training management financial planning and performance features for controlling your organization's training budget

In our Training Management System Features blog series, we’re exploring the key features needed to ease the complexity and optimize these core training back-office processes: Operations and logistics, scheduling and resource management, reporting, sales cycle management, and in this article — training budget management and optimization /  financial planning and performance.  

Are you struggling with controlling or managing your organization’s training budget? There’s nothing worse than not knowing where you stand with your training finances, especially when you’re planning your training and development budget. Understanding how to manage your training budget, and forecasting future expenditures is an essential part of justifying the value of your training function. 

Managing spreadsheets manually and tracking invoices via email causes headaches, is time-intensive, and is prone to errors.  A training management system can help you monitor and manage your training budget, as well as plan for upcoming training expenses—in addition to helping ease the complexity of scheduling and resource management. This type of oversight helps you find efficiencies so that you can continue evolving the quality of your training program. A training management system can also help organizations avoid risk by providing a way to plan and manage certifications in compliance with industry regulations.

Deciding how to allocate your training budget and controlling your organization’s training investment decisions doesn’t have to be stressful if you have the right tools. When exploring training management systems, consider a solution with these financial performance and planning features:

Training Management System Features: Training Budget Optimization, Financial Planning & Performance

1. Training Budget Management & Optimization

This training budget management feature should allow you to compute, consolidate, and track all training costs in real-time. Plus, you should be able to integrate multiple currencies if you’re operating globally.

Track your remaining budget and compare actual expenses with your forecast. Simulate different budget scenarios to prioritize investments, use custom indicators to monitor spend and profitability, and anticipate your year-end budget.

As if that wasn’t enough, a training management system should allow you to manage internal invoicing easily by retrieving invoices directly from scheduling, leveraging automated mass invoicing, and tracking payments in real-time.

2. Sales & Profitability Monitoring

No matter your training audience, whether you’re a training company or managing training for your extended enterprise such as your customers, partners, or distributors, one of your goals is most likely to improve financial performance and scale your business. If you’re running training as a business, you’ll want the ability to manage your public and private course ordering process, track customer history and synchronize with your existing CRM. All of which, a training management system should include.

What’s the difference between a TMS and a LMS?

3. Real-Time Cost Tracking

We know the financial side of managing a training business can get a bit tricky when it comes to cost tracking, planning, budget optimization, and more. A training management system should give you access to a precise cost breakdown per session instead of per learner. Keep in mind that most Instructor-Led Training-related costs are fixed costs (rooms, instructor fees, etc.). Therefore, they need to be amortized.

In addition, your software system should compute costs based on actual resource usage and participant attendance. Your training expenses should be tracked for each performed training action.

4. Certification Tracking

It’s critical to be able to monitor training compliance with industry regulations (such as banking, insurance, and defense) plus state and country regulations, and add them into your training plans. You’ll want the ability to track this in your training management system so you can stay up to date on all certifications.

5. Training Plan Management

If you’re in charge of forecasting future training, you know how important this feature is for planning your training operations. Having the ability to forecast future training volume, both for current employees and new hires is crucial. Not to mention, the ability to anticipate the needs of employees, populations, projects, and training courses. A good solution should also allow you to arbitrate the forecast expenses to fit within your allocated budgets.

eBook: Top 20 Training Management System Features: The Complete Checklist

A comprehensive list of all training management features that every training organization needs to effectively manage ILT and vILT.

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Up Next! More in our TMS Features Series: