The end of the first quarter of 2023 is approaching, and as every other year is a frenetic time for FP&A and performance teams as they prepare for their first quarter reporting and their budget review. With the current economic turmoil and the consequent uncertainty that ensues, rolling forecasts have become a common practice amongst businesses. However, the end of Q1 is usually the right time to sit down again with key stakeholders to review and adjust targets and spending. The key is to ensure that this process is effective, quick and painless for business teams. Here are five tips to help FP&A and performance teams succeed in their budget review:
1. Start Early: Seems basic and obvious, but it’s probably the most important part. You should have a well-oiled machine ready to strike. Starting the budget review process early will ensure that there is plenty of time for review and revisions. Gather the necessary data, review it, anticipate some informal discussions, and start preparing the budget in advance. This will make it easier to address any potential issues that come up during the review, and smooth up any discussion.
2. Set Clear Goals: Before the budget review process begins, it’s important to set clear goals and objectives. You should have a clear understanding of your performance trends. For this, it is fundamental that your performance data is clean, coherent, consistent across the board, and gathered in a timely manner. This will allow you to define the objectives of your review: “What KPIs should we improve? What actions can impact them?” “Is there any spending to cut back?”. You need to have figured out these questions in advance, so that your review can be targeted and efficient.
3. Leverage your Technology: Your tech stack can be your greatest asset during the budget review process. Use solutions to streamline the process, reduce the need for manual data entry, and make it easier to analyse and visualise the data. Solutions like Dokin can help you gather your data and connect it across your Google Workspace presentations and documents.
4. Communicate Effectively: Good communication is essential for a successful budget review. Make sure to keep stakeholders informed about the budget review process and what to expect. Keep an eye on certain items, anticipate certain discussions and make sure you are setting up an easy and les-bureaucratic as possible process for your business teams. Keep it smart and effective.
5. Stay Flexible: No budget review process is perfect. Be prepared for unexpected issues or changes that may arise. Stay flexible and be ready to make adjustments as needed. Use Dokin to help you affect those changes in just a click across all your spreadsheets, presentations and documents.
As a main takeaway, it is important to keep in mind that the budget review process should be effective, quick and painless for your business teams. By following the five tips above, FP&A and performance teams can be sure to have a successful Q1 budget review and make the most of their time and resources.