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Microsoft Dynamics NAV advanced budgeting functionality

Distributed budgeting and advanced budgeting functionality has always been a shortcoming of Dynamics NAV and many other ERP solutions. The ability to create budget models and distribute these to contributors has often been managed by Microsoft Excel or third party products like Microsoft Forecaster (previously FRx Forecaster). Anyone who has used Excel for distributed budgeting knows the issues that creates along with users changing rows and columns and links that tend to die just as you think you’re finished.

Third party products require integration, re-creation of your financial structure and delayed updates of actual data to provide comparisons.  Another weakness of both of these options is the inability for them to work in the cloud.  Microsoft Forecaster is also at the end of its life, with Microsoft not providing any roadmap for it.

Based on this, Intergen has developed an Advanced Budgeting solution which provides a distributed budgeting solution inside Dynamics NAV.  Being built inside NAV means there is no recreating the organisational structure because all Dimensions and G/L accounts are already available. Administrators can push out budgets to contributors based on Dimension/G/L account combinations.

Entries can be created by copying previous budgets or actuals, spreading across periods, basing results of an account on other accounts values, entering quantities and prices or updating from the fixed asset module.

The functionality can be accessed either through the Windows client, the web client or the SharePoint framework and only requires a limited user licence for budget users.  The budgets can be viewed using any of the standard reporting tools provided by Dynamics NAV or third party solutions.

As per the screenshot below users are assigned one or more user budgets with G/L account and Dimension filters.  Users can only see user budgets assigned to them.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV user budget

Figure 1 Dynamics NAV user budget

One of the benefits of Excel is the ability to create formulas between cells; therefore we’ve needed to recreate that functionality to allow target accounts to be driven off source accounts.  Or create fixed prices where users are only asked to add quantity and the cost is decided for them, examples where this may be used  is trips or mobile phone bills etc. 

Microsoft Dynamics NAV budgeting formulas

Figure 2 Dynamics NAV budgeting formulas

For services-based organisations, like Intergen, payroll costs make up a large portion of our overall costs; therefore being able to budget at the individual employee level is important.   As per the screenshot below, different types of employee costs can be associated with the employee and posted through to the G/L budget.  Access to the payroll budget is again controlled by security with the ability to post to the G/L budget in detail or summary.

Microsoft NAV Employee Payroll budget

Figure 3 Employee Payroll budget

What it offers:

  • G/L based budgeting with ability to have contributors
  • Built inside NAV and utilises all standard NAV functionality 
  • Security at Dimension/GL Account  level
  • Unlimited number of budgets and forecasts
  • Quantity and amounts able to be budgeted
  • Formulas for calculating account values based on other accounts
  • Spread functionality across time
  • Copy from previous budgets or actuals
  • Integrated Fixed Asset budgeting for Capex and depreciation
  • Payroll budget for employees’ salaries or wages
  • Approval and Workflow functionality
  • Advanced cost allocations
  • Interfaces with Excel
  • Ability to store notes or linked documents

If you have any questions about the Dynamics NAV advanced budgeting functionality, please feel free to contact me: derek.lamb@intergen.co.nz 

Posted by: Derek Lamb, Solution Specialist, Dynamics Solutions | 18 September 2013

Tags: distributed budgeting, dynamics budgeting software, Dynamics NAV budgeting, NAV 2013 budgeting

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