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What out of the box budgets functionality is available in Microsoft Dynamics NAV and 365 Business Central?

As we make our way towards the end of 2020, it is that time of year where companies review their budgets for the following year. Did you know that both Dynamics NAV and 365 Business Central have out of the box functionality that can help your business to generate budgets & their updates across different departments? 

Creating Budgets in NAV & Business Central functionality 

It is possible to have multiple budgets for identical time periods by producing budgets that have different names. 

The first part of the process is to create a budget name and add the budget figures. From this point, the budget name is then added on all the budget entries that you produce. 

After you have produced a budget, you are then able to set four dimensions for each budget. These budget-specific dimensions are named budget dimensions. All you have to do then is to pick the budget dimensions for each budget from the dimensions that you have already created. These budget dimensions can then be used to set filters on a budget & to add dimensions information to budget entries. 

Furthermore, it is important to note that budgets also have a crucial role to play in business intelligence. To provide examples of this in practice, financial statements are based on account schedules that include budget entries & when analysing budgeted versus actual amounts in the chart of accounts. 

Creating budget templates in NAV/Business Central to export to Excel functionality 

After you have created a budget template in NAV or Business Central, it can easily be shared with all your different departments in your business via Excel.  Better still, the head of that department does not need to have direct access to the finance system! Once that head of department has updated their budget figures in Excel, it can be simply reimported back into the finance solution. 

By adopting the Excel approach, you can easily consolidate multiple department budgets into a single organisation budget. 

Furthermore, budgets are able to be updated regularly (quarterly if necessary) either through the Excel method or within the finance system directly.  

As well as the above, by using the Excel method you can easily adjust a previous year’s budget by say 5% which will create the following year’s budget. In addition to this, you can also setup a more cautious budget if required. 

Ability to record actual spend vs actual budget functionality 

In terms of budget reporting in NAV and Business Central, it is simple to track actual spend against budget over the course of the year, better still by combining budget functionality with Dimensions you can easily report actuals vs budget by department! 

How can your business benefit from using the out of the box budgets functionality in NAV/Business Central? 

Incorporate Your Dimensions 

You can easily break down your budgets by your dimensions. To give you an example of this, if you setup your different departments as dimensions, you would be able to produce a budget of Expense G/L accounts segmented by each department. If you wanted to take this a step further, you could do this for your key revenue generators in the business to allow you to produce a mini P&L against budget by team. 

Instant Reporting 

Another benefit of having budgeting incorporated in your NAV/Business Central system is that it’s so simple to report with them. The easiest way of doing this is through Account Schedules. What you can do is setup these to show Actuals vs Budget and then dissect the data to get better data meaning that you can deliver high level reports in a matter of seconds rather than days. 

Easy To Setup 

The budgeting functionality in NAV/Business Central is very straightforward to setup. Even if you are starting from scratch, there is a feature for exporting your budget template to Excel (we explained this above), simply add your figures and then import it back into the system. So if you are already using spreadsheets for your budgeting it shouldn’t take too long to get started. 

Next Steps? 

If your business currently uses Dynamics NAV or Business Central and are not using the out of the box budgets functionality in your system then now might be the time to investigate it further. Here at Advantage, we can provide you with a few hours of Business Central consultancy remotely to get you up & running with this functionality giving you access to features you never knew you had. Why not get in touch with one of our NAV/Business Central experts today to discuss your specific needs? 

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