1. Budgets are created in the Budgets section of Zahara and then assigned to either a Division or a Project.
  2. Budgets can be split based on Nominal Codes or Cost Codes.
  3. A budget can be weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly or indefinite(Projects Only).
  4. You can download a template and upload it back into Zahara.
  5. 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 > Settings > Budgets
Now click “New Budget” 


  1. Give the budget a name – like Monthly Sales Budget.
  2. Choose the budget period.
  3. Populate the relevant reset for the budget period you have chosen.
  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. 
Click ‘Show all periods’ to see how your per period figure is allocated 
You can manually add more lines and build your budget up. You can flex values as well. 
Now click Next and Commit the changes.
You now need to go back in and assign the budget to either a Division or Project
As shown above, 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


Budgets include tax
The budget allocation will be for gross spend amounts
Show budget to originator
The budgets tab / panel can be shown or hidden from Buyers. 
Show budget to approver
This decides whether the approver can see the budget in the ‘Review with Details’ approval screen.
Notify Business / Division Head
These two toggles sit alongside the threshold setting. At what level of budget usage do you notify someone and who shall be notified. 
Commit Budget On
This is fundamental. When is the budget to be applied? You have a choice of on approval, or on sending to the supplier. Supplier would need the PO to be sent to the supplier from within Zahara as either part of a workflow or from within the order. 
Include Draft Purchase Orders in Pending 
Draft purchase will be included in the pending figure. 
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. 
When to apply
Choice of 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 – available, pending and committed. 
Pending is the value of all orders out for approval. 

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 assigned to
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, indefinite, quarter, month, week