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The best free budgeting tools for SMBs

Budgeting is one of the most important aspects of your small business. It’s what keeps everything running smoothly and helps you forecast what will happen in the future.

The key to creating a budget that you can actually stick with is finding the right budgeting tools.

Keep in mind that there are plenty of free applications out there, so research is crucial. Unfortunately, not all business owners leverage (or even know about) the tools readily available to them. According to a budget and forecasting survey conducted in 2019 by GetApp’s, “25% of respondents are concerned about underestimating expenses and 18% worry about overestimating their budget.”

You will regularly reference your budget, so you need a tool that will allow you to access it quickly and that is easy to use. You’ll be able to track expenses, cash flow, and revenue all in one place.

You can also prepare for those times when your business slows down a bit as well as allocate money to the parts of your business that are in need of capital the most.

Why use a budgeting tool in the first place?

Budgeting tools make it possible to plan for business purchases and investments while projecting all the costs associated with the running of your company. Finding the right technology is vital to a small business owner’s success, though statistics indicate many may not be actively looking.

According to an article posted on Blue Corona, “30% say that keeping up with technology advances is a major concern.” Are you wondering what business tools to choose from?

Here are six to keep in mind.

1. Capterra small business budget template

Published in 2015, this simple Excel workbook is set up so you can create a monthly budget and annual budget, and compare the actual numbers of your business with those in the budgeting tool.

An overview sheet is also available to provide access to one’s performance. Best of all, it’s easy to access and use.

2. Annual business budget in Google Sheets

Now you can create a comprehensive budget using Google Sheets. Just go there and click the template gallery. Intuit QuickBooks has put together a free annual business budget that is complete with tables and graphs that represent your income and expenses.

It gives you a view of where you stand and, like their other products, is easy to use.

3. Microsoft Office template

This template is completely focused on expenses but includes multiple tags to help you manage them.

For example, you have a tab for planned expenses, another for actual expenses, one for variances between both that are automatically calculated for you, and one for expense analysis that includes pie charts.

4. Score small business budget templates

This set of templates is aimed at figuring financial projections, profit-and-loss statements, startup expenses, and cash flow statements for your small business.

There are also templates for planning, sales, and marketing conveniently located all in one place.

5. Smartsheet

This tools offers individual sheets for goods and/or service-based small businesses to create budgets. Easily break down income and expenses to see where money is coming in and going out.

6. Vertex 42

This tool also relies on the use of Excel spreadsheets and includes sample budgets for business owners selling products or services. One worksheet provides a monthly breakdown of sales and expenses. A free startup cost template is available for those starting a new business.

Final thoughts

There’s a lot to consider when running a small business.

While the budgeting tools you choose are crucial, they won’t be of any use without the right technology to back them up. Once you’ve established a rock-solid business budget, it’s a good idea to segment the budgets for different departments such as marketing, office expenses, IT costs, and more.

And there’s good news – technology budgeting is something that we at GB Tech can help with.

There are plenty of ways we can help you optimize your IT costs, so it pays to consult the people who can help make that happen. The key is to save time and cut costs, all while remaining secure. If you want to leverage the power of technology when performing budgeting and administrative tasks, call on GB Tech for all your IT needs today.