Procurement and Finance: How to Close the Budget Loop

Spend Matters welcomes a guest post from Romu Gaboriau of b-pack.

Budgeting is obviously one of the most effective ways to meet profit goals and avoid maverick spend. Budgeting and planning help organizations invest their resources to best benefit, based on cautious consideration rather than the urgency to make a short-term decision. They are essential to sustain your company's economic growth. But how do you close the loop between budget preparation, execution and forecast? This can be a challenge. Like William Feather said, “a budget tells us what we can't afford, but it doesn't keep us from buying it.”

To better understand how organizations forecast, plan and execute their budget, we decided to create a quick survey allowing organizations to assess their budget management practices against their peers. This will give participants the opportunity to compare themselves on the curve of budget maturity.

We would love the Spend Matters community to help us by taking this 5 minute survey. Participants will receive the results early July and have a chance to win an iPad Mini! And we’ll share the results in a future post on Spend Matters.

Here is a brief overview of the topics addressed by the questionnaire:

Budget Structure
Defining a budget structure is one of the elements that will lead to better budget management and dictate how every decision is made. Depending on the size of the company, the industry but also internal practices, budget structure can vary depending on several criteria such as the number of budget levels and the type of budgets among others. This structure has a big impact on the overall health of a company.

Budget Planning
As a business grows, the process of budget planning becomes even more essential as more departments and staff are added to the operation. The objective of planning is to anticipate problem and be proactive rather than reactive. For that reason, it is crucial to define goals in quantitative terms as much as possible. Budget planning should be part of the company overall strategy and should define long-term objectives (CapEx) and short-term objectives (OpEx).This part of the questionnaire assesses current practices in order to identify trends.

Budget Control
Budget control allows companies to measure their performance against established goals. One of the current issues is that most of organizations still wait the end of each fiscal year to monitor their performance. This makes it difficult to be proactive. In this part, we want to determine how companies control their spend when it comes to budget tracking and audit, balance and financial statement.

Again, we would love for you to take this quick survey and help us identify current budget management practices. Don’t forget you can win an iPad Mini!

In Part 2, we will discuss the results and how to close the budget loop by driving better budget management.

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