Budgeting in Dynamics SL (Solomon)
It’s that time of year for Budgets if you are going to do one. The question often comes up “how do I handle budgets in Solomon” and how do I take the misery out of budgeting? There are several methods that can ease the pain.
First of all, you can budget in the General Ledger using the “old school” method of the Budget Maintenance screen (01.250.00). Solomon does it by Account/Sub-Account for each fiscal year and you can assign the results to the default budget ledger (Budget) or to an annual budget ledger (like Budget2017). It will distribute an annual budget equally, by percentage, or manually. The reason I call it “old school” is that it is the original way Solomon handled it. It does not maintain versions of the budget but replaces the values each time you update it to that ledger. You can import the budget if you get it in a particular format in Excel and then use Transaction Import to bring it in. Solomon will bring in the budget and use all the normal data verification routines to make sure you aren’t putting in garbage. [See one of us and we will tell you how to do the setup or we will help]. Once you have set up a budget you will need to modify or create reports in FRX or Management Reporter so that you can report the budget against actual and derive a variance.
The “new school” method is called Extended Budgeting and is great because it only requires you to have a year of previous data or budget in your database (and everyone has that in place). Solomon uses that data as a basis for creating a new budget. It takes your last year’s Actual or Budget (as is) or allows you to apply a factor to it (say 5%) and it will propose a budget figure which you can edit. It can accommodate multiple versions (best case, worse case, most probable, etc.) or pre-merger/post-merger or any other kind of distinction. It allows you multiple methods of distribution to the individual months (manual, even, or based on prior actual, budget, last 12 months, etc.).
If you have department heads that are responsible for their budget and they are also Solomon clients (have access to Solomon) you can send them their departmental budget and they can finish it and resubmit it to you. There is also an export to Excel capability where you could pro-forma the budget, export it to Excel and send it to your department heads for them to analyze and change. Getting it back into Solomon would require you to import it using Transaction Import as above.
Then there is the method where you do your budget entirely in Excel and then link your FRX or Management Reporter to it on a row by row basis. Your worksheet has to be formatted as FRX or Management Reporter expects to see it, it must know the location of the worksheet, and a few other matters but it works. Once you have set up the budget for the months and year, FRX or Management Reporter will select the proper budget month that matches the actual month.
So there you have it. If you need any help in setting up these procedures, we would be happy to help. It takes some time to set up these capabilities but they do save hours and aggravation in the long run. Next time we will talk about how you would budget in the Project Controller suite of modules but for now this should be enough to get you started budgeting.