Westcourt

5 Reasons to Budget and Forecast in your Business  

Financial Goals

The adage “You need to spend money to make money” is a common refrain in business and across the business accounting community in Perth. However, without sound budgeting and financial planning, Perth SME’s risk overspending and accumulating excessive debt.  A well-structured budget crafted by your business accountant acts as a compass guiding family business owner toward their goals.   

Establishing a budget with your Perth business accountant before starting on expenditures is imperative for entrepreneurs and business owners. Here are some advantages of crafting a disciplined budget for your business: 

  •  Achieve Financial Goals 

Every business owner has ambitions for their business. Realising these goals can become an uphill journey for your business without adequate financial planning from your team and your Perth Business Accountant.  Whether you aspire to start a flagship store for your e-commerce venture or expand internationally, budgeting enables you to allocate resources carefully to properly fund your next venture.   

Further, a clear budget connected to your cloud accounting software shows you the actions for achieving your targets, strategies for cost-saving and reducing costs in specific expense categories.  The most effective approach involves a 3-way model encompassing your budget, forecasts, and cash flow for the designated period. This trio provides the framework for planning, evaluation, and sound business management. 

If you have a strong history of documented forecasts and achieving your forecasts you will increase the value of your business.  

  •  Prioritise Expenditures 

Specific activities may demand attention as your business progresses through various stages of its lifecycle. However, cash flow might hinder spending in those strategic areas. By incorporating a forecast into your budget model prepared by your Perth business accountant, you better understand where budget allocation is most critical. This insight enables more efficient use of resources that align with your overall strategy.   

It is essential to consider your budget and forecast within your business plan. 

  •  Effective Debt Management 

Debt is often an inescapable aspect of business, particularly for startups or small to medium-sized enterprises (SMBs) across Perth grappling with limited capital and uneven cash flow.  Seizing growth opportunities can lead business owners to overextend their credit, accumulating excessive debt.  So, cash flow management is critical to effectively managing and repaying this debt.  Your budget must factor in the cash movement in your business so you have the necessary funds to meet payment deadlines, particularly for substantial expenses. Failing to manage debt appropriately can result in late payment penalties and added interest, increasing debt burdens and making businesses difficult.   

A clear budget can prevent negative cash flow and help you plan for debt refinancing. 

  •  Prepare for Emergencies 

While most expenses can be anticipated, unforeseen external factors, such as economic downturns or global pandemics, can spell disaster for businesses.  Small enterprises are often compelled to borrow money to cover shortfalls – often at short notice with the help of their local Perth business accountant.  A budget should earmark funds for an emergency reserve.  Possessing an emergency fund provides the financial flexibility necessary to sustain business operations during periods of instability. Suffering a significant financial setback is never easy, but the security of a warchest proves invaluable when structuring a business budget. 

Creating an emergency fund might involve talking to your bank for additional funding. 

  •  Make Informed Financial Decisions 

Business owners frequently confront challenging decisions that can shape their future – typically with the help of their Perth Business Accountant. This is especially true when allocating financial resources with the help of their business CFO.  Understanding the cost of a decision before you make it is vital.  

A 3-way financial forecast can enhance your understanding of choices, from their influence on debt to their impact on profits. For instance, you might desire to provide bonus payments to your employees. However, your budget might not accommodate the additional payroll taxes. By postponing bonus payments to the next fiscal year, you reward employees while reducing your income tax liability for the present year. 

What is a Financial Budget? 

  • A financial budget is a comprehensive plan outlining the expected income and expenses for a specific period, typically for a fiscal year or project. Its primary purpose is to set financial targets and allocate resources effectively to achieve specific financial goals. 
  • Budgets are typically created for a fixed period in the future, such as the upcoming year, and are generally not meant to change frequently during that period. 
  • Budgets are highly detailed and specific, providing line-item details for each income source and expense category. They are often used for detailed expense control and resource allocation. 
  • Budgets are used for planning and controlling financial activities. They serve as a benchmark against which actual financial performance is measured. Variance analysis is often conducted to compare budgeted figures with actual results. 
  • Budgets may not adapt well to unforeseen changes or dynamic business environments. Revising a budget typically requires formal approval and may take time. 

What is a Financial Forecast?

  • A financial forecast is a projection of future financial performance based on current and historical data, economic trends, and assumptions. Its primary purpose is to provide the best estimate of future financial outcomes for decision-making. 
  • Forecasts, such as monthly or quarterly, are often updated regularly to reflect changing circumstances and new information. They cover both the short-term and long-term periods. 
  • Forecasts are generally less detailed than budgets and focus on the big picture. While they may include specific line items, the level of detail is not as extensive as in a budget. 
  • Forecasts are used for strategic planning, making informed decisions, and adjusting strategies in response to changing conditions. They provide a sense of where the organisation is likely heading financially. 
  • Forecasts can be adjusted as new information becomes available.  A good example is Furtrli software business forecasting as it takes your real time data from Xero.  Forecasts allow a more agile response to changing circumstances and help businesses adapt their strategies accordingly. 

Budget v Forecast 

A budget is a fixed, detailed plan with financial planning and control.  A forecast is a more flexible projection of future financial performance used for strategic decision-making and adapting to changing conditions. Both tools are valuable in managing finances effectively and supporting the business plan of the SME.  And they serve different purposes and are employed in various ways within an organisation’s financial management process. 

The financial forecast for a business prepared by your Perth business accountant should include a statement of cashflows, a forecast balance sheet and a forecast profit and loss.  

In Conclusion 

Indeed, businesses need to expend resources to generate income. Establishing a budget, precise forecasting, and astute cash flow management guarantees that your expenditures are directed to the right places, at the correct times, and for the proper purpose.  

Should you require assistance with budgeting or forecasts for your business, Westcourt has the expertise and knowledge to aid you in crafting and implementing a solid forecast and budget within your cloud accounting system. Our team has financial modelling tools that are flexible for your enterprise. To discover how we can support you, please get in touch with us today.

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