Originally, customers of Microsoft Dynamics NAV generally only had one real option for managing general ledger budgets unless they wanted to sign up for a third party budgeting solution, many of which suffered from a lack of integration. Coinciding with the evolution of Dynamics NAV to Dynamics 365 Business Central, Jet Global (formerly known as Jet Reports) has released an intriguing budgeting module capable of full integration to Business Central and some versions of Dynamics NAV.
Microsoft Budgeting Capability
The standard budgeting module found in the general ledger module of Dynamics NAV and Business Central allows the user to create budgets inside the system using a screen format similar to a spreadsheet or via exporting of spreadsheets to budget owners, and then importing them back into the system. Starting data can originate from copying a budget, entering it manually, bringing in historical information adjusted by a percentage factor, or by assigning a standard amount by account for all periods. The user can also apply default cost centers (dimensions) to the data, which allows all data to be rolled up by account but still be available for cost center reporting.
The completed budget can be for any period but is generally done by month. It is then available for comparison to actual numbers using the built-in Account Schedules financial reporting tool or for use in reporting tools such as Jet Global’s various modules. Multiple budgets can be open at one time but only one at a time can be included in an Account Schedule. By contrast, the Jet Global tools can manage multiple budgets or versions of budgets in one report. As a side note, the Jet Global tools can handle more dimension values than the built-in Account Schedule reports.
There is no capability for managing or tracking the distribution of budgets to the budget owners. The person in charge of the budget has to ensure budgets are sent out, returned, and completed correctly before importing them back into the system. Each of the various departmental budgets can be imported separately into one budget as long as the user is careful about not overwriting the existing budget. Proforma reports can be created by specifying actual or budget numbers per month.
Budgets created in spreadsheets can be created from formulas or any other source available within the capability of Excel or via links.
Users of Dynamics NAV and Business Central who require more advanced budgeting capability will appreciate many of the additional features Jet Budgets brings to the table. Instead of relying on brute force and a few formulas in Excel, Jet Budgets offers five different budget method options as listed below.
- Top Down Budgeting
- Bottom Up Budgeting
- Zero Based Budgeting
- Hybrid Budgeting Method
- No Budgeting Method
Once the budgets have been completed, they can be imported directly to Dynamics NAV or Dynamics 365 Business Central. There are a number of pre-built report templates to use for budget analysis, which can be further customized. A couple of examples include:
- Actual vs. Budget Report
- Income Statement Projected by Month Report
Whereas the budget structure in Dynamics NAV or Dynamics 365 Business Central is quite hierarchical, the budget structure in Jet Budgets can be configured to meet the needs of the organization. It also supports all reporting cost centers (dimensions), whereas the accounting budget option only supports a maximum of four different cost center levels.
Jet Budgets also manages the distribution of budget worksheets to budget managers. All data created by Jet Budgets will be available for reporting if you choose to use one of the Jet Global reporting tools.
Both these options are good choices. One is included with the cost of your base Dynamics NAV or Business Central solution but the other, Jet Reports, offers intriguing capability if you need that additional oomph in your budgeting process.
Find more information on Jet Budgets here, and watch this helpful Jet Budgets preview on YouTube here. Let’s talk about how each of these options would benefit your business. Please contact us here to get started.
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