Bottom-up Budgeting with Vena

Introduction to Extended Planning

Vena leverages the familiarity and flexibility of an Excel interface and offers an efficient and user-friendly method for any reporting and planning challenge. 

In our first insight, we looked at general financial planning topics and how a finance template can be mapped to Vena. The insight also showcased how Vena can be used to easily create financial reports, as well as how the Audit Trial functionality can be used in the planning process to easily keep track of input changes made to templates. 

This second insight on Vena will zoom in on extended planning and reporting, where we plan bottom-up expenses or revenues in a very granular method, beyond a traditional P&L model. Specifically, this article focuses on Workforce planning and will explore in different templates how you can effortlessly add a new employee, modify existing employee data, alter global parameters, save the data, and check the results all within the Vena platform. 

Vena Circle

The image shows Vena as a complete planning solution. From focused Finance-led planning (P&L, B/S, Cash Flow) over extended planning where the Planning process is broken down into several sub-processes such as Capex, Detailed Opex, Workforce, Product Revenue and Costing to going beyond planning where any current MS Excel-based reporting can be automated across the organization.

In any of these areas, Vena leverages a cloud platform where collaboration, security, modelling, and central database storage lead to a single version of the truth data, workflows and data integration can easily be configured and managed by the business.      

Vena can easily link workforce planning and general budgeting. Data input concerning workforce planning is pushed to the Vena P&L data model (or central model) thanks to mapping and will be instantly visible in the budget in the same template and all other templates. This eliminates the need to update the budget numbers separately when changing certain workforce details. At the same time, Vena can be configured so the sensible data of employees will only be accessible to specific users with the right access.


The above image shows a detailed sub-model or sub-process, where the aggregated data coming from the sub-process, is in real-time available in a centralized P&L model. Sub-models or processes and their workflows can have different contributors, different dimensionality and a different security definition than a centralized model where the data is viewed and reported in an aggregated way. In Vena, this is very easy to define and manage using different models and workflows that can be linked to each other.

Adding a new Employee in the Employee dimension

Firstly, let's explore how to add a new employee to an existing template that shows the staff currently working for the Sales department in New York. With Vena, the process of onboarding a new team member into your financial planning is a breeze. Simply navigate to the relevant section in your Excel template and input the necessary details of the new employee. This might include their name, department, role, and any other pertinent information. The data is then seamlessly integrated into your Vena database, ensuring that the new employee is included in all future financial analyses and reports from the moment the employee is added. 

The video below shows how a new employee is added using the insert row functionality of Vena. Since Employee ID, Entity, Department, and Employee Type are what determine a row (the row mapping) in this template, Vena automatically asks for these starting details when adding a new employee. Vena again restricts the choice for these inputs based on the current selection of the template that is selected with the choose box. 

Updating the salary indexation

Next, we'll look at how to change existing employee data. Whether it's a promotion, department transfer, or any other modification, updating employee details is straightforward with Vena. Locate the employee's data within your Excel template and make the necessary changes. After saving the data within this template, the updated information will automatically sync with the Vena database, ensuring that your financial reports are always accurate and up to date. 

Global parameters are overarching settings that affect various aspects of your financial planning, in this case, the employee final data report. The video below shows a salary indexation figure being changed. In Vena, because of mappings, the modification of such a global parameter will then be applied across all relevant reports and analyses, streamlining the process of adapting to new financial conditions or requirements, as the reports do not need to be adjusted one by one.

Data security 

Lastly, you'll want to check the results of your changes to ensure that everything is in order. These changes will be reflected on other reports as the changes will be immediately pushed to the Vena database. When constructing the same mappings in any other report, the mapped cells will always have the last saved data. This ensures that your financial reports are always up-to-date and reflect the most recent information.

Vena admins can also make use of data permissions to apply data security. In the case of HR data this can be especially important as it often involves salary figures and personal information, so restricting access to the right users is crucial. Security in Vena is set up at the level of user groups. The image below shows the permissions page in the Admin section of Vena Web, which provides the list of existing user groups (new user groups can be added with the button in the top right). Each user group can be customized in terms of its group members, and the data and application permissions that those members have. This is done simply by clicking on the blue number or viewing/editing the line of the User group you want to make changes to, which will open a new menu where you can make the desired change. Group members can range from a single individual to a whole team or department. Data permissions dictate how users can interact with the data present in the Vena data model, while application permissions dictate which actions users can perform in Vena Web itself. 

Data Permissions

The drill down functionality of Vena can be used to drill down on a figure and see the components that lead to that value. In this case, where we are dealing with salary costs, data permissions are set up so that outside of the HR report, only the roll-up value of all employees is visible, and not the salaries at the individual employee level.

The data security functionalities of Vena provide a streamlined work process, where data access is completely contained within the right user groups. This ensures users never have to worry about incorrect data input or accessing sensitive information.   


In conclusion, Vena's Excel-based platform offers a range of functionalities that can be adapted to HR planning processes. The seamless integration between Excel and Vena ensures that you can effortlessly add new employees, update existing employee details, modify global parameters, and more. The extended planning use cases of Vena are not just limited to workforce planning. In that same way, Capex and Revenue Planning are possible with Vena as well, same as detailed Opex and production Planning. With Vena, you can be confident that your financial reports are always accurate, up-to-date, and reflective of the most recent changes within your organization, as the data is seamlessly connected with your ERP Sources. On top of this, the data permissions of Vena streamline your work processes by providing customizable data security and accessibility.