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Software for cash flow reporting and budgeting.

Barbara Smith's Profile

We are a small (50 person) business with an ERP system that is geared much more to inventory than accounting. I am looking for a software package (not too expensive) that would help us with the budgeting process and cash flow forecasting. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Answers

Topic Expert
Keith Perry
Title: Consulting CFO and Business Operations A..
Company: Growth Accelerator
(Consulting CFO and Business Operations Advisor, Growth Accelerator) |

What is the ERP system, and do you want to integrate with it?

Ethan Carlson
Title: President
Company: Carlson Management Consulting
(President, Carlson Management Consulting) |

I recommend Adaptive Planning. I first worked with them over 4 years ago when I implemented the software to do budgeting and forecasting for a 100 person service company I was the CFO for. It was great and allowed me to overhaul the budgeting and forecasting process and improve cash flow visibility dramatically. I now consult on BPM and forecasting/budgeting software and process and work with several vendors and Adaptive's software is the best for the money by far.

Grant Scorsche
Title: Consultant
Company: 123 Accounting Services
(Consultant, 123 Accounting Services) |

What is not too expensive, there's a big range of choices out there....

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

There is always Excel. With ODBC connectors you can build your own...

Mark Gandy
Title: Partner
Company: B2B CFO
(Partner, B2B CFO) |

Barbara,

One option is Alight Planning, a driver-based financial modeling tool. Alight is a low-cost solution yet robust enough to handle your modeling and forecasting needs.

Mark

Stu Abrams
Title: CFO/Controller (Consultant)
Company: Magnet Systems
(CFO/Controller (Consultant), Magnet Systems) |

Hi Barbara,

Second Alight vote. I have some experience with Adaptive Planning (mainly implementation), and more with Alight. I lean towards Alight. It was much faster and easier for me to get up and running with a working budget. I was able to do get there with minimal handholding (professional services) from Alight. That saved us several thousand dollars (vs. AP). I also like that it resides on an in-house server, vs. being a web-based application.

Topic Expert
Mark Sphar
Title: Chief Accounting Officer
Company: Veracity Payment Solutions
(Chief Accounting Officer, Veracity Payment Solutions) |

Stu,
Is there any way you can give me 5 minutes on the phone to discuss Alight? Would love to hear your version of pros and cons and see what type of business they worked well with.
Mark

Bas Brukx
Title: VP of FP&A
Company: Vocus, Inc.
(VP of FP&A, Vocus, Inc.) |

Barbara;

We have been using Adaptive Planning for over 4 years now. When we implemented the software we had about 350 employees and have since grown to over 800. They have allowed us to Plan/Forecast/Analyze our company while we've grown. Also, they have been consistently adding new, useful features to their software. Actually, they have a new release coming up this weekend I believe. Since the software is hosted and managed by them, all these upgrades have been seamless.

The costs are very reasonable and the benefits have easily out weighted the costs my a large factor.

Good luck with your project!

Joan Nevins
Title: CFO
Company: Kalido Inc
(CFO, Kalido Inc) |

We have been using Adaptive for over 5 years and it does everything we need. There is some startup cost/time but its worth it.

Robert Honeyman
Title: CFO
Company: Advanced Predictive Analytics
(CFO, Advanced Predictive Analytics) |

this might be an interesting, very low-cost approach:

http://upyourcashflow.com/cm/Home.html

Mark Valderrama
Title: Finance
Company: Manufacturing/Ecommerce
(Finance, Manufacturing/Ecommerce) |

There are many vendors out there these days that would be a fit for the SMB world. I would look into Adapative Planning, Host Analytics, Anaplan, and Alright Planning. Planguru is a cheaper alternative to these others, but I felt it is fairly limited and not going to be scaleable if you grow. All these vendors have their strengths and weaknesses. I would suggest looking into them and if your interested in the solutions getting a quote from all of them and compare. I went through the entire business requirement and RPF process with all these vendors and currently implementing Adaptive Planning.

Ajith Prasad
Title: Director of Resource Planning
Company: National University of Singapore
(Director of Resource Planning, National University of Singapore) |

Thanks. I have Planguru and previously looked at Alight Planning. I wonder whether you would be able to share your findings on the relative Total Cost of Operations (TCO) of Anaplan, Adaptive Planning and Host Analytics? For a start ranking the 3 in ascending order of TOC would be helpful. If you are prepared to share more information that would be great.

Kirsten Clark
Title: President
Company: Professional Small Business Management, ..
(President, Professional Small Business Management, Inc.) |

Are there any programs that can import data from QBs and then have the ability to enter projections for 4 to 6 months. I prepare my cash flow projections in excel and show the actual data for prior months and project estimates for 4 to 6 months for planning purposes. Are there any suggestions to help automate this process?

Carlos Aponte
Title: CEO Entrepreneur
Company: Tellus
(CEO Entrepreneur, Tellus) |

PlanGuru does that and so much more. You should try the free trial Kirsten

Gerry Anderson
Title: President and Founder
Company: Logicon Solutions
LinkedIn Profile
(President and Founder, Logicon Solutions) |

We have a database for QB that will pull all your data from QuickBooks. We also have a couple of spreadsheets you can use to do your projections and compare actual to prior. Email me for details.

Gerry Anderson
Title: President and Founder
Company: Logicon Solutions
LinkedIn Profile
(President and Founder, Logicon Solutions) |

Barbara, you will first need to determine your budget/what you are willing to spend all in. You then need to decide if you want to go cloud based or server/pc based. Adaptive, Prophix, etc are going to be $10,000 plus and will take a few days/weeks to implement. Email me and I'll show you a good checklist to use to help guide you through this process.

John Harmon
Title: Owner
Company: John Harmon CPA
(Owner, John Harmon CPA) |

I recently watched an Adaptive VAR do an installation of Adaptive on top of a troubling looking chart of accounts and it worked very well. It seemed to be built for the user graduating from Excel, codifying the various rules that can be difficult to update and manage in Excel.
The implementation person was not intimidated by letting a colleague hand him an unfamiliar accounting system and chart of accounts and demonstrating the install on the spot.

Timothy Ogden
Title: President/CFO
Company: Joseph Elon, LLC
(President/CFO, Joseph Elon, LLC) |

I've used Sage 50 for years (since it was DOS-based). Currently, I use Sage 50 Quantum 2014. The cost is a little over $3K (5 simultaneous user licenses included), but I'd pay $8K with no hesitation if that's what they wanted for it. You can purchase licenses for up to 40 simultaneous users before you would need to consider a further upgrade.

I just visited your company website and Sage 50 Quantum will certainly fulfill your needs and wishes. There are built-in management tools that are extremely intuitive. As well, it comes with a copy of Crystal Reports.

Sage has done a remarkable job of vertically aligning their offerings, which will allow your business to easily transition to a more robust version as it grows over time (Sage 100, 200, 300 etc).

Peter Tegenbosch
Title: Solution Specialist Performance Manageme..
Company: Timpu
(Solution Specialist Performance Management, Timpu) |

With this limited number of requirements it is difficult to tell what would be the best solution for you. Many vendors and users will tell you what they do, ranging form Excel (which is not an budgeting solution, it's a personal administration tool due to no central database, no workflow, no stored business rules, no security) to the professional solutions. I would recommend IBM Cognos TM1, it's fast, does budgeting, planning, forecasting, cash flow calculation/planning, analysis, business user administration, has different front ends, workflow and approval, ...

Mark Matheny
Title: VP - FInancial Planning and Analysis
Company: Novolex (formerly Hilex Poly)
(VP - FInancial Planning and Analysis, Novolex (formerly Hilex Poly)) |

Number of employees may not always be a good judge of the complexity of the business, but we are a midsize company with 1500+ employees that is totally dependent on Excel for budgets and forecasts.

Barbara Smith
Title: Controller
Company: Jamestown Distributors
(Controller, Jamestown Distributors) |

Thank you all for your responses.

David W. Morgan
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Company: Cirque Energy, Inc.
(Chief Financial Officer, Cirque Energy, Inc.) |

I have managed cash flow forecasting at $100M+ companies with a very simple and inexpensive tool: EXCEL.

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

For cash flow forecasting you should look for a package that allows you to forecast the entire chart of accounts balances, and in sufficient detail, so you can get an accurate forecasted balance sheet and statement of cash flows. You may want to look into Budget Maestro from Centage Corporation (www.centage.com), which seems to be doing what you're looking for.

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