Budgeting is all about managing expectations, so it’s probably no great surprise that communication is a major tool is delivering an awesome budget.
How are your communication skills? You need to find your answers to the following questions:
Who is your key audience?
Who are the stakeholders you need to engage? Remember that each stakeholder may need their own approach.
For example, in my business I have
- Finance leaders
- Business leaders
- My team
- Sales team
- Middle management
Each of these groups have different communication needs. I’m in finance, so the finance leaders want me to demonstrate that I’m on top of the budgeting process. Regular, top level updates with key risks and opps keep them happy.
Business leaders want to challenge the division to deliver more than last year, with stretching targets. They need to understand what level of challenge has been embedded in the numbers.
So you can clearly see how different requirements of your audience will drive different types of communication.
Understanding who needs to be communicated to and ensuring you have a plan to meet their needs will really help you stand out as a talented communicator (and budgeter).
Don’t use Excel as a presentation tool
A good tool for presenting a budget is powerpoint. If you’re already using powerpoint then skip to the next section.
Now if you’re using excel to present your budget then it might be time to think about an alternative approach.
Don’t get me wrong – Excel is very good and I use it loads, however I never (ever) use it to communicate with. Why? Because it makes you think in tables, and makes you talk about numbers rather than assumptions and initiatives.
Using powerpoint is great for communicating. It’s a ready made storyboard. I map out the skeleton of my budget pack first – even before I’ve VLOOKUPPED anything.
I hope you’ve found the tips helpful, come back next time to find out about Xxx