5 Required Software Features to Optimizing Budget Traceability in Your Organization
A shocking number of companies are trusting Excel as their primary budgeting tool, and even more aren’t using the kind of budget software that can do the heavy lifting required to move forward. Unfortunately for those organizations, 88% of spreadsheets have errors (and about half of those spreadsheets are significantly incorrect) according to a study featured on Forbes.
As we enter the fourth quarter of most company’s fiscal year, it’s the perfect time to review both your budget and the systems you entrust with your finances. Accordingly, we’ve compiled a list of the top features you should look for in your corporate software.
What is Budget Traceability, and Why Does it Matter?
Before diving into specific software features, let’s cover budget traceability and its impact on an organization. The term refers to the ability to understand how data is collected, processed, and flows through your company budget, including the people who handle the data and the systems that perform calculations and generate reports.
Some systems provide little to no traceability, relying instead on the notations and company understanding of data flow. Excel is an example of a program with low traceability, as all paths have to be created and documented by hand.
Other software tools are designed with traceability in mind. Such software not only dramatically reduces the likelihood of mistakes but will catch errors much sooner with a clear path to where the mistake occurred.
We don’t need to underline further how this ability translates to potentially thousands of dollars saved-- just look at the JP Morgan’s London whale scandal.
Top Software Features for Optimized Budget Traceability
Here are our top five recommended software features that will ensure high budget traceability-- therefore high budget reliability.
Fast, Easy, and Secure Collaboration
Any corporate budgetary software must be designed with collaboration in mind, with the ability to control access levels according to roles and duties. In addition, collaborative software allows for heightened data security since messaging, processing, and reporting can all happen within the software-- no need to take the data outside of the encryption.
Collaboration tools also help track how data is processed, who makes what changes, and automated calculations without creating code that can be contaminated.
Provides a Single Source of Truth
Version histories, email attachments, and lack of live updates have cost more than one company significant money and time. Proper budgetary software prevents these inefficiencies by allowing teams to work together in real-time within the software, ensuring that everyone is working with the same data simultaneously.
Not only does this single-version, real-time software decrease time in error correction and collaboration, but it also allows CFOs and other top execs immediate access to all projects from one place. No more missing links or emailed reports or waiting for days for finances employees to submit reporting. In addition, this condensed system allows for budgetary transparency and accuracy around the clock, so CFOs can focus on making decisions with data, not the data itself.
Seamless Integration with Other Programs
Cloud-based software should be highly flexible, allowing companies to customize their experience according to the different apps, reporting systems and softwares they are already using. For example, budgetary software should seamlessly interface with CRM platforms like Salesforce to integrate client and sales information directly into the budget.
While cloud platforms are the future of budgets, some offices prefer to use on-premise programs. In this case, you’ll need to be sure that the software provider you choose can accommodate your on-premise needs as well.
Intuitive and Secure Data Governance
Data governance is critical to protect company information from everything from cyberattacks to employee security mistakes. Therefore, your budgetary software needs to allow for customizable roles which enable each employee access only to the information relevant to their job.
Certain softwares or programs are certainly not up to this task, instead of allowing all employees access to the data or requiring a second set of data points censored to employee responsibilities.
Saves You Time and Money
Ultimately, the purpose of any budget program or software is to correctly house and process data the first time. While you may save some money upfront using Excel or low-priced softwares, the cost of mistakes, data leaks, or time wasted working around the program often costs much more than the money saved from paying for quality software.
Ready for Change?
If you’re ready to move your budgetary systems to software that can handle it all, then check out Cofi solutions. Our intuitive software is designed with the CFO in mind. It incorporates the best collaboration abilities, real-time updates, adaptability between cloud plugins or on-prem data uploads, and best practices for data governance.
Ultimately, we’re here to streamline your day-to-day budgetary process so you can focus on making the best decisions for the company with the correct information.
Schedule your demo today!