Creating a Budget Template
This spreadsheet template will enable you to quickly create a desired budget allocating the planned expenditure between your different cost centers. This can then be broken down further into the line items you require to perform the necessary tasks to attain your set target.
As a manager making sure you are familiar with spreadsheets is vital. They enable you to quickly and easily see the effect minor and major alterations will have on the costs centers within your budget and the overall budget figure.
First look at the target you have been set and how that translates into activities and events you need to perform to attain it. Then for each of these you need to break it down into the resources your require and their associated costs. Then each of these costs must be allocated to one of your costs centers and become a line item within it.
It is extremely important to build a little contingency cost to each event. This will enable you to meet any unexpected costs that may arise in the following year. For example, cost of scarce resources may rise significantly and the budget must be able to cover this increased cost without impacting on other events.
This allows you to weather the several iterations and usual reductions that the budgetary process will inevitably have. Your superiors will expect you to have added some protection into your budget to ensure you can meet your target and therefore be able to attain your target as they ask you to do more with less!
When you have done this for all the planned activities and events necessary to attain the set target the total will give the overall budget figure you need. This is often referred to as a ‘desired’ budget and will invariably be higher than the allocated budget figure! So starts the refining of the budget down to a figure that will be acceptable to your manager or seniors. Remember this lower figure must still attain the target you’ve been set.
Before submitting a budget to your superior it is always advisable to create several different versions for you own use. This enables you to assess the impact of cutting back in selected areas will have on your ability to perform your role and meet targets. The different sheets of the template offer you an excellent method to record each version and the ability to note the key implications of each version.
This template allows you to record the name and date you submitted your budget. Your set target is also recorded in the header rows so that it is a constant reminder of what you have to achieve. Then the usual cost centers are listed in the first column with their corresponding line items along side them. Then you have the ability to assign a figure to a specific month for each item.
The calculations for annual and monthly totals as it corresponds to each item and month has been set up so that it is easy to see the overall budget allocated. It is easy to alter any one of the cost center names or line items so that they relate to your specific needs and role.
As with all financial information it is essential that they are kept strictly confidential and that passwords are set for each budget document you create as part of this process.