How to set up and enter budgets

Budgets are one of the most important things you need to track. Budgets are set against your nominal accounts so once you've recorded your budget, you can compare the totals of the actual nominal transactions posted to a nominal account against the budget for that account.

Budget values can be both positive and negative. Negative values apply to accounts whose balances are normally a credit. This applies to revenue accounts but may also feature elsewhere in your own account structure.

All budgets can be set for your current year and for up to five years in the future.

Nominal account budgets

Your actual income and expenditure is only tracked against the budget set on your nominal accounts. Nominal account budgets can be set as:

  • An annual total - specify a single budget amount and Sage 200cloud divides it equally across your accounting periods. Any odd amounts that are left over are added to the last period's budget.
  • Per month - specify a separate budget amount for each accounting period.
  • Per budget profile - create a template where you specify a percentage budget per period.

    These are useful if you need to weight certain periods more than others to account for seasonal or market trends. These are useful if you have higher or lower expenditure at certain periods of the year, such as during the school holidays or at the start of the school year.

Note: You can also enter an Original Budget figure for the budget this year, if you want to keep a record of the initial budget amount so that you can compare it against any changes to the budget.

How to set up budget profiles

Open: Settings > Cash Book / Nominal Ledger > Nominal Ledger Settings | Budget Profiles

You choose a percentage to apply to each period. The total of all the periods must add up to 100. For each profile, enter a percentage for each period.

When you enter the budget for a nominal account, choose the profile and enter an annual total. The budget per period is set using the percentages entered on the profile.

Note: You can only use profiles for current year budgets.

How to enter budgets on your nominal accounts

Open: Nominal > Nominal List > Amend.

Open: Nominal > Create & Amend Accounts > Create New Nominal Account.

  1. Choose the Budget This Year or Budget Future Years tab as required.
  2. For future years, choose each future year from the Budget year list.

Check budgets when entering purchase orders

You can check that purchase orders you are about to authorise will not exceed the budgets set on your nominal accounts.

If you enable Check budgets when authorising purchase orders, Sage 200cloud will check your nominal account budgets each time you authorise a purchase order. A warning is displayed when you try to authorise the order if the value of any item on the purchase order will exceed the nominal budget linked to that item, or any item on the purchase order contains a blank or invalid nominal account code.

How to import budgets

You can import budgets set at nominal account level (but not combined nominal budgets). This is useful if you want to maintain your budgets in an Excel spreadsheet and makes the process of entering and updating your budgets much quicker.

All information is imported via a CSVComma Separated Value (CSV) file format. Sage 200 can import and export data in the CSV file format. file, so once your information is in an Excel spreadsheet it's pretty straightforward to import from there. To make sure Sage 200cloud can read the data for all the different records, the information in your CSV file will need to conform to certain rules.

Budget owners and combined nominal budgets

In addition to the budgets set at a nominal account level, you can also create combined nominal budgets. You can use these to:

  • Group nominal accounts together to report on the rolled up totals.

    A combined budget allows you to group together any combination of nominal accounts and report on the rolled up total budget of all these accounts against the rolled up actual total balance (and any committed costs). This also helps you check that the budget figures you've set for each nominal account are correct, by showing you how much of the overall combined budget has been allocated to the nominal accounts.

  • Set a Budget Owner.

    Budget holders can then use the My budgets overview workspace to check actual spend against the budgets where they are set as the Budget Owner.

    Finance managers or head teachers can track the actual spend against budget using Excel reports such as the Nominal Budget Overview, and printed reports such as Budget Statement Breakdown by Department.

    Purchase requisitions can also be entered against combined budgets, with the budget owner as the authoriser. See Set up purchase requisitions.

  • Set an anticipated budget for a group of nominal accounts.

    If required, you can also use combined budgets to set anticipated budgets. Here you would provide a total budget for the selected nominal accounts that is more than total budgets entered for the accounts. This a good way of recording a budget that you don't want to fully allocate yet.

    For example, you might have an annual budget of £800 for materials but only want to allocate £600 to the budget owner at the beginning of the year.

You can set a combined nominal budget for the current year and up to 5 future years.

If you're a maintained school, your budgets are usually allocated at CFR code level. You might set up combined nominal budgets to group the nominal accounts by CFR categories, to help you track that you've allocated your budget correctly.

If you're an academy, your budgets might be allocated at a department level. You could then set up a combined budget and budget owner for all expense nominal accounts with the same department code.

How to set up combined nominal budgets

  1. Enter your nominal account budgets on the Create or Amend Nominal Account screens.

    Open: Nominal List > Amend Account.

  2. Enter your combined nominal budgets on the Enter or Amend Combined Nominal Budgets screens.

    Open: Nominal > Create and Amend Accounts > Enter New Nominal Combined Budget.

    1. Enter a Budget name.

      Note: We recommend entering a name of at least 3 characters, if you will use purchase requisitions with this budget.

    2. To set a budget holder, select Add Owners.

    3. Click Display to show the available nominal accounts. Use the filters to reduce the number of accounts shown. Click Display at any time to update the list.

    4. Select the nominal accounts to include in the budget and click Add. The selected accounts are moved to the list on the right.

      The budgets set on the selected nominal accounts are totalled and shown as the Allocated amount in the top right list.

    5. To check the total budget is correct or to set an anticipated budget, enter the amount as the Budget in the top right list.

      The Unallocated budget is the difference between the Budget amount and the Allocated Amount.

      Tip: Don't forget, nominal accounts with a report category type of Income or Liability have credit balances, so you'll need to enter these budgets as a negative value.

      Tip: Don't forget, nominal accounts with a report category type of Income have credit balances, so you'll need to enter these budgets as a negative value.

Next - reporting on your budgets