As an entrepreneur, your focus is on growing your business. Clarifying your vision and developing it into a consistent, applicable and team-applied strategy implies putting in an ongoing effort. Furthermore, it is necessary that you make sure your business grows safely, that you consider risks and take care of your client portfolio, the relationship you’re your partners, follow trends on a macro level in the economy and your industry or your related industries (e.g., FMCG and transportation).
Not least, take care of your money: secure sufficient working capital for when estimated growth does not happen or when estimates are exceeded.
In this context, I suggest we see together how budget implementation and monitoring will be of assistance to you. The budget consists in two components: P&L (Income and Expenses) and the Cash Flow, which need to be devised concomitantly and concertedly.
Budget is inviolable to all managers
By implementing budgets at departmental level, you will have such benefits as the following:
- managers will assume and take responsibility for the budget
- you will be able to correlate budgets with expected results by defining and monitoring performance indicators (KPIs) at departmental level
- you have a control tool allowing you, as an entrepreneur or CEO, to delegate more and focus more on the strategic area.
How to set up a budget
- Which is the better approach: authoritarian or democratic? Meaning top-down or bottom-up?
Often times, you, as an entrepreneur or CEO, set up a target for the following year and communicate it to the management team. You can concomitantly test it with your sales teams, by challenging them to pencil out the detailed sales target by categories of products, industries, regions, current/new clients. By consolidating numbers, you will see there are approach differences (optimism or pessimism, as applicable), and you will need to harmonise all work assumptions and assume a common target as a team. Moreover, major steps are already made to define the operational action plan, which gives confidence to the team.
For the sake of cohesion, it is better for global, company or team performance to have a say in assessing individual performance and, ultimately, in the bonuses given to your employees.
- Departmental budgets
Based on the common target, department managers start setting up the budget by answering the following questions:
– How does my department contribute to the global objective? How do I measure this, which are the relevant indicators? Which are the secondary performance indicators of the department?
– What are the resources required to reach our goals?
Afterward, the department manager goes on to present these 2 components to the Board or the entrepreneur: performance indicators and the expense and investment budget.
- Master Budget
Financial Directors put assumptions together and validate them with the CEO/entrepreneur, whom they present the income and expense master budget, as well as global performance indicators. Adjustments are made so that the budget reflect the envisaged profitability level.
Managers are called in this stage to work in synergy, to define shared projects, for instance: sales-marketing, HR-sales, sales -logistics.
The dynamic budget or the Business Simulator
There have been a lot of discussions about how budget-based working is limiting when it comes to making decisions that are different from the paradigm based on which the budget is set up.
This is why I suggest understanding and implementing the Business Simulator in the management and financial reporting routine. The business simulator is a dynamic budget one steps into and uses to recalibrate assumptions regularly, based on the new business decisions, the already achieved results and the industry/market macroeconomic conditions/forecasts.
What do we, as external consultant, offer?
- We have working experience with various organisations and varied structures and activity sectors.
- We bring expertise into project management: correct project implementation and knowledge transfer to the internal team, meeting agreed deadlines, creating work procedures and co-interesting the internal team in achieving the project.
- We ensure maximum transparency to the management.
- We are independent.
- Professionalism – with experience and expertise, we can integrate the results of this project by way of recommendations on company strategy, as well as in operational terms, i.e., the monitoring of your company’s budget.
About: Ioana Arsenie – Trusted Advisor Strategy & Finance –is an expert in business strategies, with consulting, fiscal and management financial expertise, who, through the agency of her company, provides integrated financial strategy and accounting services to Romanian entrepreneurs.
As of 2000, Ioana has gained strategic and financial management experience and had the following roles in a top-level agribusiness company: from CFO to national and group Financial Business Partner, in countries such as Turkey, Greece, Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, for the purpose of implementing and updating financial processes, as part of strategic directions. Ioana is an Elite Business Women Ambassador and an EduPerformance Founder.