What should you look for in a budget software solution?
By Geof Nightingale – Director
So frustration with inaccurate, time absorbing spreadsheets with half-baked output has caused you to look for a purpose-built solution.
Tier 1 – Corporate Performance Management (CPM)
Tier 2 – Budgeting and forecasting software
The key is here to replace the complex spreadsheet with a level of sophistication without overkill.
Tier 3 – Simple Solutions
These solutions are usually backed in to products like Xero, MYOB, QBO or Sage, providing an ease of data input. You would expect a high degree of useful information easily accessible but, frequently, the nice graphical reports generated are lacking in detail or valuable substance.
However, these products are a little better than spreadsheets, at least they remove the calculation errors and simplify the process suitable for the SME Micro market. Flaws include little or no balance sheet or unable to handle Fixed assets, Financed assets, Loans, Capital Expenditure, Accruals, Wages, Stock etc. so they are simplified spreadsheets.
But usually your current spreadsheet model is more complex than these simple solutions, which is a clear sign your business will benefit from a tier 2 solution.
Qualifiers to help you assess your needs;
|Your Need||Forecast 5 Features|
|Combine entities, branches, cost centres, etc||Departments, Consolidations, Folders|
|Multi-Currencies||Multi-currency, set exchange rates per month.|
|Handling of wages, stock, accruals etc||Built in rules to ensure correct calculations|
|Full integrated Financial output||P&L, Cashflow, Balance sheet, Funds flow|
|Loans CAPEX Financed Assets Factoring||Each of these are added in one easy step per record|
|Record KPI’s||Memo records allow you to forecast on KPI’s|
|Rolling Forecasts, Multi-years||Up to 15 years, amendable by percentage|
|Import and export of data||Export and import from clipboard or Forecast 5|
|Financial ERP integrations||Xero, Sage 50, Sage 300 and MYOB Exo|
|Flexible chart of accounts options||Define your own records match to your GL Chart|
|Actuals & Variance analysis||Month by month actuals entry + variance reports|
|Easy to implement||Set up in 2 – 4 days|
|Prepare for loss in sales, increase in costs||What If by record or section. Save as a new forecast.|
|Cater for loans, fixed assets, depreciation, etc.||All provided in the balance sheet records.|
If the above resonates with you, then step away from the tedious manual entry and miscalculations and step into the future of ease and confidence with Forecast 5, the New Zealand-made forecasting and budgeting tool designed to simplify your budgeting process.