[17.5.8] Added budgeting (+ going back to Application Data folder)

The latest version allows to create budgets under Settings tab.

Budget is an estimate of income and expenses for a set period of time which can be compared to actual figures in profit & loss statement.

The feature at the moment is pretty basic. It allows to create a budget and then generate a report which compares the budget to actual figures.

When you create a budget, you will set period which the budget covers, then enter amounts for income & expense accounts.

You can then view the budget which will show comparison between actual and budget figures.

This is pretty basic but functional. I’m interested to hear how to evolve this feature to fulfill needs in real-world scenarios.

Going back to Application Data folder

A few weeks ago, some changes have been made to desktop edition which made Application Data folder obsolete.

This was part of larger changes I was planning to introduce in server & cloud editions. These changes are not going to go ahead and therefore I’m forced to put application data folder back into desktop edition for the sake of consistency.

What it means is that *.manager files will need to reside in dedicated folder (which you can move). Basically, exactly how it worked before.

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This would be very helpful… look forward to further upgrades

This is pretty basic but functional. I’m interested to hear how to evolve this feature to fulfill needs in real-world scenarios.

@lubos, I’m thinking budgeting and performance benchmarking have the same framework but different intended purpose. One is to check whether it surpass the limitation or intended goals and another is to track at multilevel of departments or individual’s performance by using the existing Tracker features.

My suggestion is to have another feature that fulfill the above explanation. Which lead to of additional report called Key Performance Indicator.

Oh ya, can’t @lubos place the budget feature in Reports tab?

Is there no way to retain the naming functionality of the files. I see that its also gone back to the long numerical name format instead of keeping the name of the file as whatever I named it. In addition, I had to re-import the files even though they had the .manager extension and were in the folder (once I changed my application folder).

Budgeting Feedback.

Hi @lubos, last month I was discussing this very issue with my accountant and what appears to be required are two budgets.

  1. Profit Forecast - so you can ascertain actual profit per month/year which is what my business needs the most right now.
  2. Cash Flow Forecast - so you can track your cash per month/year to ensure that regardless of your profitability you always have sufficient funds to pay the bills as my accountant said that most businesses fail not because of lack of profits, but lack of actual cash!

What you have created is a basic profit forecast budgeting tool which is a good start as this is the one that people need the most anyway.

Other people may differ in their opinion, but the problem that I am seeing with the profit forecast budget that you have setup here is the fact that I have to duplicate a lot of monthly things. What I want to do is a profit forecast for this year so from 1st April to 31 March. Telephone, broadband rental, salary etc are all monthly expenses that are duplicated every single month. What I would like to see is a recurring expense or recurring income option so that I can say I pay £50 for broadband etc every month and this is shown for april, may, june etc.

The second problem is that it does not have the option to filter by month if you do from 1st april to 31st march. I think it would be logical to have the budget break up by default into month periods if you select more than one month period. But would be useful to have an annual statement as well as monthly statements so that you can compare with previous years.

Add lines - could you add 5/10 lines or maybe a better way is to enable select all chart of accounts and we can fill out each field and delete any COA’s that we don’t want in the budget. Also clone budgets for each year or enable to select all COA for new budgets as most people want to include pretty much every COA on the profit/loss statement for budget analysis.

I also would recommend that budgets go in reports as this is a logical place to put it.

Could you default the budget so that when you put in an expense it automatically subtracts from income. At the moment, you have to put -£300 in an expense instead of £300.

One last thing that I would like to do is break up my profit analysis and highlight guranteed income and definite expenditure and then separately highlight potential income and potential expenses as most profit forecasts are estimates of income and expenditure, but quite a fair bit of it is already pre-determined. It helps one to avoid overestimating income and underestimating expenditure

One thing that I am not sure about is how budget in fixed assets as that strictly speaking does not go into profit and loss, but does affect your cash flow so that you have less actual cash at the end of the year to declare a dividend even if the business reflects a higher profit on paper than your actual bank balance statement would imply.

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Gee @dalacor, with your level of proposed budget analysis I don’t know when I will have time to run the business but I am being a touch facetious.

Firstly, Budget and Cash Flow forecasts are two completely separate animals, in fact you need well constructed Budgets before you can even contemplate having Cash Flow analysis.

While I agree that the initial budgeting tool is a good start (better then nothing) it does lack real world practise. When creating a budget you work on an annual build so one can see the total picture, not on a month to month basis which is more applicable to data being transferred from a spreadsheet created budget.

Therefore I see the future enhancements being this:

  1. when selecting budgets the COA P&L accounts are auto filled - no suspense labelled fields.
  2. an annual presentation of 12 months plus a total column - user entered dates per column
  3. as the month columns are filled the total column auto updates.
  4. a report which enables the annual budget to be printed - account, 12 months, total

But to some or your specific issues I make these comments:

I think at this stage it would be a big ask to have the budget data imputed in a spreadsheet style. Fill the first column and then “copy & paste” to the adjacent columns.

Have re-read this paragraph several times and can’t grasp what points you are making, but a future feature could also be where you have the ability to transfer (convert) last year’s actual monthly figures into being the current year’s budget figures and then edit as required.

[quote=“dalacor, post:6, topic:9785”]
Add lines - could you add 5/10 lines[/quote]

While that would assist the current budget model, having the COA P&L accounts auto fill would eliminate this and be prederable.

This maybe applicable to a business where there is subscription services but most businesses (cafes, retail) don’t have predictable future income patterns. No guarantee that any customers will turn up, but have an expectation of someone turning up.

Now you are exiting budgeting and entering cash flow forecasting.

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@Brucanna what I am trying to do for lubos is to help him understand what other people are looking for when budgeting so that he doesn’t have to spend time working on the budgeting functionality only to have to rewrite half of the coding six months down the line when people say it doesn’t do this, doesn’t do that etc. So I am trying to help by providing feedback here and today from my point of view - naturally every business will differ.

Technically you are correct, but I think what you are not seeing is that the coding for both are almost identical so it makes sense to have them developed into the program at the same time and secondly one should really have both features to successfully manage your finances so why not implement them together.

I agree. On further consideration, having the COA P&L accounts autofill or as I put it make the budget select the entire COA as the current arrangement makes no sense having to select next line, next line for 20-30 accounts!

Noted - but I was wondering if there is not a fair amount of wishful thinking in expected profits (i.e. always thinking that you will get more money than you actually do) and underestimating expenses. So I was just throwing that out as a suggestion.

Technically you are correct, but I consider cash flow forecasting as being part of your budgeting procedure. The way I see it is you have your profit analysis forecast and your cash flow forecasting and the two together make up your budgeting procedure. Semantics true - but in order to manage your finances properly, you really need both as part of your budgeting. So my question still stands.

This is what I am talking about with my first point and second point! I am just saying it in a different way from the way you said it. I want to see one statement that shows jan/feb.march/plus total column. The problem is that when u put in say telephone for march, you have to copy for april, may etc for the year! Or am I not understanding something here?

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Far from being almost identical - Budgets are P&L based and are static, that is, you enter a budget for a month and it stays set unless you edit it. Cash Flows are both BS & P&L based and in addition the closing cash position for one month becomes the opening cash position for the next month so there is a continual moving calculation from month to month, which doesn’t occur with Budgets

Yes, but don’t see that as a problem except its slightly time consuming - once a year. The alternate is to incorporate some form of basic spreadsheet functionality into Manager.

You don’t need a spreadsheet to setup recurring expenses/income - just put a recurring option into the coding. With the profit forecast and cash flow forecast - what I meant was there is a lot of common coding which will be used by both.

Anyway looking forward to seeing the final version of the budgeting feature :slight_smile:

Would also recommend adding a description field so when you add say £500 for installations services, you can say that this is for client A who will be ordering xyz in June! I am sure many businesses will have a similar requirement for a description field.

Budgets are generally gross bulk figures (a guidance) and don’t go down to the level of individual items, that’s more the domain of project costings. Besides, the annual budget is generally finalised prior to the commencement of the financial year .

If you want that type of supporting detail, then build the budget up in a spreadsheet and transfer the aggregate.

I am obviously not explaining myself very well. To use the example of the telephone line rental and broadband.

Right I pay £10 a month for line rental and £20 for broadband - so that is £30 a month for Broadband and Line Rental.

My understanding is that the COA account will then show £30 for april, £30 for May etc and a total of £360 for the year for the broadband and telephone line COA. So I am not asking for the invidivual items per so, but rather wanting to see that I spend £30 for that COA monthly and that amount annually. So what I am trying to get at is how do you put in the line rental and broadband into the budget without having to type it over and over again for each month

Another example could be rent for premises and you could have more than one premise. This usually goes into a COA rent - so do you put £5000 in for April, £5000 in for May, £5000 in for June or just say the rent COA is £5000 every month and get mananger to autofill £5000 for each month instead of filling it out manually? I am not talking about individual items, but rather autofill the COA for the same amount every month

Hello, i am confused now, i install just the new version but now i found out that many of my data are gone, around 3 weeks which i lost. So you say reside in dedicated folder, so i am not sure what this means, how can get back now all my data?

Do a search of your hard drive for .manager (note the dot) files, when located, open Manager and click on Add Business then Import Backup or Import Business depending on your version.

Then navigate to the location that the file search highlighted and select the business with the most recent date…

ok great, thanks, found my backup which i made before upgrade, now all fine.

thanks again, Dietmar

Re: Moving Application Data folder again.

I have 3 small not-for-profit “businesses” which I use Manager for. The removal of the Application Data folder allowed me to put the relevant Manager data files in a folder related to each of the businesses. Am I right in understanding that if I now move them out of the hidden folder (~/.local/share/Manager) I can only move them to a single folder rather than separate ones ?
Thanks.

Yes, all Manager files must now be kept together (as previously was the case)
But you can put them anywhere as long as you amend the Application Data under About Manager.

Sorry, final question, does that mean also that I can no longer rename the files to something meaningful such as the name of the business instead of the random number name ? Cheers.

This would appear to be the case. I am hoping that Lubos can address that shortcoming as it was very useful being able to name the file the same as the business name as this made it easy to delete old business files.

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