How to Implement Modern Budgeting for Your Organization By Sarah Murphy It’s not too late to bring modern budgeting to your business. Traditional budgeting is outdated. If you are still relying on spreadsheets to control spending, you are going to fall behind. How we work has changed massively over the past few years. On top of that, COVID-19 transformed how businesses across all sectors operated. So, there’s never been a better time to adopt an agile approach to budgeting. Let’s explore how you can implement modern budgeting for your organization to stay on top of your business spending. Align Your Budget with Business Goals Over 50% of businesses fail to align their budget with their strategy. Undoubtedly, your budget is set to fail if you allocate your resources without planning. Therefore, start with your goals and what you want to achieve for the year. Once you are clear of your objectives, set down to prepare your budget. You should also aim for fluidity and allow room to respond to market changes quickly. The process will help you make data-driven decisions that are more likely to succeed. Validate Every Allocation COVID-19 has shown us how things can change drastically in just a few months. The same applies to the market, which is ever-changing and volatile. As a result, your budget is more likely to fail if you base it on last year’s figures. Modern budgeting implies starting from zero. Take a hard look at every expense you planned for this year. Do they make sense or bring you value? If not, they are up for questioning and further investigation. Scrutinizing every expense helps you cut down waste and optimize resources. You can ensure every dollar of your budget brings value or helps you meet your annual goals. Additionally, you can use an expense management tool to track your spending in real-time and stay updated. Forecast Frequently Yearly forecasts are great but not suited for modern budgeting. We know how quickly situations can change, so once-a-year forecasts will not take you anywhere. Instead, you should go for rolling forecasts throughout the year to stay competitive. Rolling forecasting means continuously making assumptions based on data to adapt to the market quickly. You use current information and figures to forecast, which turn out more accurate. For example, many businesses allocated money for travel in 2020. However, that made no sense as we had to stay locked inside our homes as the pandemic grew worldwide. Therefore, continually analyze the present and tune your budget for the best results. Integrate and Automate Traditional budgeting is laborious and time-consuming. No wonder 25% of organizations take 4 or more months to finish their budgets when the best practice is 28 days. You need to automate if you want to expedite your budgeting. Many modern budgeting tools can help you create your budgets faster and more accurately. In fact, modern budgeting software can reduce your budgeting time by over 75%. You can also find many free tools that may be suitable for small businesses or startups. In addition, integrate your tools to unify data and create a connected ecosystem. You will not have to worry about silos and can ensure a seamless flow of information. Moreover, the approach will eliminate manual work like recording data on different platforms. In addition, you will be able to enjoy updated figures to understand where you stand. Have Plan B Ready Things are not that straightforward to predict anymore. A pandemic can put your budget into question and even disrupt all activities. Therefore, it is necessary to plan for different scenarios and prepare yourself for the worst. You can facilitate your planning based on real-time data collected from your integrated tools. In addition, frequent forecasting will help you refine your budget to meet present circumstances. Final Thoughts Modern budgeting allows businesses to control spending and adapt to market changes efficiently. You should always match your numbers at the end of every quarter to track any variances. If you find any, investigate further and dive into the root cause of the issue. Then use the insight to predict better and control your spending. Additionally, consider automation to save time and forecast accurately. Also, integrate your tools to eliminate silos and allow a free exchange of data. You will soon notice a difference and gain more control over your expenses. FAQs Why is traditional budgeting considered outdated? Traditional budgeting, relying on spreadsheets, is outdated as it fails to adapt to changing business conditions and lacks alignment with goals. Modern approaches emphasize agility, data-driven decisions, and resource optimization. How can businesses align their budget with goals? To align the budget with goals, businesses must define objectives clearly and allocate resources accordingly. Flexibility allows adjustments to market changes, enabling data-driven decisions for success. Why validate every allocation in the budget? Validating allocations eliminates waste, optimizes resources, and ensures value. Scrutinizing expenses enables efficient allocation, wise spending, and goal achievement. What is rolling forecasting, and why is it recommended? Rolling forecasting involves ongoing predictions based on real-time data, allowing quick budget adjustments. It enhances accuracy and relevance, considering the dynamic business environment. How can automation and integration enhance budgeting? Automation saves time and improves accuracy by automating tasks and integrating systems. It facilitates seamless data flow, analysis, and an efficient budgeting workflow. Why have a contingency plan in budgeting? Having a contingency plan prepares businesses for unexpected events, ensuring financial control and business continuity. It mitigates risks and allows swift response to challenges. Get the latest blogs from Mesh by subscribing to our newsletter Manage Your Payments With Full Control & Visibility Get Started Sarah Murphy Sarah is a Content Manager for Mesh Payments. Before working in marketing, she completed her Master of Journalism degree at Toronto Metropolitan University (f.k.a. Ryerson University) and worked as an arts journalist in Toronto. She was a content writer for tech companies in the retail and workforce management sectors before joining Mesh in 2022.