Combining budgets with associated financial reports
To give a little context, I am working for an ONG that funds projects with various operators. We are currently in the process of wanting to switch our budgeting and financial reporting processes from excel to smartsheet, and for that we are facing one major issue.
The issue stems from the fact that we are receiving a huge quantity of budget proposals, but only a select few projects are actually approved. This combined to the fact that smartsheet does not allow tabs within sheets poses a practical problem, which is, how to provide numerous budget templates to applicants, and once approved, how to link the validated budget to a reporting sheet that extract important values to compare budgeted costs vs actuals for example.
As creating cell links between budgets and reports for each approved project would ask for too much bandwidth, would there be an easier way to automate this ?
My first idea was to share a whole folder to the applicants as that would allow for pre-entered links between sheets, but as we need to use sheet models, this does not seem to be an option. Applicants will not have smartsheet accounts, and the only way they will have access to provisional budgets will be through an external link.
We then thought about using index/match formulas, but again this would require too much manual input as references will need to be set for each new project unique reporting sheets.
I hope I am being clear enough, but Copy/pasting the approved budget values to a new budget sheet that has already preset links to a reporting sheet seems to be our only viable option.
I also though of datamesh for this operation, but it seems each new project would require the creation of a unique configuration which would be too time consuming. And also our budgets are not structured by fixed columns.
Would anyone have any other ideas or recommendations to limit manual entries in this process ? To be noted, we have advanced smartsheet subscription, with all applications (workapps, data shuttle, dynamic view, data mesh) and we will also include those sheets within project Workapps down the line.
Thanks a lot,