The Problem With Spreadsheets, Part 4: Tracking Budgets

It’s one thing to have a budget for your department or a customer project, but it’s another thing to actually follow it. Of course, you need to hit certain financial goals and deliver a product according to what you quoted, but how well can you follow a budget using a spreadsheet? Not very well indeed.

You would think that it could be easy to track project budgets in a simple spreadsheet. A column for “Proposed Budget” and a column for “Actual Budget” doesn’t sound that difficult to calculate. However, it’s never that simple, is it? Customers change their minds or field situations come up which result in scope of work and budget changes. In addition, how do you get your hands on the real financial figures behind your project when timesheet, expense reports, and supplier or vendor bills are mailed to the accounting department? Gathering up the data you need to compare proposed to actual costs is time-consuming. By the time you get your hands around these expenses, it may be too late. You could easily exceed a budget and not even know it because data can be delayed.

Stop wasting time hunting for the information you need for your spreadsheet. Save time and protect your budgets by using an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution such as NetSuite ® ERP.

NetSuite® ERP is an integrated ERP solution that will get you closer to real-time data you need to control project budgets. Accounting can enter timesheet, expenses, and vendor invoices as they come in and you can monitor actual spending without the headache of transferring data from paper documents into a spreadsheet. The integration that comes built-in today’s powerful ERP solutions allows accounting to use project data to process payroll and pay vendors, while you also use it to monitor the budgets for your projects. Getting closer to real-time data also enables you to respond faster to project changes so that you can make sure your projects are completed within budget.

Monitoring proposed budget versus actual budget side-by-side can be more than just a daydream when you have the right tools for the job. Contact Kraft Enterprise Systems, LLC for more information about keeping your budgets in tact with the right ERP solution.

By Kraft Enterprise Systems, LLC, a Tennessee NetSuite Solution Provider