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Budgeting Persona: Finding the “Right-Fit”

As a software company we’re constantly striving to find that “right-fit” – something that builds in all the important complexities of budgeting yet seems effortless and simple.

In order to make a software solution that truly excels in usability – we have to match the needs, style, and thought-processes of our customer’s organizational and budgeting culture. (In our case, hopefully, someone like you!) In marketing we call it the “persona” – in sales it’s the “ideal customer”.  Whatever you call it – if it’s not a good fit it’s painful and costly for everyone.

What’s your organization’s budgeting persona – or your culture and approach to budgeting?  Here are a few thoughts to get you started!

Employees should:
—  Have ownership and accountability for their numbers
—  Participate within limits set by finance
—  Be banned from the budgeting process

The budget is:
—  Mission-critical – part of the strategic plan
—  A “guesstimate” based on last year’s actuals
—  Something only finance cares about

The final budget numbers are:
— Accurate plus or minus a small percentage
— In the general ballpark
— Wrong as soon as they are posted

Forecasting is:
— Based on planned expenses and revenue
— Just a percentage of actual expenditures
— Too complex, we don’t bother

Our approach to budgeting:
— Zero based budgeting all the way!
— Finance sets targets + department heads request strategic initiatives
— Top-down, model-driven

Obviously we’ve highlighted extremes with our response options, but at XLerant our budgeting persona is relatively simple:

We believe employee engagement in the budget process ensures the most informed and realistic numbers, which results in a more accurate final budget – ensuring a strong fiscal foundation to achieve your strategic goals.  

That’s a “right-fit”.



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