Finance: Coronation Adopts Budgeting Software
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The software has been particularly valuable because it has engaged line managers, says accountant Sylvia Peter. “It’s hard enough to get departmental managers, some of whom are non-financial people to do budgets accurately, on time and worse still, make them work through this using a complex tool,” she says. “With idu-Concept some managers have become more fervent about budgeting and the regular checking of their performance against defined budgets.”
Coronation investigated several different budgeting packages when the limitations of spreadsheet-based budgeting became too severe, says Sylvia. “We were consolidating spreadsheets from managers across all of our cost centres, in 3 different currencies. It was becoming very difficult to keep track of multiple versions and errors crept in. It was not a fun process.”
Other solutions offered larger numbers of reports, says Sylvia, “but idu-Concept’s were the most useful. We could see that accountants had a strong role in developing the software – it addresses our real needs very well. And above all, idu-Concept really stood out for its ease of use.”
As well as making it easier to compile annual budgets, Sylvia reports that idu-Concept has helped both financial and line managers to keep a far more accurate and informed eye on their spending. “Checking a department’s actual spending against their budget is a matter of a couple of clicks, instead of hours spent wrestling with spreadsheets. Some of our line managers even produce their own reports now, and for the others it’s easy for us to export a report from idu-Concept and email it to them. We’re able to keep a near real-time eye on spending instead of only getting figures once a quarter.”
Sylvia says line managers particularly appreciate idu-Concept’s ease of use, as well as the ability to comment on budget line items. “Managers are able to use the comments facility to provide rationale for their budgets and further be able to explain spending that deviates from approved budgets,” she says. “The comments are visible to the executive as well as the finance department, which has made financial management much easier and more transparent.
More accurate budgeting is another benefit, reports Sylvia. “The previous process produced a lot of errors that had to be manually fixed. Now it is easier to have effective budget control as the budgets are set out annually but accounted for on a monthly basis which gives us better control and transparency on our expenditures. For example, previously, if we were budgeting for a large event in Month 10, that budget would end up spread over 12 months and it was easy to lose sight of what the money was actually for.”
Best of all, says Sylvia, Coronation has realised all these benefits for a fraction of the cost of solutions from larger vendors. “The initial cost was lower than we had expected and on the very rare occasions when we’ve had to ask for custom reports to be developed, we have been impressed with the low costs.”
“idu-Concept is one of the best things that ever happened to us,” concludes Sylvia. “We’d definitely recommend it to other institutions that may have the same need for a budgeting process as user friendly as idu-Concept.”
Business News Sector Tags: Finance|