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Free Budget Template Instructions

The free budget template is built using Google sheets and focuses on the fundamental components of building a budget. The budget is an annual, semi-annual or quarterly exercise in which all departments of the business get together to determine what the goals are for the business. The budget aligns departments, helps prioritize spending while laying down the framework for hitting business goals. The key to a good budget is to have the buy-in from all departments and to consistently review to make sure your assumptions are still holding true. If your assumptions are off then it is time to adjust your budget.

The budget template is run from the global assumptions tab which controls all of the pieces not found in the departmental budgets. The departmental budgets are to be split up and distributed to the department heads to add any additional expenses, staff, etc that was not included in the previous global assumptions tab.

Global Assumptions

Here we drive all of the major expenses for the model. You should look at historical information (if you have it) to update these assumptions. These can be expanded based on your business needs and are just examples of expenses to be included in the department budgets.

Department Budgets

For the departmental budget, I would either break out the budgets into other files or give the department heads access to the main file. Be cautious here as salaries will be needed to complete the budget. This is another reason why we chose Google sheets instead of excel as you can control who is in the budget at any given time.


In each of the department tabs, you will see a section that is for additional staffing. Fill out this section, the green cells only with the start dates, role and the salary.

Other Expenses

In this section add any Travel and Entertainment expenses (T&E), training expenses, etc.

Department Specific Expenses

This section of the department templates is specific to each department. So R&D will have different expense line items then marketing.

Once the departmental budgets are complete and added back into the template you can review the consolidated budget tab to determine if your assumptions align with your overall goals for the year. Remember that this process is iterative and you might have to go back to your department heads multiple times to get the alignment.

Here is the Budget Template

Please reach out to us with any questions as we have over 30 years of combined forecasting expertise at TwelveZeros. Check out our new sales forecasting platform powered by AI, TwelveZeros if you are looking to take your forecast to the next level.


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