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Small business owners recognize that a budget is the single most important tool for managing their business. When creating a budget, keep in mind that it needs to both sustain business growth while mitigating any financial hassles.
Following are five budgeting tools that are suited to small business needs:
1. Whitebirch Planning: For most small businesses, “budgeting” resembles a flexible system where some items may be deferred in order to redirect funds from other areas to address a more urgent need. Whitebirch Planning allows you to factor in the unexpected. The model takes into consideration the analysis that accompanies events, as well as unanticipated situations which arise. Projections therefore account for specific business needs while allowing the business funds to accommodate any unforeseen expenses.
2. Visual Focus: This tool also works well for large businesses. It is useful for creating budgets and integrates planning, forecasting and financial reporting. This allows you to have a clear understanding of the state of your finances while also providing assistance with forecasting, including rolling forecasts.
The software is easy to implement and helps bypass errors associated with conventional budgeting spreadsheets. It includes planning for unexpected scenarios as well.
3. PlanGuru: This is an affordable tool which is appropriate for both small and mid-sized businesses. It combines budgeting and forecasting for as long as a ten year time frame, without the hassles of creating and correcting formulas. This software does not provide general ledger facilities or capital asset planning. However, given that its features are suitable for the growing business, it offers analytical tools to help the business owner with financial ratios, income statements, etc., all of which can help improve business productivity and performance.
4. Adaptive Planning: This software allows for on-demand budgeting and forecasting solutions for small to large-sized companies. Its features allow you to see a real-time snapshot of your finances, including performance metrics, to streamline your budget-creation. It also serves as a more reasonable on-site solution providing everything, from audit trail, to covering the unexpected, to general ledger and capital asset planning.
5. Altus Dynamics Financial Management Suite: This tool covers businesses in diverse sectors, including not-for-profit and social services. The software is based on the Microsoft Dynamics NAV platform, which helps users adapt to it faster if they are already familiar with Microsoft software. Users need not possess specific finance backgrounds to be able to use it. Requests for funds, purchase requests, etc. can be easily logged in by staff. One limitation of the system is that it does not provide for project budgeting or consolidation.
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