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6 Finance and Accounting Tools To Improve Capital Budgeting Decisions

  • September 15, 2022

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Any business’s financial plan and budgeting is its most crucial aspect. While a capital investment can offer lucrative economic benefits, it can simultaneously be a major liability. Additionally, any wrong decision or choice can have severe ramifications and lead the company towards corporate jeopardy.

The wisest thing you can do to keep your business from falling into financial trouble is to adopt capital budgeting. This process allows companies to estimate the economic viability of an investment over a period they expect to make returns. Rather than focusing solely on expenses or revenues, this strategy factors in all the cashflows involved in the operations. So, when you have numerous projects to work on but have limited capital, a capital budgeting decision will provide you with the most profitable option. Through this strategy, all shareholders benefit from financial security and make the investment worthwhile.

For improving the reliability and accuracy of capital budgeting, there are several tools you can use to improve decision-making. Here are the top 6 well-known, proven methods developed until now.

Lease accounting systems

One of the most critical decisions you must make for capital budgeting is whether you want to buy or lease your equipment, systems, or property. Although leasing is typically a better option, most companies hesitate to opt for it because it requires a long-term commitment with the provider. However, it’s often more beneficial since you have to make fewer initial expenses, offers flexibility, and is tax deductible. And to ensure your financial health remains intact, lease accounting systems automate and streamline processes to reduce the chances of error.

Capital budgeting is a complex and highly sensitive process. Consider simplifying your lease accounting with EZLease or similar software so you can overgo all complexities and make the correct financial decisions.

Enterprise Resource Planning

ERPs or Enterprise Resource Planning systems are programs that companies use to manage the critical aspects of their businesses efficiently. Several computer systems are specific for a particular task for any organization. But by installing EPR software, you can merge all these systems on a single interface and quickly access the information you need. Since it integrates all significant processes and analyzes them together, it’s instrumental in allocating resources so the company can generate maximum profitability. Although most ERPs don’t specifically offer capital budgeting packages, they can still provide valuable insights and data that a financial analyst can use.

Additionally, ERPs are incredibly beneficial in allowing companies to become more self-aware and identify potential vulnerabilities in their operations. Businesses can therefore identify any weaknesses and money-draining processes, which helps them make better capital budgeting decisions.

Net Present Value calculator

A Net Present Value or NPV represents the difference between a company’s cash inflows and outflows over a particular period. It’s a popular tool used by most businesses for capital budgeting as it analyzes the potential profitability of a project. By taking into account your initial investment, how much return you need to make breakeven, and the time required to make that return, you calculate the NPV. Using the NPV calculator, you can either receive a negative or positive NPV. A positive NPV indicates your potential revenue will exceed the anticipated costs and, therefore, result in a profitable investment. In contrast, a negative NPV means you’ll have to incur a net loss, and it is wise not to make this investment.

Cashflow timing

How quickly or late you receive the likely returns from your investment are vital driving factors for capital budgeting decisions. The earlier you receive cash outflows, the better and more worthwhile that project will be. Since the revenue you generate from this can either be reinvested in the same project or utilized elsewhere, it will prove more profitable overall. On the contrary, if you’re likely to earn cash flow later, it’s better to bench this project and invest your budget in one that generates quicker revenue.

Fixed asset systems

Fixed assets are a company’s investments meant for long-term use and those that are unlikely to get converted into cash. Typically, these fall into three primary classifications: buildings, land, and equipment. A fixed asset system tracks and maintains all these resources to ensure their function provides the maximum advantage to the company and doesn’t harm it. Due to wear and tear, some of the hardware may lose its efficiency with time. And so, to ensure it doesn’t cause any damage to business operations, the fixed asset systems identify these problems beforehand and make the necessary changes.

Since these assets are vital for a company’s smooth operation, such software is useful for forecasting and capital budgeting. For example, if a possible project requires a complete overhaul of present equipment and tools, it may not be financially viable for the company.

Variance analysis software

Economic instability, recession, and inflation significantly affect your expected project expenses. Regardless of how well you plan your budget, your planning will be for naught if you don’t account for the potential price variance. In simplest terms, variance analysis calculates the difference between your planned and actual costs. It is a helpful tool because it provides valuable insights regarding how far you deviate from your planned costs. If for some reason, you encounter an unexpectedly high expense, your variance analysis program will highlight this figure for you. And so, when planning your capital budgeting, you can consider this so you know how much money you have left to invest.

Conclusion

Although capital budgeting is essential for making wise business decisions, it can be complex and full of potential snags everywhere. Therefore, leverage tools like those mentioned above into your routine operations for better financial outcomes and see how quickly it brings in profits.

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