Dynamics NAV Budgets – the most under used feature?

Why is it that so few companies use the budgets feature in Dynamics NAV? It’s great, easy to use and flexible. But less than one in ten companies of any size tend to use it in my experience. Almost everyone complains that ‘I haven’t got round to setting it up yet’.

So quick tip – setting it up is one of the easiest things you can do in NAV. We can have it working for you in ten minutes flat. Don’t believe me? Your budgets will take longer to input than that? Well let me prove it.

Go into G/L Budgets on the General Ledger menu or use the search box. Select New tro create a new budget and give it any code and description you like. Then select Edit Budget.

And the first thing you should do is set the ‘View By’ to Month, rather than the default of Day, you don’t really want to do budget by day do you?

I then set the year I’m budgeting for in the date filter in the filter section at the bottom so it doesn’t default to the work date periods all the time.

Next filter it to just Income Statement (or Profit & Loss as we call them here in the UK) accounts

Then the fastest way to get a budget is to copy the figures from last year and apply a ‘factor’ or percentage variance. That done via the ‘Copy Budget’ option at the top.

Now there are some options here you need to get right so again I’ve highlighted them in yellow below

So the secret is this doesn’t just copy budgets, its copies G/L entries to Budgets using the Source and Selecting, yes, G/L Entry. Well don’t your budgets in Excel start with actuals from your chart of accounts now?

Set the G/L account range you want to budget for – again I’d suggest only your income/expenditure accounts.

Set the date range you want the actuals for, usually last year.

Make sure you select your new budget code against Copy To Budget Name.

Under the apply section I’ve uplifted all the numbers by 5% by multiplying by 1.05 and rounded to the nearest whole number with the rounding method.

I’ve done just one total for the month by setting Date Compression and most importantly I’ve set the Date Change Formula to ‘+1Y’.

Click OK, let it run and your budgets done.

Oddly you need to click Refresh when it returns to the budget before the new figures show.

And voila, you have a budget.

Next explore the Export to Excel option on toolbar, don’t forget to click Include Totalling Formulas. You can distribute, get people to revise it and then update it via the Import from Excel.

Then go and build a budget by Dimension, yes, the copy from G/L entry works by dimension as well!

So come on, no excuses are there? Do your budgets in your core business system not in that unmanageable rats nest of an Excel spreadsheet please.