In this article, we’ll discuss Retail budgeting and forecasting for your Microsoft Dynamics AX experience, zooming in on today’s features and functionalities.
Whether you are planning by budgeting, forecasting, or performing what-if analyses for your corporation, they all rely on historical figures and projected numbers, so you can strategize accurately for management of your retail company, navigating challenges and seizing opportunities in your next period. There are plenty of programs that can help retail organizations to upgrade their planning tasks with Dynamics AX, whether you design your own process, depend on the built-in Dynamics AX budgeting functionality, or choose to go with an independent software vendor (ISV) offering. This article will explore your best options for modern budgeting, forecasting, and modeling, with a focus on how to meet Retail-specific planning goals with Microsoft Dynamics AX.
Let’s begin this discussion by nailing down some non-negotiable characteristics to seek in a planning solution. This is probably a given, but business user friendliness should be your top priority. Ease of use for your business users should be a result of accounting logic, process efficiency, and reusable templates. Financial planning is almost always completed through teamwork, which is another reason business user friendliness is essential. That said, collaboration should be a concept that isn’t ignored, but rather, translated into functionality. An ISV tool should allow the budgeting team to avoid lengthy e-mail conversations with disparate spreadsheets that are usually heavy attachments – and you can rely on modern technology to allow for streamlined teamwork instead of manually piecing it all together. With collaboration, quality security for all of your sensitive data, like payroll, is essential. Security functions should empower users to contribute to budgets without classified info getting into the wrong hands. Budget contributors can own and help to shape budgets that they have to meet through the year with proper security measures. Commonsense stuff, right?
Not every “solution” is going to help you solve modern “problems.” Let’s rely on business user friendliness, collaboration, and security to evaluate how these budgeting tools can assist retail companies achieve their budgeting goals with Dynamics AX: homegrown Excel budgets, Microsoft Forecaster, Oracle’s Hyperion, IBM’s Cognos TM1, and Solver’s BI360.
The internationally trusted spreadsheet tool for finance teams is a great place to start: Microsoft Excel. Nearly 90% of today’s businesses still rely on Excel for homegrown budgeting tasks. There’s no denying that this tool is business user friendly due, if for no other reason, to its ubiquity for the past couple of decades, but Excel doesn’t come with a database that invites collaboration – or the required security measures to keep your information safe. Since Excel has static input templates, various problems can surface when you manually link spreadsheets for a comprehensive budget. However, Microsoft also produces Forecaster, a tool specifically for planning processes.
To continue learning more about budgeting for Retail organizations with Microsoft Dynamics AX, read the rest of this article