Sage Budgeting and Planning – An Accurate and Reliable Solution for Budgeting

In the blog I’d like to provide you with an overview of Sage Budgeting and Planning.  It’s true that spreadsheet errors can happen to the best of us. Research shows that close to 90% of spreadsheets contain errors.  As a result, many public companies and government organizations are trying to wean themselves off their reliance on spreadsheets for complex and critical financial transactions. Most businesses today rely on spreadsheets in some way. The multi-celled document is used heavily for finance and accounting, as well as budgeting and planning, customer relationship and sales functions.

The problems associated with a spreadsheet ordinarily do not reside in the software program itself. It’s us imperfect human beings who are using the applications: inputting data, copying and pasting numbers from row to row and column to column, and unintentionally writing inaccurate formulae.

Sage Budgeting and Planning   

Sage Budgeting and Planning is a smart way of managing financial planning processes. Whether you need to allocate a revenue target or cost projection from the top down, or consolidate several different budget plans from the bottom up, it accommodates your organizational structure and provides a purpose-built solution. Strong management capabilities allow for seamless integration of budget submissions from multiple departments, using “Plan Sheets” that have a familiar spreadsheet look and feel.

Plan Sheet: Plan participants use specially integrated and flexible sheets, called “Plan Sheets”, to create, analyze, manage and submit their individual pieces of the plan

Plan Manager: It is the control centre of Sage Budgeting and Planning extending individual plan sheet preparation to a distributed enterprise-wide environment, allowing you to analyze and manipulate plan values, manage revisions, control budgetary processes and establish security.

Dimensions: It incorporates cost and revenue elements, called dimensions, into the budget and planning process. These may be accounts, customers, projects, employees, or other data useful for planning. In addition, enterprise data such as unit sales, compensation, and expense data may be included to compute valuable historical information and business drivers.

Templates: Templates provide the ability to quickly and easily create and maintain uniform Plan Sheets. A prototype sheet is initially created that may include dimensions, column and row configurations sections calculations, and formatting. Based on the dimension ranges defined, sub sheets referred to as derivative sheets are then generated. Any changes that are made to the template prototype can easily be transferred to the derivative sheets, thus maintaining consistency of the plan structure.

OLAP Cubes: The combination of dimensions and enterprise data may be analyzed within Sage Budgeting and Planning through the power of Microsoft Analysis Services data cubes. These cubes may be analyzed using the Analyzer data visualization tool included in Sage Budgeting and Planning or through direct access to Microsoft Excel pivot tables. Excel pivot tables may also be edited, with the changes written back to the OLAP cube and, optionally, to the originating plan sheets.

Plan Calculations

Plan calculations are used to retrieve values from your system, including financial data, data from ERP systems and other plan sheets. Plan calculations can be used for many purposes:

  • Compute historical information such as prior year financial actuals or units shipped
  • Compute business drivers such as sales mix fringe benefit ratio, or salary information
  • Compute the results of various plan sheet values such as sales commissions calculated from sales
  • Compute allocations of accounts or departments

Calculation Concepts

Plan Calculations are Reusable

A single plan calculation can be used across multiple rows. What makes plan calculations reusable is the fact that they use filters and variables. Dimensions, such as a customer code or account number, are variables that can be passed to the calculation from the rows and/or columns. In addition dates can be passed to the calculation as a variable from the columns.

Plan Calculations are Very Flexible

Calculations can be simple or complex. A simple calculation consisting of an increase from prior year actual balances can be created in a few mouse clicks. More complex calculations consisting of enterprise-wide sources of data can also be created.

There are three types of plan calculations:

Fixed Amounts – Fixed values entered by the user

Source Calculations – Simple variations of percentages or amounts from either balances or plan sheet values based on the account number dimension

Formulas – Simple or complex calculations using a variety of data sources

Formulas are advanced calculations that can be used to calculate various values used in plan sheets. Formulas are essentially mathematical expressions, consisting of combinations of account balances, constants, and database queries. Any value that can be calculated with a mathematical expression can be computed within formulas. Here are some examples of how you might use formulas:

  • Annualize sales for the last quarter for a fast growing company
  • Derive account values as a percentage of previous year’s sales
  • Group together accounts to derive a budget
  • Compute the average daily balance of debt for an interest calculation
  • Use database queries to retrieve sales units from order entry
  • Calculate purchases for project commitments
  • Query values from other plan sheets

Web View

WebView is used to access plan sheets remotely using a web browser. WebView provides following system benefits:

  • Simple installation to a web server running Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS).
  • The installation automatically occurs first time user accesses the web server.
  • Access to plan sheets for all valid WebViewer users

If you want to know more about Sage Budgeting and Planning or other Sage products to help make your job easier and more accurate, please call, or contact us at 1-866-320-8922 and we’d be pleased to assist!

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