The board meeting date has been set, and invitations have been sent out. Financial managers at any business can start working on financial statements from this date to establish timelines, deadlines, and milestones to help them succeed in budgeting for the coming year.
With the right starting point, these plans can succeed.
At Bridge Point, we’ve helped businesses for over 20 years build paths to informed, measured, and thorough budgeting plans that can make or break your business prospects in minutes. At least the next 12 months. Here are some things we’ve learned and some ways we can help.
BEST STEPS TO TAKE BEFORE PLANNING A BUDGET FOR 2023
Harmony with company leaders
An organization’s head of finance and strategy is often the glue that holds all the other departments together.
This also includes the relationship between the C-Suite and the rest of the business. For example, sitting down with the C-Suite to understand the company’s high-level goals for the upcoming Financial Reporting year is step #1 in creating a financial budget that aligns with that strategy.
Knowing the revenue goal (and related KPI goals) provides the framework and starting point for creating a budget. If you have revenue and EBITDA goals, the cost of goods sold and costs are variables to deal with.
Interact with the sales team
If achieving the overall goals for the budget is part of the budget, meeting with the sales team to understand their strategy for achieving that key goal is platform specific.
The timing of this discussion is crucial. The sooner, the better, for lack of deadlines, the better. Indeed, their strategy for achieving prioritization goals likely to vary widely in budgets must be understood and quantified before structuring other departments’ budget outlooks.
For example, the revenue growth target for 2023 is 30% compared to 2022. What is the sales team’s strategy to achieve this growth?
Depending on the industry, environment, business history, or all of the above, this may include a variety of additions or changes to the business that could have a significant impact on the business and can reach gross margin or EBITDA goals.
Is the solution to hire more sales team members? Is the solution more expensive in marketing? Focus more on existing customers to reduce churn.
These are just a few examples of strategies that have a very different impact on the workforce and cost planning that must be fully understood before proceeding with budget planning.
Given the above, a strong relationship between sales and finance would make this activity more successful and efficient.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON BUDGET PLANNING FOR 2023
There is plenty of time to meet with other department heads and forecast once the revenue strategy is agreed upon and aligned with the context. However, balancing this workload with recurring accounting and financial responsibilities takes a lot of work.
Bridge-point has experienced professionals working with you to understand your business and help you through the process. Prepares you and your business for success in the coming year.
HOW BRIDGE-POINT HELPS WITH BUDGET PLANNING
Build sophisticated budgeting models that can generate scenario sensitivity and analysis so you can better understand the impact of key KPIs and their relationship to your goals.
Test assumptions by analyzing historical and external macroeconomic data.
Automate the budgeting and forecasting process so they can make it more efficient and accurate.
Assist or lead the creation of a detailed project plan. This can reduce or eliminate risks in the process, such as miscommunication with key stakeholders, agreed business inputs, cross-functional assumptions, and scheduling of key stakeholders. Meetings must occur for information gathering, analysis, consultation, goal setting, and reporting. Create templates and processes for ongoing reporting on performance against budget (disparity analysis) with real-time dashboards and more. So that decision-makers can proactively take corrective action.
2023 BUDGET AND PLANNING IN UNCERTAIN TIMES
It’s that time when business leaders make annual budgets to project revenue, profit, and return on investment and control costs for the coming year. While creating an annual roadmap to manage financial expectations and goals for the coming year is challenging, it will be even more difficult this year due to the current economic downturn, trends in unpredictable manual work, and supply chain challenges.
How does the unpredictable impact of the pandemic affect business budgeting decisions?
To explore current budget trends across industries, Forrester’s 2022 Budget Pulse Survey surveyed 382 U.S. business and technology decision-makers to assess current spending projections for 2023. According to the survey:
Most policymakers expect at least some increase in total spending over the next 12 months; less than 10% expect a decline. On average, 60% of respondents plan to increase employee spending, and 62% plan to increase spending on external services.
Of those surveyed, 67% said their investment in technology would continue to grow.
According to the results of this survey, many business decision-makers have a positive outlook for 2023. While optimism is essential to growing business, you must set realistic growth expectations. Consistent with the goals and financial position of the business. When preparing your 2023 budget, it is essential to remember the following. Create a cost structure that aligns with your growth expectations based on the market, economic outlook, and the previous year’s budget.
Confirm that the employee level matches the income level. You must track revenue growth and other expenses, such as staffing, to maintain accurate forecasts. Making hiring or other investment decisions based on unrealistic predictions is expensive and risky.
Payments usually occur at the end of the month; however, you must pay the fee throughout the month. Anticipating your cash flow needs, be sure to project the amount of cash needed to stay afloat before revenue is collected. Allow at least 45-60 days of cash to cover your expenses. This is best done by preparing a cash flow and balance sheet statement for the coming year.
Be sure to include your senior management and management in your budget plan. COOs must calculate sales revenue, operating expenses, and projected gross profit for their divisions. Giving them responsibility for planning will motivate them and help you hold them accountable for hitting those numbers or raise your hand early when unexpected results arise. While it is wise to encourage them to take reasonable risks from the bottom up, a top-down view should be more prudent.
Remember that setting overly ambitious goals for your entire company can disrupt departmental budget planning.
Monitor your annual budget regularly, monthly or quarterly, to see if your forecast matches actual performance. Then, prepare and share monthly reports illustrating actual predictions and results. By analyzing your numbers, your team can adjust as needed to keep their goals on track.
As we move into 2023, having financial clarity is more important than ever for making informed business decisions. In times of uncertainty, it is essential to have a financial planning system that allows decision-makers to recognize when budget projections are going wrong so they can act quickly. And get back on track.
Schedule a virtual introductory meeting to learn how RFS can give you the financial clarity you need to succeed.