How to use end-of-year L&D budget

By Marc Zao-Sanders

2 minute read

(Note: spending end-of-year budget with Filtered has traditionally brought success to our clients. Rather than using the remaining cash to add to your content pile or your tech stack, Filtered can give you a rapid stock-take of what content you have and how it relates to your skills, to help inform and clarify your 2024 plans. I wanted to say this upfront to plant that thought but also get Filtered’s vested interest out of the way!)

There are 72 days left in 2023. That’s just over 10 weeks. The year is more than 80% complete.

The fiscal year of most (76%) large companies coincides with the calendar year. At this time of year, then, many of us with budgetary responsibilities are therefore reviewing what’s been spent and what might still be spent. The maxim of ‘use-it-or-lose-it’ has more than a ring of truth to it: budgets are largely based on the size of the previous year’s spend. Use it this year or lose it for next. 

At the same time, none of us wants to waste money and any spend is rightly subject to scrutiny. So here are some factors to consider when choosing how you might spend any remaining budget you have.

  • Alignment with company goals. Investing in initiatives that contribute to explicit goals is more useful for the company and likely to be considered more prudent by key stakeholders.
  • Tangible impact. This is generally desirable of course. But given the timescale (72 days!), having something to show for the spend in relatively short order gets an even bigger tick. 
  • Your own goals. Find something out. Is there some insight you could glean that would set you and your organisation up for greater success next year? Be a little selfish too - how can / will the work further your career?
  • Flexibility. The spend should be relevant in most 2024 scenarios. Do you foresee that what you’re buying will be useful come what may next year? 
  • Innovation. This is a good time to break ground and do something new. Here's a HBR article about just this.
  • Onerous extra work. You’re likely to be busy until the end of the year. Your use of budget mustn’t become a burden for you. Make sure that what you get adds to your knowledge and insights, rather than your workload.
  • Speed. Choosing how to spend the money, negotiating terms, and contracting all takes time. If you’re considering a new provider, onboarding will add at least a few weeks. And you only have ten or so left. Be quick! 

So whether you’re thinking of spending on staff, content, consultancy, data, technology, or classroom training (or Filtered’s clarifying insights), consider adapting the above to serve as a scorecard (give each spend idea a score for each of the factors listed above) to make your decisions. 

Vote in  LinkedIn poll about spending end-of-year budget.


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