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Budget Setup


Zahara Budgets are a framework for controlling spend. You create a Budget for a Division or a Project and all spend create in Purchase Orders (requests) can be applied to the budget. You can also apply invoices to the budget. There are some limitations but generally budgets will help you control expenditure. Here are the key points

  • Budgets are created in the Budgets section of Zahara and then assigned to either a Division or a Project.
  • Budgets can be split based on Nominal Codes or Cost Codes.
  • A budget can be weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly or indefinite(Projects Only).
  • You can download a template and upload it back into Zahara.
  • Budgets control spend (purchases) but invoices can also be applied to budgets.
Here is a video with an overview of setting up a budget:
These are the Budget settings explained in Business > Settings > Budgets:

Creating a Budget

Click Business > Budgets
Now click “New Budget”¬†
screenshot of the 'Create budget' screen
  1. Give the budget a name – like Monthly Sales Budget.
  2. Choose the budget period. The ‘Indefinite’ period is only for Project Budgets and will not work with division associations.
  3. Populate the relevant reset Day for the budget period you have chosen. Usually this will be 1
  4. Populate the correct Financial year end – all time phased budgets run for 12 months up to the end of the financial year end.
  5. Choose the granularity for your budget – Nominal or Cost Code or Absolute – Absolute is one amount of money to spend with no granularity.
Enable Spend Control 
If this is switched on, no orders can be raised where the budget will be breached. The alternative to this is to use the Budget condition in your approval workflows. 
Enable Roll Over
This enables over-spend or under-spend to be carried into the next period. 
Now click Next and move into the Details tab. 
Here you can either upload your granularity or key it in manually. Download the template and then upload it once populated. ** Do not try and import or create any lines with 0 (zero) balances. We do not support that. You can stop buying against those lines in the Division settings using nominal or cost code restrictions.
Display of the monthly budget by nominal code
Click ‘Show all periods’ to see how your per period figure is allocated. Click the small arrow to automatically fill the monthly amount into each month period.¬†
You can manually add more lines and build your budget up. You can flex values as well. 
Now click Continue and Commit the changes.
Assigning the Budget 
You now need to go back in and assign the budget to either a Division or Project. This is done using the Associate section as shown below: 
The budget association function
However, you still need to go back through the budget saving process to affect the Association. Click Next and complete the saving process again. 
The budget showing a successful association.
Even though you can apply a budget to a Project and a Division – they wouldn’t be shared. They are effectively cloned.¬†
Your budget is now set. The next steps is to check your master Budget settings and to set your Divisions to only use the budget granularity. 

Business Settings

There are a range of settings in Business Settings to affect all budgets in the selected Business Unit. Click into Business > Settings and click the Budgets tab
Zahara Screen Shot


Notify Budget Consumption 
If enabled we can notify the Business Unit head or Division head of the budget being used up. You can set the threshold for the notification as well. 
Budgets include tax
Very simply are we doing budget calculations based on Gross or Net amounts 
Originator can see budget
The budgets tab / panel can be shown or hidden from Buyers when raising a purchase order
Approver can see budget
This decides whether the approver can see the budget in the ‘Review with Details’ approval screen.
Draft Purchase Orders Included in Budget
This setting will include Draft PO values in the Budget 
Purchase Order Spend Commitment

You have three choices here: 

  1. On approval Рwhen the purchase or invoice is Approved 
  2. On being sent to the supplier Рthat requires a workflow step or sending from Zahara 
  3. On create РAs soon as the purchase order has been created 
Line Items committed on required by date
This can be used for applying spend in the future. This will require the Required date to be enabled at a line item level. Usually the date of the Commitment will be “now” so this gives an opportunity to pre-plan spend commitments.¬†
Apply Invoice to Budget 
When recording an invoice in Zahara, if no PO exists, the invoice can be applied to the budget as well. Once enabled you have settings to choose from.
Create Retrospective Purchase Order
A retrospective PO is created alongside the invoice. 
Enable Workflow Step 
If enabled a new workflow step can be added so that the invoice is only applied to a budget after the invoice is approved. 
Invoice Spend Commitment
Choice of on create or on approval. 

Division Settings

Edit a Division and you will now see the Budgets tab and the progress for that period in the budget. 
The most important settings here are either the Nominal Code or Cost Code restrictions. You can set either to the Budget. This means the choices available when raising an order are the same as available in the budget which means that the buyer can only buy against the budget. 

Buying with a Budget

When an order is raised, the buyer will see on their line items a coloured dot that signifies whether a budget exists. Green is good, orange is a warning and red will show that the budget is used up. If enabled, the buyer will see the Budgets tab with the slider bars. There are 3 x stages Рavailable, pending and committed. 
Pending is the value of all orders out for approval. 
The budget is also visible to the Approver in the mobile app. 

Project Budgets

For each project, edit the project and click on the Budgets tab. You will then see the status of the budget. 

Budget FAQs

What can a budget be associated with?
A division or a project
Can I assign a budget to a supplier?
Can I assign a budget to more than one division?
Yes but they aren’t shared
What granularity can I have on the budget?
Nominal codes or cost codes
Can I have both nominal codes and cost codes?
No, one or the other
Can a division or project have more than one budget?
How do I progress a budget?
You need access to reporting to the budget settings to run a budget report
What periods can be set for the budget?
¬†Year, quarter, month, week. The ‘indefinite’ period is only available for projects.

Budget Reporting

The data behind a budget is made up of: 

  • How much is the budget¬†
  • What period does the budget apply to
  • What have I spent against the budget¬†
  • What is left that I can spend¬†

Zahara’s Budget reporting is in the Budgets tab. Click into the reporting section and you can run a Budget progress report. This has limitations currently. The best way to report on a budget is to use Microsoft Power BI (or similar) and to have a pivot of the budget with a drill down on to the spend. Something like that shown below:¬†

Zahara Screen shot

The Zahara API supports all of this so you can connect to the data easily or we can supply you with a dedicated reporting database that you can access. The Zahara team will be happy to discuss any requirements you have. 

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