Business benefits of Sage Intacct budgeting, planning, and forecasting

27th June 2024

4 min read

Author: Toby Andrews, Sage Intacct Customer Success Manager

Effective budgeting is essential to your business’s financial health. But it’s not without its challenges. Complex internal processes, inaccurate data, and a lack of accountability are just some of the daily headaches your accounting team deals with.

How can you overcome these challenges?

This article examines how Sage Intacct budgeting, planning, and forecasting streamlines your processes and delivers real-time insights to improve your financial stability and drive growth.

Common budgeting challenges

Inadequate planning and forecasting capabilities

For many businesses, budgeting is an annual process. As the fiscal year draws to a close, the CFO and accounting team put their heads together to review your company finances and create a budget.

Diligent companies might reforecast once or twice a year, but few revisit their budgets regularly. The result is a static document that can’t reflect internal changes or current market conditions. It immediately becomes outdated, making it difficult to extract valuable insights and create clear plans.

Complex, manual processes

Microsoft Excel remains the primary budgeting tool for businesses worldwide. It seems like the obvious choice. Excel is a versatile program capable of storing large quantities of data and performing complex calculations. However, budgeting in Excel is a complicated and time-consuming process.

Depending on the complexity of your finances, it can take months to create a working budget. First, you must collect data from disparate systems and manually enter it into Excel. Not only can this take weeks to complete, but it also increases the risk of inaccuracies creeping into your datasets. And when you’ve finally finished putting your budget together in Excel, you must import it back into your accounting package.

Other issues with using Excel as a budgeting tool include:

  • Data relevance: a lack of live data feed means Excel budgets typically contain historical data.
  • Collaboration: with no built-in workflows or version control, Excel lacks the collaboration features you’d expect from dedicated budgeting software.
  • Insight sharing: Excel's limited data visualisation capabilities make sharing insights across your business in an intuitive, digestible format difficult.


Whether it’s a decentralised decision-making process, inadequate reporting, or a combination of factors, holding budget holders accountable is always tricky.

Accountability ensures spending decisions align with your financial strategy and support your business goals. It encourages transparency by requiring budget holders to show how, where, and when they use company funds.

This minimises overspending and helps you identify potential risks, but it also builds trust with stakeholders.

Find everything you need to know from features and implementation to use cases and success stories, in our Sage Intacct handbook. 

4 benefits of using Sage Intacct budgeting, planning, and forecasting

Sage Intacct features dedicated budgeting and financial planning tools to support businesses of every size. Built-in automation and real-time finance data let you create accurate budgets in a fraction of the time it takes in Excel.

1. Streamlined budgeting process

Why spend months creating a budget when you can do it in days? Sage Intacct automates time-consuming tasks to minimise manual data entry, reduce errors, and simplify your budgeting process.

More than that, Sage Intacct is a single source of truth for your finance data. So, instead of navigating between multiple spreadsheets and documents, you can access everything you need to budget, plan, and forecast in one solution.

2. Increased flexibility

The main reason CFOs don’t reforecast regularly is time. Reforecasting in Excel is a laborious process that gets in the way of their daily duties.

Sage Intacct budgeting, planning, and forecasting allows you to quickly gauge the impact of internal and external factors on your budget and respond accordingly. For example:

  • Increases or decreases in grant funds
  • The impact of hiring additional team members
  • How interest rate increases affect access to finances

‘What if?’ scenario analysis lets you take this one step further and create sophisticated models to see exactly how these events affect your business. The upshot? Sage Intacct enables you to turn budgeting from a reactive exercise into a proactive process.

[Sage Intacct] allows you to look at these things and create a ‘what if’ scenario... You can easily go in, make changes, and see how it reflects the remaining budget line.

– Sal Catalano, Senior Solutions Consultant

3. Improved collaboration

Budgeting effectively in Excel requires you to set up complex formulas. In most cases, the sheet owner is the only one who truly understands how their formulas work and how to use them without breaking the spreadsheet.

Sage Intacct is designed for collaboration. Its intuitive budgeting tools allow multiple users to import, change, and export data effortlessly – no complex calculations required. That means everyone works from the same information, ensuring consistency across your business.

4. Enhanced decision-making

Sage Intacct budgeting, planning, and forecasting includes dynamic dashboards and a comprehensive reporting suite, giving you instant access to real-time financial insights.

Need a business-wide overview of your finances? Want to drill down to extract more granular information? Sage Intacct lets you do both in one platform so you can use data-backed insights to inform your strategy.

Sage Intacct offers sophisticated scenario analysis and sensitivity testing alongside its reporting tools that enhance your planning and forecasting capabilities. Users can effortlessly model scenarios and share the results with stakeholders.

Having the opportunity to have multiple budgets – to bring them into Sage Intacct Core, and then using the power of custom reporting to bring them to the columns that are appropriate for you – is game-changing.

– Sal Catalano, Senior Solutions Consultant

More than a budgeting tool

As the UK’s largest Sage Intacct partner, we’ve seen first-hand how its extensive toolset helps businesses regain control of their finances.

Sage Intacct budgeting, planning, and forecasting turns a laborious process into a driver for business success. Its advanced capabilities streamline your budgeting process and foster collaboration between your teams, while unrivalled strategic insights helps you plan your financial future with confidence.