It’s almost that time of year again when you have to prepare your annual budget. If you are like most organisations in the sectors we work with - aged care, disability, and childcare - the budgets are quite often prepared at the last minute.
It must feel like it was just yesterday you went through the process of developing your FY2022 budgets, engaging your management team, reviewing your strategic objectives, and developing assumptions. Yet it is already time to start thinking about the 2023 financial year budget.
You might be asking yourself, where am I going to find the time? Do I have the resources to complete the budget process? Am I able to diligently prepare the budget before the financial year end? Will I be presenting the draft budget the Board in July, like last year? We hear these questions every day.
The ever-changing nature of care sectors, liable to government policy changes and shifting consumer behaviour, is creating more and more pressure to adhere to an increasingly mounting pile of deliverables and reporting requirements.
For organisations with competing priorities, such as implementing a new business unit or undertaking an acquisition, finding the time to prepare the annual budget is just another challenge; usually involving lots of unpaid overtime.
Often, the annual budget development process becomes a copy paste exercise. Copy last year’s budget, account for CPI increases, present to the Board. But is this the best approach? Does this allow your organsiation to challenge assumptions, take a new approach, a different perspective?
I strongly believe that the annual budget process should be a change mechanism to initiate new strategic directions or working towards existing strategic objectives. The budget process is not just about setting financial targets for the next twelve months, it is also the best time to:
engage your management team in planning;
reinvigorate their passion and vision;
have conversations about the future and their role in creating it; and
develop the framework to achieve it.
Engaging industry experts to assist you with the budget preparation process is a great opportunity to improve your financial position or a chance to offload the nitty gritty if you or your team are time poor or focussed on other priorities. It provides a different perspective on the budget process from people who know what is working, and what isn’t working, in the industry.
My team and I have helped dozens of organisations with their annual budget preparation. We have extensive experience developing budgets and the sector knowledge to provide valuable insights and advice along the way.
We only take on a limited number of clients each year to ensure that we can deliver the exception quality and service we have become known for. Ideally, we will be taking on clients until April 2023 with your draft budget ready for you to take to your Board in May. If you’re in the majority, this will be a whole month or two earlier than normal!