Budgeting and Forecasting 101 for Microsoft Dynamics

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Planning for the financial future of your organization generally entails more than one moving part bringing actual financials and research for the upcoming year to make informed decisions on how to live within the company’s means in the next fiscal year – or for the remainder of this year.  Microsoft Dynamics customers can rest assured that there are several options to enhance your budgeting processes, whether you rely on a method you develop yourself, a native functionality within Dynamics, or an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) solution.  This article will explore modern planning functionalities in terms of your Microsoft Dynamics options.

Let’s start with some ways to guide your search for the right tool for your team.  First and foremost, I always stress the importance of the ease of use for non-IT professionals.  Business user friendliness might seem like a no-brainer, but there are plenty of solutions that simply do not make budgeting and forecasting easier for budget-contributing professionals.  A planning solution should offer dynamic accounting logic, templates you can reuse, and a streamlined process for all involved in the budgeting process, especially the budget manager.  If you think about how many players are involved in a budgeting process, it makes sense how important it is to simplify and expedite the method.


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Even if your organization depends on just one person to manage the yearly budget, the process always requires contributions from more than one person to produce the final result.  Because data from different areas of the company is required, collaboration should be a functionality that is important to you as you shop for the right tool.  Budgeting has traditionally involved back-and-forth emails with spreadsheet attachments, and it is the budget manager’s responsibility to put them all together to make one organization-wide budget, but today’s solutions don’t require all of those logistics.  There are solutions today that respond to the problem of securely contributing to a company-wide budget that do not entail putting together manual spreadsheets from a network server.  Security becomes a high priority with such a collaborative process.

Planning requires comparisons of actual figures and projections, including sensitive data like salaries, so security is extremely important.  For one thing, department supervisors do not usually need access to other departmental fiscal budgets.  You should shop for a modern solution that invites contributors to add to the budget with sensitive information accessed by the wrong persons.  If security is a strong feature, budget managers can offer contributors some ownership in the planning process, meaning that supervisors are assisting in sculpting the budgets they have to manage.  This article will use these three characteristic guidelines to evaluate some of the leading options for Microsoft Dynamics: Excel, Microsoft’s Forecaster, Hyperion, Cognos, and Solver’s BI360.

To continue learning more about modern budgeting solutions for your Microsoft Dynamics experience, read the rest of this article here.

by Solver, Inc.

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