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I am looking to build a dashboard of KPIs for several different companies where I act as their CFO. They are on Quickbooks Enterprise and I am considering Axiom EPM, and Adaptive Planning. Any input on these or other competitors? Pros/cons?

Michael Goldberg's Profile

How simple are they to implement and monitor? How dynamic are they for a CEO that might want to check the data regularly? Are they targeted to large or small companies and could they work at a smaller company?

Answers

Cindy Boyce
Title: Senior Manager, Outsourced Financial Ser..
Company: BDO USA, LLP
(Senior Manager, Outsourced Financial Services, BDO USA, LLP) |

I haven't used it, but I have heard good things about Domo: http://www.domo.com/videos/watch/id/2226r
I did put in Adaptive Planning years ago and was pleased with the dashboard capabilities, but the primary purpose was for collaborative budgeting and scenario planning. Adaptive Planning as a budgeting tool took quite a bit to implement.

Michael Goldberg
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Company: MG Financial
LinkedIn Profile
(Chief Financial Officer, MG Financial) |

Great! Thanks. I'll check out Domo as well.

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

I've had good success with Analytics Maestro from Centage Corporation (www.centage.com). It links directly to their Budget Maestro Planning and budgeting software, as well as to any ERP GL for bringing in actual and historical data. The dashboards are defined in the Analytics module and will pull in forecasted and actual data. The display output can be immediately made available for review by management.

The dashboards can include, among other things, KPIs and financial ratios, including forecasted KPIs and ratios, since the forecasted balance sheet is automatically generated by the system for all budget periods.

Topic Expert
Charley Kyd
Title: Founder
Company: ExcelUser
(Founder, ExcelUser) |

Coincidentally, last night I set up an Excel workbook that goes a long way to solving this problem in Excel.

In QB, you can export the Trial Balance for any month as a CSV file. Unfortunately, the QB export file is VERY cluttered. So I set up a workbook with formulas that declutter the data. With the help of that workbook, in about ten minutes I set up an Excel Table with Date, Account, Description, YTD, and MTD columns...for fourteen months of performance. Of course, because the debits =1 and the credits =-1, both YTD and MTD columns sum to zero for those fourteen months.

With an Excel Table available to contain your data, you could use SUMIFS or SUMPRODUCT to summarize your data for display in an Excel dashboard. (Think small tabular displays and small, simple charts on one page.)

Here are some benefits of using an Excel dashboard...

...Your Excel dashboard, and other reports, can display data from ANY available source, internal or external. And all those reports would be linked to consistent sources of data...one or more Excel Tables.

...You probably will use Excel for many reports and analyses, so your Excel dashboard becomes just another report that you could generate easily.

...There's no additional software cost, and no additional software to learn about. Instead, you use Excel--a tool you already own--more extensively.

...If there are Excel users on your clients' staff, each updated Excel Table could be a useful deliverable each month.

...With Excel Tables providing all data for your reports, you can easily set up reconciliation and other error-checking calculations, which would reduce errors significantly.

Charley

Topic Expert
David Hughes
Title: Executive VP of Operations
Company: On Target Performance Group
(Executive VP of Operations, On Target Performance Group) |

For smaller organizations I also had good luck with Excel to start with. This better enables you to sort out your needs in a live environment before investing money and resources in another tool.

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