A Fine Balance: Taking control of budgets

More than 10 years of austerity have put budget management at the centre of any concern, be it large or small, public or private. There will always be a tension between service delivery and expenditure, but the relationship between the two must be strictly controlled for organisations to survive and flourish. Budgets will have a bearing on every aspect of an organisation, from human resources to production, and their control is crucial to any manager, whether they are in charge of a general budget for an entire organisation or multiple budgets for multiple clients.

 

Beyond Excel

The more complex the structures, the more sophisticated the tools to manage these budgets need to become. Simple spread sheets won’t cut the mustard as they don’t allow for the flexibility and insights necessary for effective control. At their most straightforward, budgets need to tell managers what has been spent (and actually paid), what is planned and what is left in any given period. They might need this information for specific projects or areas of work or materials, such as marketing, communications, printed stationery, or even across the board.

 

Meaningful data, now

To make effective decisions, managers often need concise, up-to-date budgetary information at their fingertips, and in the next minute, in a different form to answer a different question. Hard enough when dealing with a single project, but hugely demanding in a large, sprawling organisation with myriad interests. There may also be issues of restricted allocation, so that some areas of some budgets are available to some people, and this may change over time and over the course of a project. And then, of course, what happens when the key person responsible goes on holiday or is off sick?

 

Panacea Software Solutions

Panacea Software provides the tools to address all these issues, from setting up the budgets initially to managing them, closely monitoring them and closing them down when spent or when the financial year ends. Easy-to-navigate modules allow you to:

·         manage team budgets or budgets for specific sections within the teams

·         easily monitor spend and balances

·         allow only authorised users to access and approve spend for each budget

·         enable officers to place requests against them via the client interface

·         record actual and projected expenditure

·         archive them when closed.

·         Easily add new budgets annually or simply copy across budgets from the previous year              using a simple file upload feature

You can then use live reporting to give you real-time information in highly customisable formats. Access to archived information also facilitates forecasting for the next financial year.

 

Evidence of savings

Our case studies reveal how organisations, such as Buckinghamshire, Portsmouth, and Islington Councils to name a few, have been able to maintain and even improve services in the face of tightening budgets. Much of this is due to Panacea’s transparent workflows, accurate management data and robust audit trails - music to the ears of anyone responsible for allocating, monitoring and reviewing budgets.

 

More Information

If that’s you, and you feel you need to be more in control of your current system, contact Panacea to learn more about the relevant modules. Our team is happy to demonstrate the system’s worth and ease of use: a small-time investment now will save you significant resources later and put key budgetary management information a click of a button away, rather than hours spent trawling through spreadsheets.