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Which Budgeting software is the best?

Ravi Kaushal's Profile

We are a medium size trading company in USA (textile industry) and are at a point where using excel for our annual budgeting process does not make sense. We are looking for a software to handle this that can be integrated with our SAP and subsequently pull comparison analysis viz. Actual v/s Budget analysis, etc. Can anyone recommend any software that is reasonably priced? Thanks in advance for your answer.

Answers

Anonymous
(VP of Finance) |

We went through the same exercise you did, and have tried several solutions. The one we went with the deepest was Adaptive Planning (by Adaptive Insights), which sits on top of NetSuite. After 6 months of building our first model we gave up, because the software was complex and had a major learning curve (such as how to build assumptions around your numbers), so we reverted back to Excel for now.

Would love to hear what others are using.

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

Ravi
Your question has also been asked by others here in the past. For example, see https://www.proformative.com/questions/financial-reporting-planning-software#comment-15095

FYI, Adaptive Planning is not tied to NetSuite-it also works with other apps.

Regarding "reasonably priced" - hard to advise you on that without knowing your needs. If you have really complex needs, then low cost software may not work.

However, start with your functional needs-without those you are facing a "hit or miss" risk. See the following as a guide:
under Free Webinars, there is a series called FinTech Forum
The first webinar in the series:
https://www.proformative.com/events/nuts-bolts-approach-selecting-right-technology
The January 30th Webinar:
https://www.proformative.com/events/selecting-right-business-technology-solution-business-partners

Hope that helps
Len

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

The best budgeting software solution is the one you will feel comfortable with and most importantly use year round to analyze your actual accounting data against the data in your budget model. It should not rely on users supplying formulas, functions and links (similar to spreadsheet activities), have drivers and built-in business logic without any required programming.

The most important attribute of such a system, in my opinion, should be the ability to budget the entire chart of accounts, not just the revenue and expense accounts, and have the system automatically produce future period financial statements: An Income Statement, a Balance Sheet and a Statement of Cash Flows. This will allow you to forecast the future financial health of your organization, including key financial ratios and anything that a proper Balance Sheet displays, except you will be seeing your “future Period” balance sheet, one for each budget period.

I have had great success with a software application that does all that, titled Budget Maestro from Centage Corporation (www.centage.com). It was specifically designed to act like an actual accounting system for all budget periods. It is a modular system which allows you to work in distinct areas such as revenue, operating expenses; has a comprehensive personnel module, fixed assets, debt and equity sections plus many other attributes that give you visibility into your company’s future financial statements.

The software can easily be integrated with an ERP general ledger to bring in actual data at period end close and perform an analysis in nearly real time. It is designed for small and medium size companies, is modestly priced and does not require significant IT or external consulting to set up. After using it for over 12 years now I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking to implement a sensible and useful solution that will help its users implement their company’s budget for its intended purpose.

Ravi Kaushal
Title: Vice President
Company: Welspun USA Inc
(Vice President, Welspun USA Inc) |

Thanks Alan for your detailed and useful information.

Topic Expert
Doug Thompson
Title: Director of Revenue
Company: Castlight Health
(Director of Revenue, Castlight Health) |

A previous company used Host Analytics. Fairly bare-bones but they were happy with it (I was not in FP&A there).

Another company used OutlookSoft. Nice thing there was the interface is basically Excel so besides the pre-canned reports you would have a consultant build for you, you can create any report you want on the fly. The "Excel" formulas you use make calls to the data cube based on parameters like account/dept/period. I used it a lot in a role supporting Professional Services, so having flexibility to create special margin reports was nice.

Ravi Kaushal
Title: Vice President
Company: Welspun USA Inc
(Vice President, Welspun USA Inc) |

Thanks All for your valuable input. I will explore all these options

Anonymous
(Consultant) |

A few of my clients have gone with BudgetPak (from www.xlerant.com), good value solution for the price, simple implementation, features include consolidated reports, variance reporting, forecasting, what-ifs, and controls on calculations. End-user interface is actually not Excel-based so it's easier for managers to use it thoughtfully and the numbers are solid. Was also mentioned in this post: https://www.proformative.com/questions/recommendations-simple-cloud-based-budget-software

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