to link corporate and departmental strategies with multi-year capital plans and our long-range financial planning model.”
Marjorie Johnson, Former Manager of Capital, City of Vaughan
For over 20 years, Questica been working with public sector organizations – governments, hospitals and healthcare facilities, colleges and universities, K-12 schools and non-profits – to better enable data-driven budgeting and decision-making, while increasing data accuracy, saving time and improving stakeholder trust. Our customers are using our Questica Budget suite to drive budget transformation by creating a single source of data truth. Almost 700 organizations across North America in 46 states and 11 provinces/territories have eliminated spreadsheets opting for smarter planning, budgeting, performance measures, management, reporting, transparency and engagement with our software solutions. To learn more about Questica’s products and how our software solutions can help you manage the budget with confidence – watch a product video, read one of our case studies/white papers or request a demo today!