Budgets are important. They help our organisations to understand what resources they have available. They give us the opportunity to plan what we want to do and how we’ll pay for it. And they allow us to see how we’re doing as the year progresses. But let’s be honest: The annual budgeting process is a monumental pain in the backside. There must be a better way.
I’m all for proper financial planning. And if that can be tied into strategic and operational planning, too, then so much the better. I genuinely do get why we go through the annual cycle of budgeting, forecasting, re-forecasting and reporting. I just can’t help but think that, with the budgeting process taking up so much organisational time and resources, there surely must be a more efficient way of achieving the same ends.
I’m not saying, sady, that I have all the answers. But I’m convinced that this is a question very much worth asking. And so that’s what I’ll be doing, as time and other commitments permit, over the next few weeks or months. If you likewise have your doubts about whether the way we ‘do’ budgeting at the moment is the right way to do it, if you have ideas to share or if you’ve come across any research or case studies that you think I might find useful, please do drop me a line.