March 19

My nightmare in budgeting


I walked into the M1 (MobileOne Pte Ltd) Office. It was 8.30am. Like everyone else, it was a normal daily routine. But for us in the business planning team, our working hours did not end at 5.30pm. We started to work on the budget from 5.30pm. It was like another part-time job but without additional pay. We would work till midnight before we headed home. By the time we reached home, our families were asleep. When we left for work the next day, they were still sleeping. This routine would continue for a month, 7 days a week.

That was the time when we used the traditional way to budgeting. We would link up all the cost center templates in one file and had a master template to add up all the numbers. Knowing that the management needed to see the breakdown for major expenses, we would start to link those costs together in advance so that we did not have to work longer hours later. But there were new items they would want to see. Sometimes, what we prepared in advanced were not used because the focus would change. So we would have done some "redundant" templates and had to create new ones on the fly.

Even though I had left M1, I did not stop exploring solution to shorten this exercise which still existed today. I wanted to help those who are not stuck in this situation. I am glad that I had found a great solution for this. With the new functions in Excel called PowerQuery, PowerPivot and PowerView (Power BI), I am able to shorten the whole exercise by 90%. Instead of days to consolidate the numbers, I can single highhandedly consolidate the numbers in hours and I have no worries that the numbers would change. Everything are consolidated dynamically and updates are just a few minutes away. 

Are you still budgeting in the traditional way? Share with me your challenges in the comments. I might be able to help you.


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