In today’s ever changing economic environment, a carefully considered budget is a crucial part of any firm’s financial arsenal. With most firms’ year end fast approaching now is the time to reflect on your current financial status and to start planning your budget for the next fiscal year.
Why should you have a budget plan in place?
- To set clear goals and objectives,
- To have a control system in place to limit unplanned expenditure,
- To motivate department heads to achieve goals set for their department,
- To be able to compare the firms performance year on year,
- To pre-empt pitfalls and recognize where changes need to be made.
It is vital, especially in a volatile economic environment, to conservatively estimate how much revenue you expect to receive and to plan on how you are going to achieve this. Setting realistic goals on growth could be the difference between succeeding and failing. Departments should have strict controls in place to reduce unnecessary and unplanned expenditure and department heads ought to be held accountable for their cost centres and report back to the financial manager. Your budget needs to be continually assessed during the year and adjusted accordingly.
Redbrick Business Intelligence makes the laborious task of budget forecasting much easier through a simple initial setup. Business Intelligence does not only cater for the firm’s total overheads, but various exception and comparative reports allow you to view income and expenditure per month, on a 12 monthly basis, in comparison with the previous year and more – and you can either view all of this information by firm, branch or department. This kind of in depth variance analysis of how each department performs is usually very difficult and expensive to obtain and can vastly benefit any firm. The information is available to you at a click of a button on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
Below are a few examples of the reports:
Extract from Income Statement (Budget Comparison for 12 periods)
Extract from Income Statement Consolidated for a specific period
Since it’s launch just over a year ago, Redbrick Solutions have been taken aback by the huge demand for their Business Intelligence solution.
Martin MacDuff, Managing Director said “We knew prior to launching Business Intelligence that there was a real need and a gap in the market for a legal accounting package that provided so much more than just a finance tool. Where Business Intelligence really sets itself apart is the high level of interrogation and reporting it can provide in a very simple and easy to understand manner – this kind of information is crucial for Managing Partners and Key Stakeholders. We are thrilled with the response Business Intelligence has received and have more exciting plans for further development this year.”
One such happy client is Elizabeth West, Partner of Austen Whetham Guest, who says “With our expanding network of consultants it became clear to us that in order to operate effectively and continue to grow the practice we needed strong matter management and reporting. We offer a personalised service and pride ourselves on being able to promote the best interests of our clients so it was obvious to us that the technology behind our service also needed to be the best available.”