Neil Robertson Jul 8, 2017 4:19:00 PM 7 min read

Budget holder management is the future of finance

Budget holder management is a powerful and innovative software solution that allows business to manage their finances in-depth, efficiently,  and cost-effectively.

With a solution as uniting as this, it's a wonder that there is still a disconnect between finance professionals and the budget holders.

Most competent budget holders utilize their own “homegrown” spreadsheets to manage their corporate budgets, project-related spend & “other” spend.

The budget holders have their own spend analysis to justify and track spend that pertains to their departments. For example, a marketing spreadsheet will have a completely different set of spend analysis from IT’s spreadsheet. The level of analysis & the processes that surround it (e.g. the capturing of costs) will also reflect the diligence & aptitude of the individual budget holder & the time he/she can or is prepared to invest in maintaining the budget.

Spreadsheets have one further critical component. They capture anticipated future costs for both recurring spending & more importantly, planned project spend as far into the future are they can plan. Bottom line, these spreadsheets are the only tool used by competent budget holders to manage their corporate budgets & deliver maximum value to the business from their spending.

Paradoxically, the finance department is either unaware of or not interested in this financial information. From finance’s perspective, the budget holders’ spreadsheets are always wrong. The problem is that these spreadsheets take no account of the correct financial treatment of purchases (accruals, amortization, depreciation & cross-department billing) & therefore do not reflect the same information as the management accounts when they are eventually delivered.

The result is the business remains dependent on finance management reports that are 5 to 15 days out of date on arrival, utilizing spend analysis that is completely different from the budget holders’ spreadsheets (making reconciliations difficult if not impossible) & totally ignores the information of planned future spends.

At the same time, the budget holder is forced to live in the dark, with no access to information on their suppliers, current or historic purchase information & real-time budget information because accounting / ERP software is incapable of providing this information in real-time.

Budget Holder Management software is the glue that resolves these limitations to deliver a single real-time view of the financial truth and incorporating future planned spend into the financial management of the business.

It enables the next generation of financial management, being the ability to move financial management from a historic reporting activity that delivers little value to the people that spend the money, to a real-time view of the truth - where the business is right now & where it expects to be as far into the future as the budget holders plan.

Budget Holder Management is delivered through extending the capabilities of your existing accounting ERP software through tight real-time integration & the automation of the entire purchasing process.

It enables the budget holders to use their own analysis criteria that are hard-wired to the correct general ledger account. Every purchase is captured, undertakes the correct approval process & the correct financial analysis treatment. Receipting against orders is optional, but a fully automated 3-way match to deliver “straight-through” invoice processing with zero-touch is available.

Every planned project can be captured in terms of cost & timescale & once approved, creates the budget to manage the spending & identify likely savings and cost overrun as they take place.

In Budget Holder Management software, all invoices are digitally captured, removing all of the paper from the process, & providing everyone who needs to know with full access to all vendor spend information in real-time. The time savings are huge, but it is the ability to deliver a single real-time view of the truth on past, present & planned future spending that is transformational.

It heralds the next generation of financial management for every size of business. It is available today & it is only a matter of time before every finance department moves their organization out of the dark ages.

The only question that remains is whether the initiative is driven by enlightened finance managers or demanded by the board of directors (budget holders) once they discover what is possible.

Either way, the decision to make the change is almost always a unanimous board decision, simply because it is fundamentally a far better way of working where everyone wins.

For more information, please contact us at Compleat Software.


If you are still interested in learning how to mitigate the disconnect between budget holders & finance teams as well as how Budget Holder Management can help you, then check out our free white paper below.

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Neil Robertson

Neil has a 39-year track record of building successful direct and channel global software businesses predominately in the financial software market place. Neil Robertson is Executive Chairman of Compleat Software. A 39-year veteran of the financial software marketplace, Neil has a long track record of building disruptive start-ups into successful businesses, including his time as CEO EMEA of Great Plains where he built the business outside of the USA from 1995 - 2001. Compleat is no exception and perhaps the most disruptive of them all.
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