Collaborative Budgeting with Velixo and Excel
This blog post is the first in a series of six that will focus on “Why ERP is better when integrated with Excel”. Stay tuned for additional posts and video content as we explore the powerful combination of Velixo and Microsoft Excel. To begin, let’s jump right into how to collaboratively budget and forecast with Excel.
We know the budgeting process can be stressful and time-consuming. Building a detailed budget often involves input from several team members who might work in different locations, or even different time zones. To manage this process and all the data that comes with it, some turn to expensive budgeting and planning solutions that may look good but add little value. Thankfully, you can use Velixo alongside the native capabilities of Excel and Office 365 to efficiently build a collaborative budget with your team.
How to Collaboratively Budget
With Velixo functions, you can supercharge your spreadsheets by pulling in historical data from Acumatica, MYOB Advanced or CEGID XRP Flex such as sales history, payroll figures, and project forecasts as inputs for your budget. You can always refresh your spreadsheet at any point to pull in the most updated data, since we all know that figures can change often in your ERP. Insert charts to view visual representations of your data and manipulate variables such as cost and sales forecasts to see the effect on your bottom line.
Office 365 enables you to create a library of shared documents with your team members to speed up data collection. Then you can link those files to a master budget workbook that only you (or the users you choose) can access. With the features and tips detailed below, you can rest assured that your data will be secure.
Whether you are building a bridge or developing an annual budget, communication is crucial for any collaborative effort. Use the commenting feature in Excel to facilitate conversation with the team members that you tag in your comment. One example could be tagging your office manager in a comment on an expense line item so he or she can verify the amount. Your office manager would receive an email notification with a link to the comment and spreadsheet.
Once your team has finished their work and your budget is reviewed and finalized, you can utilize the Velixo Budget Writeback feature to import your data directly into Acumatica, MYOB Advanced, or Cegid XRP Flex avoiding input errors and saving precious time. For an in-depth training video on Budget Writeback, click here.
Quick Tips for Collaboration
Here are a few helpful hints that can make your budgeting process with Excel and Office 365 run smoothly and efficiently.
- OneDrive/SharePoint: Save your files to OneDrive or SharePoint so multiple people can review and update the budget simultaneously. You can also share workbooks with individual users, restricting access to sensitive data.
- Protect Structure: Use the Protect Structure feature in Excel to provide password protection for your workbook tabs. This restricts users from adding, deleting, hiding, unhiding, or moving any sheets on the workbook. Users can still change data in the sheets, but are unable to modify the structure of the workbook.
- Protect Worksheet: Lock down the contents of an entire worksheet so users cannot make any edits without a password. You can also protect specific cells, or ranges of cells, while allowing changes to others. This feature is great for protecting the integrity of your formulas and models, while also allowing users to submit data to your shared workbook.
- Show Changes: Fearful of users messing up your data? If you take advantage of the functionality listed above, this shouldn’t be an issue. Though keep in mind that you can track and view the changes other users make to shared workbooks and, if needed, revert to previous versions of the document.
Check out our tips video below so you can leverage the full power of collaboration with Excel.
Building an accurate budget with your team does not have to be painful. You can shorten the budget season and produce better results by using Velixo functions to extract up-to-date information from your ERP, and native features of Excel and Office 365 to collaborate with your team. If you are ready to join over 700 customers who are using Velixo to bring their ERP data to life in Excel, click here to schedule a demo.
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