In many case, and in the ideal world, you would like to have an Excel template that covers both Budgeting (the short-term view) and Business Planning (the mid-to-long-term view). And that makes sense for a number of reasons:

  • The Budgeting manager is often responsible for Business Planning as well
  • The short-term Budget needs to be consistent with the long-term Plan
  • The Budgeting tool needs to integrate with the Business Plan tool.

So rather than using 2 separate tools, having a combined tool covering both Budgeting and Business Planning can solve a lot of headache. Unfortunately, there is no perfect world, and what you gain on one side, you tend to lose on the other side:

  • Budgeting and Business Planning have conflicting objectives: in a Budgeting tool, you want to capture the near future with a lot of details; in a Business Planning tool, capturing the the medium (3-5 years) and long term (7-10 years) view correctly is more important than being precise in the short term. As the saying goes: “It is more important to be approximately right rather than precisely wrong”
  • Standalone Excel templates, for Budgeting on one hand, and Business Planning on the other hand, are always going to be better. Each template can remain totally focused on the problem as stake, and doesn’t have to make compromise.

Another big issue is that Budgeting is inherently a multidimensional exercice. Ideally, you want to capture the following:

  • The time axis: months, quarters, years
  • Multiple products (e.g. voice, SMS, data)
  • Multiple customer types (e.g. Prepaid, Postpaid)
  • Maybe multiple regions (geography)?
  • Maybe multiple business lines (e.g. Mobile, Fixed, Broadcasting, Mobile Money etc)?
  • Cost Centres: anything between 30 and 200?
  • Chart of Account: anything between 100 and 1500 accounts?
  • Maybe multiple users of the budgeting system, with various roles (administrator, contributors etc)?
  • Integration of the Budgeting system with your ERP? With automatic data import as well?

Unfortunately, Excel is neither a database, nor a multidimensional database. So you have to make multiple compromises, to keep your Excel Budgeting tool manageable. The template below is the result of a number of trade-offs, in particular:

  • We have excluded Cost Centres and Chart of Accounts. Including them can make a Budgeting tool in Excel cumbersome, even with few Cost Centres (10-20) and few accounts (100).
  • We have excluded geography.

On the other hand, we have retained the following key elements:

  • The time axis includes months, quarters and years
  • Multiple products are captured
  • Multiple customer types are captured
  • Budgeting and Business Planning are integrated in one single template

If you need a template with Cost Centres and a Chart of Account, you might want to check the Short-term planning and forecasting template, or the Integrated Short-term and Long-term Planning template.  Both contain a cost centre structure with 20 cost centres, and a CoA structure with 300+ accounts.

Feel free to contact us if would like a demo of the template before subscribing. Alternatively, download the Budgeting and Business Planning Excel template now!

This content is for Budgeting and Forecasting and Business Plan Advanced members only.
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