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Comparison of Adaptive Planning to Budget Maestro

Mimi Quinn's Profile

We currently forecast/budget in Excel and are in the due diligence process of selecting between Adaptive and Budget Maestro. Balance sheet and cash flow forecasting are a must and we will be linking to MS Dynamics GP. Has anyone reviewed these two solutions and done a head-to-head comparison? What are pros/cons of server vs hosted?

Answers

Len Green
Title: Performance Improvement Consultant and E..
Company: Haygarth Consulting LLC
LinkedIn Profile
(Performance Improvement Consultant and ERP Strategist, Haygarth Consulting LLC) |

Hi Mimi

I'd suggest you look at your comparison this way:
1. evaluate each vendor against your requirements first
2. then compare each vendor's fit to see which fits your requirements best.

That is a subtle difference between comparing vendors per se.

Fellow Proformative member Wayne Spivak and I have hosted a webinar series on this at :
https://www.proformative.com/events/nuts-bolts-approach-selecting-right-technology
and
https://www.proformative.com/events/selecting-right-business-technology-solution-business-partners
and you may find these helpful.

It really starts with your requirements, not with what the software does. Make sure your define your unique and complex requirements (try doing that in terms of business scenarios for example).

Functionality is functionality, regardless of whether the software is on premise or SaaS. So when it comes to server v hosted (or cloud/SaaS v on premise), in my opinion that question should be answered in terms of:
- ease of deployment
- ease of access
- ease of configuration/technical architecture/integration
- economics (3-5 year total cost of owning/using and supporting the software).

When it comes to forecasting/budgeting software products, they differ from ERP and CRM software in that you use the forecasting tool to build a model that gives you what you need (budgets, revisions, staffing plans, cash flow forecasts, etc). Some will come with planning templates to help you jump start the model creation steps.

Regards
Len

Mimi Quinn
Title: CFO
Company: MILLARD LUMBER INC.
(CFO, MILLARD LUMBER INC.) |

Thank you for your help!

Topic Expert
Alan Hart
Title: Consultant
Company: Pacific Shine Group
(Consultant, Pacific Shine Group) |

I have had experience with both solutions and find that while both can be successfully implemented in a variety of business environments there are profound differences between the two solutions and their approaches.

Budget Maestro takes the approach of not only departing from spreadsheets, but also not requiring a user to provide a single formula, function, or any other programming similar to what you are accustomed to when using spreadsheets.

This greatly reduces the risk of errors, some of which can be material, while substantially decreases the amount work and proficiency needed to maintain these sheets. This is also true for any changes made to the budget at any given time during the budget cycle, as everything is internally calculated by Budget Maestro using its built-in business rules.

When it comes to forecasted financial statements, the Budget Maestro’s approach is to make the system an extension of your actual accounting system into future periods. All budget data is automatically translated (behind the scenes) into system generated journal entries into GL accounts identical to your actual GL accounts, generating a set of financial statements and many other user reports.

This means that you will get an accurate and complete Balance Sheet and Statement of Cash Flows for every period in your budget.
With a direct link to your actual GL, you can analyze your data as soon as an accounting period is closed. You can also drill down, back to the MS Dynamics GP GL source data.

To me, an accurate and complete forecasted Balance Sheet is the most important feature of this solution since I always try to forecast the future financial health of the company and what I need to do to get there. Just forecasting a P&L is not enough; in fact, I wouldn’t know if my company would be able to achieve what the P&L says unless I had a good forecasted balance sheet and cash flows.

On the other hand, unless one doesn’t mind doing extensive sheet programming and formula maintenance and doesn’t particularly care to go beyond the budgeted P&L, I think Adaptive is a good solution. It will consolidate all your budget input and produce many good and useful reports.

With regard to hosted vs. on premises, my approach is to look at the features and benefits first, and not the delivery method.

Personally, I prefer Budget Maestro for all the above given reasons and the fact that it is much more practical to put into use and maintain.

Mimi Quinn
Title: CFO
Company: MILLARD LUMBER INC.
(CFO, MILLARD LUMBER INC.) |

Thank you very much for your feedback!

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