How to Create a Company Budget in Airtable

Perhaps you already know this, but in a previous life I was a financial analyst. One of the bigger projects I worked on in those days was for this massive, billion dollar a year company when I helped put together their annual budget. While this post won't go into the same level of granular detail that I did in those days, it will go into some best practices for setting up a multi-department expense budget in Airtable.

But, before we jump into the "how?" - let's start with the "why?"

It seems crazy to say it, but when I did budgets in the past, they were done in spreadsheets. SPREADSHEETS! The very thought of it fills me with anxiety. Perhaps you've experienced something similar in the past... it goes a little like this:

  1. Someone once upon a time builds a great spreadsheet tool. It works perfectly when the company is small and when the original creator is around to keep things working
  2. One day, the original creator gets a new job. The company owns the work of the creator, so the spreadsheet stays behind, but no one really knows how it works anymore. The company grows.
  3. Fast forward a few more years, the spreadhseet has broken formulas and multiple versions. Division #1 is using a completely different version of the budget than division #2.

This, of course, is why I loathe spreadsheets and encourage databases wherever possible! In my previous life, I spent hundreds of hours combing through data in broken spreadsheets. What an absolute WASTE!

In this video I walk through a multi-department budget that I built in Airtable. I go through how to allocate hours to projects and get high-level budget insights. Most importantly, I go through the steps for properly linking these tables so that the data flows through the database correctly.

Optimally, an expense budget in Airtable won't break and suffer the same problems as a spreadsheet. Use this solution to build your data in the cloud and get your team collaborating remotely (and without broken spreadsheets!)

Life is too short to fight with spreadsheets

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