Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Where, Oh, Where Has My Budget Gone?

As we approach the end of the first quarter, many users are starting to revise budgets and forecast for the remaining part of the year. Normally we get at least one call, if not a couple, from users who have accidentally deleted or modified their budgets unintentionally. You may think it could never happen to you, but believe me-- it happens to those who least expect it. So I thought it might be a good idea to review some guidelines regarding the budget windows in Microsoft Dynamics GP.

First, let's talk about the Budget Maintenance window, accessed from Cards>>Financial>>Budget and then choosing Open>>Using Microsoft Dynamics GP or New>>Using Microsoft Dynamics GP.

When you use this window, it is important to note that you are modifying the ENTIRE BUDGET unless you stipulate a range using the Ranges button. So, for example, if you click the Delete button at the top of this window, you will delete the ENTIRE BUDGET. Or, if you click the Methods button an apply a 10% increase, it will increase the ENTIRE BUDGET. This catches users off guard because the window does allow you to select a single account and modify the amounts manually. But keep in mind that all other buttons- like Delete and Methods- apply to the entire budget unless you have restricted the range using the Ranges button.

One way to avoid accidents when using this window is to mark the Preliminary button BEFORE you make any changes, this will allow you to close the window and choose to Discard changes. If actual is marked, you will not get the option to discard changes- you only get the option to Save or Delete. And, remember, Delete will apply to the ENTIRE BUDGET unless (repeat it with me) you have restricted the range using the Ranges button.

So, have I scared you yet? :) But, seriously, it doesn't have to be scary when you need to modify a budget in Microsoft Dynamics GP. Some hints I use in training:

  • If you need to make a change to a single account, use the Single Account Budget Maintenance window which can be accessed from Cards>>Financial>>Account>>Budget button. This window only affects the selected account's budget, and allows you to apply a percent change to the account's budget.

  • After making changes to your budget, back up the budget by exporting it to Excel from Cards>>Financial>>Budget. That way, if something does happen to your budget you can easily re-import it from Excel.

Feel free to share any tips/tricks you have learned when budgeting in Microsoft Dynamics GP. And with the coming of GP2010, we will get the ability to enter transactions to a budget, and combine budgets :) In the meantime, happy budgeting....

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