Budget Maestro by Centage allows financial executives to easily transition away from error-prone, disparate spreadsheets to an automated system that provides comprehensive budgeting, forecasting, consolidation and reporting tools. Small to medium businesses looking to move forward to a more flexible, secure, collaborative system can turn to Budget Maestro for an intuitive out-of-the-box solution. Budget Maestro is ideal for a host of industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, wholesale/distribution, retail, business services and nonprofits.
Budget Maestro provides a centralized, secure database so that any changes or additions to a company's data are updated automatically. Its powerful calculation engine ensures that all calculations are not only mathematically correct but follow sound accounting principles. This means that data is 100% accurate. With Budget Maestro's wizards, prompts and menus, you simply enter the data and the system does the work for you, eliminating the need to create and maintain complex formulas, macros and links. All your changes are automatically updated throughout your plan.
Budget Maestro's "financial intelligence" builds the Balance Sheet automatically off the P&L activities and then Cash Flow Statements are built automatically off the Balance Sheet. It's all perfectly synchronized. In addition, Budget Maestro comes with more 40 pre-built GAAP/IFRS-compliant reports including presentation-style reports that can be adjusted and customized for a variety of data. These can be exported to Excel or your resident G/L system for further customization.
Budget Maestro reduces errors, saves time and sets up in minutes. It's been designed for SMBs with limited IT resources and can be used right out of the box as an on-premise or hosted solution. We really think it's a great option for those transitioning to a more automated budgeting and forecasting solution.
Naheel from Hush
Specialty: Construction / Contracting
Employees number: 2-10 employees
The product provided a very friendly user interface that was easy to navigate - even for people who did not receive formal training. The reports were clean and easy to follow.
Our accounting department who used the program daily to process hundreds of invoices did not have any negative feedback or comments about the use of the software.
Although we did not properly utilize the full potential of the product such as budgeting and PO preparation, to know that it exists was something that we will strive to use in the future.
User friendly interface and reports
Good drill down to get to source documents
Not easily available on any computer in the office - would prefer a more office friendly product that could be easily transferred from one computer to the next.
No "out of the office" capability to use the software.
No access of information unless it was taken from the computer that was set up for Maestro.
Would prefer a web interface option
not sure as we have not researched lately other options
Mukul from Futures First
Employees number: 501-1,000 employees
The solution provides the users with the ability to consolidate data for more accurate forecasting, and generate detailed dashboards and analytics. By pre-defining the A/R and A/P schedules, Budget Maestro will automatically calculate transactions for each, giving accurate balance sheet statements and cash flow reports. The forecasts with Budget Maestro can be easily modified based on real-time changes in conditions. The ability to make quick adjustments as conditions change keeps the forecasts accurate throughout the entire fiscal year. It can help to centralize financial data in a single database, rather than across multiple spreadsheets, and consolidate that same data automatically to reflect changes in key business drivers or market conditions.
Runs on cloud as well as on-premise.
Free trial is available which should be used before purchasing the full software in order to test applicability.
Initial versions of updates have a few bugs which are fixed in later versions.
Advisable for small to mid size businesses.
Ravi Karan from IBM
Employees number: 10,000+ employees
Budget Maestro comes with built-in business and financial logic capabilities, which empowers users to quickly setup their own operating, account, and management reporting structures. It offers direct integration with the accounting systems’ actual GL. It is formula, function and link free which eliminates the risk associated with using Excel or other formula-based solutions. It has powerful what-if capabilities offering a real-time forecast of the financial health of the business. Using an add-on called Link Maestro, we can automate the exchange of financial information between their ERP systems and Budget Maestro.
1. Lesser data redundancy than excel.
2. Lesser chances of an error in data entry.
3. No requirement for validation of excel sheets.
4. Easier to audit.
1. Cost is a little high
2. Initial setup time longer than expected.
Scaled the recommendation to 9 for this software. It is an effective tool to have in any business.
Akash from Applied Materials
Employees number: 1,001-5,000 employees
The scalable platform, offered as a cloud-based or client-server solution, has built-in financial logic so it is automated and formula-free for more accurate data-entry, consolidation, and financial statements. It helps small and mid-size businesses with limited IT resources make smarter operational decisions based on key financial data.
Budget Maestro offers full functionality straight out-of-the-box, with no IT involvement. As a hosted application, it’s also maintenance free. Budget Maestro includes out-of-the-box income statement, balance sheet and cash flow reporting. The software comes with 40 pre-built, customizable GAAP/IFRS-compliant reports. Budget Maestro’s multiple, unlimited what-if scenarios enable business managers to confidently make good decisions.
Driver Based Modeling
Good integration with many ERP and account systems.
Accessible anywhere through an internet connection with any browser-based device.
Collects and consolidates all profit/loss data.
Can be a little overpriced for a small sized company.
Requires time to configure and get used to it and then can perform tasks at a high speed.
An intuitive out-of-the-box solution, Budget Maestro is suitable for use in a range of industries, including manufacturing, retail, healthcare, wholesale/distribution, business services and nonprofits.
Rudrajyoti from GS Engineering & Construction
Employees number: 1,001-5,000 employees
Budget Maestro provides automated software solution which has the functionality of sophisticated financial tools which helps in making better business decisions. The built-in finance logic uses profit and loss activities to automatically build balance sheets and thus, cash flow statements from it. It allows the user to organize data in a centralized application across each department with only the specified people being able to view it. This maintains the exactness of information and security of the data as well.
Available on-premise and cloud based, can be used on demand from any location.
Intuitive user interface.
A synchronized system in terms of logic and automatic calculations from data that is input in the system.
Free trail available
This software offers quite a bit of detailing in the results. I would advice using the software at a smaller scale in the organization and then implementing as a whole.
Harsh from Fidelity Investment
Specialty: Banking & Mortgage
Employees number: 10,000+ employees
Budget, Analytics and Link Maestro have significantly improved our budgeting process. Prior to using maestro we created our budget using many excel workbooks that were precariously linked together and hard to refresh and update. Our budget is now more secure and robust, and due to the product’s user friendliness it was fairly easy and quick to set up.
Nikhil from VForce infotech INC
Specialty: Software / Technology
Employees number: 501-1,000 employees
Nice Product, I 'm looking forward to use this product if needed.
Alice from US Water Services
Very customizable tool. Our trainer is fantastic! The setup process is pretty straightforward and we're well on our way to full setup in less than 2 weeks.
While I'm not in IT, the tool is supposed to work with little IT involvement. Our GL setup is complex enough that I've had to involve IT a decent amount. The cloud environment still requires some downloads on machines to run.
When selecting, ask a lot of questions. Allow the vendor to get to know your organization so you can both determine fit. Think broadly about your approach and how the solution will work for you.
David from Loftness Specialized Equipment
Their support team is always available to help you through any questions or difficulties you encounter. The training provided is top notch and thorough and your trainer sets up your financial report formats for you to match your current statements. My trainer is still my primary contact person for help and all I have to do is send him an email. The software itself has enough built-in power and flexibility it can handle all kinds of retail, distribution, or manufacturing scenarios, like for my company it is the need to build up inventory before a selling season and to do this for many different products and different selling seasons. Budget Maestro is capable of generating fairly accurate balance sheets and cash flow statements, in addition to income statements, as it has sections within it devoted to the balance sheet side of forecasting. Combining Link Maestro and Analytics Maestro to Budget Maestro provides the only solution one needs to not only generate a budget or forecast but to then generate all the financial reports, statements, breakdown analysis needed by management. With Budget Maestro I can drive my revenues, expenses, and inventory levels by units, not revenue dollars, which is a lot more accurate for forecasting when dealing with a wide variation of products, product costs and retail prices.
Financial statements and reports utilizing proper accounting format rules can be very hard or impossible to attain by generating them within Budget Maestro. To attain the proper formatting that I am trained in and accustomed to providing to my management team I have to export the reports out to Excel and apply the spacing, headers, underlining, and so on inside Excel. However, now with their recent addition of Analytics Maestro, this issue is gone as Analytics Maestro is an Excel add-on so that you create and format all your needed standard and custom reports inside Excel and use Analytics Maestro to drop in the numbers and data you want in each report or statement.
Participate in any demos the software company provides of its software then get them to show you how their software would handle your situation, your unique or most difficult budgeting issue. Push for a reasonable money-back guarantee period that gives you time to truly try setting up and generating your budget within the software.
Cynthia from WP&YR
Specialty: Accounting / CPA
We were Maestro's experiment to have virtual training. We were connected through phone and an equivalent of Go-To-Meeting. The instructor was friendly, patient and very knowledgeable about the product. It wasn't until the 4th day in training until we got a glimpse of the capabilities Budget Maestro could do for us. After a few frustrating months of trying to get Budget Maestro going for us they did reach out to us throughout the process and solve our predicament to the best of their abilities. Very good customer service!
From the beginning on, we explained explicitly how complex our business and budget was. We were assured our budget would be 70-80% finished by the time training was over. It was not. Perhaps it was a mis-communication between both parties as i was under the impression all drivers would be built and we would be ready to go, either way, Budget Maestro does want us to succeed and are hoping the new upgrade will be more friendly to our needs. I can't wait to get started and get a real feel for this product.
I can see the potential of the software, I really do, and can't wait to have an actual budget rolling out of this. But make sure you have plenty of time to finish the budget after you had your training, even though they say your budget will be 2/3rds done, there is still a lot of work to be completed. I can't give a review of the overall budget experience, because i don't have a completed budget.
Thomas from Ambassador Solutions
Specialty: Software / Technology
I like the ease of use and the ability to eliminate my dependence on Excel.
It's a bit pricey for our size of company. I would like to see an ASP offering that would be more cost effective for a company of our size.
The level of detail that can entered into the software is amazing. In analyzing budget to actuals, there's never a doubt about what the variances are.
Frances from Consolidated Services Group
Specialty: Healthcare / Social Services
It is a good alternative to using excel spreadsheets. It's much easier to get reporting done when you have a number of departments and want to report as a total or individual departments. Uploading the information from our accounting software is easy to do. The vendor is helpful whenever we have problems. They can resolve most of our issues pretty quickly. We mostly use it for comparing P&Ls actual to budget and departmental reporting. In the past, we used Excel, like many companies, and found it was very easy to have errors. This is much more accurate. It allows us to break personnel, expenses, and revenue down several levels and also to roll it up.
We are still using an older version because there is one particular report that we like that has not been able to duplicated to our satisfaction on the newer version. The company has been through several refinements of the product but has still not been able to duplicate the report.
Do a run through your current processes and make a list of all the ways you would use it. Then create an outline for each area you wish to review. The more specific your questions based on your needs, the better.
Andrea from Allied Health Media, LLC
There are endless possibilities. There are numerous ways to view financials with Budget Maestro.
The amount of time it takes to learn it and really get up to speed.
Make sure you dedicate a large amount of time to learning this software. It's very intense and time consuming to learn.
Cynthia from ESG Automotive Inc
They have an excellent training staff, and they are more than happy to work through any situation that you have.
There was a miscommunication in the research phase, and a major item that I expected is not a part of Budget Maestro. They have, however, found me a workaround.
Ask a lot of questions; spell out what you want to have come out of using the software.
Catherine from Heat Transfer Products
Takes all the Excel spreadsheet nonsense out of budgeting. Great reporting package. We greatly appreciate the flexibility Budget Maestro offers our nimble team to make changes on the fly and seamlessly integrate with our ERP system to ensure financial data is accurate and up to date. Budget Maestro delivered value from the moment it was up and running and our team was instantly more efficient. Now, we can spend time on more strategic and meaningful initiatives to support company growth and innovative product development
It does take time to maintain new accounts. However, the benefits exceed the extra time for maintenance.
Budget Maestro was recommended to us by Syspro. It works well and enhances our ERP system and provides greater reporting capability.
Paul from InterCall Australia Pty Ltd
Date: June 2013
I was really impressed with the Budget Maestro demonstrations; their keen interest in understanding how our business model was structured and working through the benefits and challenges of acquiring the solution, before we even talked price. I was very attracted to the fundamental methodology and flexibility of the system to handle my requirements for budge - actual and forecast reporting. Also impressive is their what-if scenarios, the robust capabilities of their driver functionality, and Analytics Maestro (their Excel plug-in for user friendly desktop reporting). Initially our moderately complex business model created some database latency issues, but Centage took it on board and worked through it. They ended up making significant changes on the server side, and performance is now far better.
They are one star short of five because at some point they abandoned their segmented GL functionality. This has resulted in using a single entity field to handle location, function, and department. Our resulting entity schema is extremely confusing to end users, increases administrative overhead, and complicates the slice and dice capability that would come by handling separate GL segments.