Organizations often need to buy a lot of items. These can be anything- a bag of paper clips, some stationery, new laptops, or maybe a new company jet. It is important to adopt a systematic approach to any business process, and as such approvals are needed before buying anything using the organization’s money. This helps keep tabs on the expenditure, while maintaining an updated record of the funds that remain in the organization’s coffers.

The budget approval process, mostly, has a vertical approval structure. You would think this process would be very efficient and streamlined with zero redundancies. However, the truth is far from it. The current budget process is predominantly manual with extensive dependence on paper or spreadsheet, which means approvals have to be based on days old data, reviews are based on humongous spreadsheets. Budget approvals are an important aspect of the overall admin process, and hence should not be time consuming and difficult. But paper or email are not equipped to ensure the streamlining of the process.

The solution to this dilemma lies with automation. A good automated solution, like IBISM’s Budget Approval module, come with tools like real time data analytics, task tracking, easy to use form builder etc. These tools make sure that your budget approval process is free from any bottlenecks or redundancies and is efficient. Below, we will discuss the benefits of automating your budget approval process.

1. Easier requests

At present, the budget approval process is mostly paper based, with some digitation in between. An employee fills up a paper form with details regarding amount, reason for request, employee details etc. This form, along with any supporting documents, is then sent to decision maker for approval. Approval depends on availability of funds, for which the decision maker has to consult large spreadsheets and then decide whether funds can be spared. If the requested amount is very large, an executive approval may be needed. There can be doubts, which would need discussions etc. If it took you this much time just reading about the process, imagine the time that it takes for the process to actually take place. Automation promises to reduce this time by more than 50% at least. Once you adopt an automated solution for the process, you get access to a simple, readymade and easy to customize form that can be used to file budget request. As the form is easily customizable, it can be changed according to your needs or used straight out of the box. Once a request is triggered, relevant people are automatically notified and can take necessary action. Budget caps for sections can be put in at the start of the business year and a form detailing un-budgeted expenses can be designed. This helps in maintaining order in case some expense comes up that was not a part of the planned budget.

2. Effortlessly expedited approvals

The budget approval process suffers from bottlenecks at every stage. Once a paper based, or even an email or digital form based request is triggered, comes the time for approvals. Approval for a budget request depends on availability of funds and also on the feasibility of the request. An admin, whether a manager or a director, needs access to the latest data to take the right decision. However, with spreadsheets and paper based approach, it is impossible to have access to latest data. When you automate the process, you can have access to the latest data anytime with a single click, thanks to real time analytics. Now, admins can access latest data related to a budget request and make informed decision. Also, approvals are just a matter of a single click. If a request needs executive level approval, the request can be forwarded to him or her along with any relevant data. This reduces approval time significantly and makes them easier, decreasing workload of everyone involved. If budget request is rejected, employees can see feedbacks to know the reason.

3. Trackable tasks

An omnipresent drawback of paper or email based processes is the absence of any tracking mechanism. Once a request is sent for budget appropriation, employees can track its status only through manual follow-ups. This is tiring and time wasting. It becomes very difficult to identify and remove bottlenecks or redundancies. Automating the process makes it trackable, which means the status of a task can be easily tracked. If there is any delay, the cause can be easily identified and removed. Communication channels that are task specific in nature are also included with automation modules. They remove the need for emails or phone calls and provide a secure, instant communication medium.

The budget approval process is a frequent task in the overall admin process, and thus needs to be efficient and streamlined to save time and resources. Automation makes sure this process is as efficient as it can be. If you have any doubts regarding automating your budget approval process, or about any other business process, contact IBISM. We will be happy to answer all your queries and set you up with a free demo.

Published on May 11, 2018