Budgeting for Segments

Making it Work for HR

January 30, 2021

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Pain

Today’s continuing eco shocks continue to drive budgeting and forecasting pains to new levels, amplifying even further the process deficiencies that are now becoming a business imperative to solve. Simply put, businesses require a timelier and deeper understanding of underlying facts for visibility and clarity.

 

However, gaining high level visibility supported by detailed facts requires a number of things to come together:-

 

Process Control

Controls ensure that iterations and submissions are not made until there has been single or multi person sign off. Broadly speaking to achieve this, there are process owners who define the end to end process together with any required compliance controls, and process users who by default follow the defined process.

 

Granular Business Flows

Defined as being from data collection, through all required data transformations with reporting @anywhere @anytime in the overall process, these systems are also able to  introduce the granular data handling disciplines required for the introduction of artificial intelligence and machine learning at a later stage.

 

Broader Participation

Once there is tighter process control it is much easier to have broader budget participation for the deeper leverage of specific skill sets across single or multiple entities, particularly as data integrity challenges that absorb time are removed from the process.

 

Data Integrity

Corporates can in reality either fully accept or be opposed to the use of spreadsheets, at least in core processes, with today’s modern systems supporting either scenario. Both sort out data integrity issues associated with individual spreadsheet cell management and solving this enables processes to be repeatable and auditable on an ongoing basis. They also provide a firm mechanism for providing data enrichment capability together with data traceability.

 

Data Enrichment

With these latest technologies, whether coming back to investigate budget numbers  hours or days later, source data can be found quickly. Additional descriptions can be incorporated to provide immediate and deeper understanding behind any number(s). Examples might be additional text lines describing the mathematical steps within allocation calculation methods, or specific source data references as to the specific originating company and / or segment references at any partial or fully consolidated level.

 

Budget Preparation Notifications

Robotic processes can be introduced to add further value and can be combined with different levels of augmented response. For example, during budget collections they can chase individuals for late reporting pack submissions, as well as performing immediate high level checks on any undocumented differences with prior iterations or to ensure that specific KPI guidelines have been fulfilled to the required level. Responses might also see auto annotated returns to sender ie outright rejection, request forms for more clarity re specific referenced items etc.

 

Event Notifications

Specific budget stakeholders on an ongoing basis can be notified in the same way. For example, to highlight an event in need of mitigation eg overworked consultants, who are not managing to take vacation days due to other related delayed hires etc.

 

Within Budget Execution

Rather than wait for variance reports there are some areas like procurement and T&E where the whole process can be kept on track from day one, including those areas that are harder to manage, where expenses are approved, budget is consumed, but execution is delayed.

 

Reporting with Confidence

Regardless of whether the budget process is local, regional or global, having modern day enterprise management systems makes user defined end to end granular processes both repeatable and auditable. This enables full dimensional forward and backward visibility to be executed as required; rolling months, rolling quarters, segments, by currency, entity etc.

 

DEI, Gender Ratios, Gender Pay, ESG

Time saved on the initial and ongoing process enables focus on a much broader range of proactive challenges, such as gender ratios, gender pay increments by manager etc. as well as short and long term KPI management for other corporate ESG initiatives. If needed processes can also bridge into other global processes.

 

Headcount and Movement Reconciliation

Headcount is always dynamic in human resources management and subject to different changes. Processes can ensure that total headcount is known at any time together with status updates on detailed headcount movements. Additionally, financial impacts of late hires can be made visible as well as being ranked for corrective actions, within or across entities.

 

Financial KPI’s with Headcount

Advances in technology allow for more data points to be considered at any time. In other words budgets can incorporate other data x-application. For example, to enable visibility into required resource allocations and utilizations for a given level of business activity.

 

Cyber and Privacy, Data Classifications

GDPR and similar types of initiatives are driving a focused view on the double sided coin of cybersecurity and privacy, regardless of whether deployments are on premise, multi cloud or hybrid. Data classifications, end to end, are part of this process to ensure that data @anytime @anywhere can be managed from logical, legal, practical and taxable viewpoints.

 

Conclusion

Timely, repeatable, and auditable processes drive overall process control and visibility into the underlying numbers, providing you with full confidence of having achieved data integrity in budget submissions. With more time available for ongoing data management reviews, and reporting processes that are proactive, actionable as well as contextual, means that systems work for you and not vice versa.  A game changer to drive value creation!

 

FlexSystem is a business software vendor to 1 in 10 Forbes Global 2000 (May 2020) and 1 in 5 Global Fortune 500 (August 2020), operating at the intersection of new process and payment technologies to provide you with iterative opportunities for value creation with or without AI at both gross and net margin levels.

 

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