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Budgeting and Forecasting Software


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NetSuite logo
 
NetSuite is a business management software suite offered as a service that performs enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) functions. It is a horizontal package designed for an extensive range... Read More
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NetSuite is a business management software suite offered as a service that performs enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) functions. It is a horizontal package designed for an extensive range... Read More
 
Cougar Mountain DENALI logo
 
Cougar Mountain Software offers a business accounting software for manufacturing, nonprofits and public services organizations. Their flagship product Denali is a core accounting solution with applications for general ledger, accounts... Read More
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Cougar Mountain Software offers a business accounting software for manufacturing, nonprofits and public services organizations. Their flagship product Denali is a core accounting solution with applications for general ledger, accounts... Read More
 
Multiview logo
 
For organizations seeking a solution that conforms to their existing operations, Multiview offers a suite of financial solutions. With Multiview, companies gain visibility over corporate data. The solution includes 14 modules that... Read More
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For organizations seeking a solution that conforms to their existing operations, Multiview offers a suite of financial solutions. With Multiview, companies gain visibility over corporate data. The solution includes 14 modules that... Read More
 
Sage Live logo
 
Sage Live is a web-based and mobile ready accounting platform for small and mid-sized businesses. Key features include multi-company, multi-currency, and multi-legislation support, personalization based on user role, bank integration,... Read More
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Sage Live is a web-based and mobile ready accounting platform for small and mid-sized businesses. Key features include multi-company, multi-currency, and multi-legislation support, personalization based on user role, bank integration,... Read More
 
Sage Intacct logo
 
Sage Intacct is a provider of cloud-based accounting software. Sage Intacct’s applications are suitable for small and midsize companies and can provide real-time financial and operational insights as well as the ability to automate... Read More
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Sage Intacct is a provider of cloud-based accounting software. Sage Intacct’s applications are suitable for small and midsize companies and can provide real-time financial and operational insights as well as the ability to automate... Read More

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Adaptive Insights logo
 
Adaptive Insights, founded in 2003, provides a web-based system for budgeting, forecasting and reporting. The solution is suitable for a wide variety of company sizes. Delivered over the Web in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model,... Read More
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Adaptive Insights, founded in 2003, provides a web-based system for budgeting, forecasting and reporting. The solution is suitable for a wide variety of company sizes. Delivered over the Web in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model,... Read More
 
Budget Maestro logo
 
Budget Maestro by Centage offers financial institutes a comprehensive accounting solution with budgeting, forecasting, consolidation and reporting capabilities. Budget Maestro is suitable for a host of industries, including manufacturing,... Read More
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Budget Maestro by Centage offers financial institutes a comprehensive accounting solution with budgeting, forecasting, consolidation and reporting capabilities. Budget Maestro is suitable for a host of industries, including manufacturing,... Read More
 
Sage 100 Standard and Advanced ERP (formerly Sage ERP MAS 90 and 200) logo
 
Sage 100 ERP (formerly branded as Sage ERP MAS 90 and 200) is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software system for small and midsize businesses. The solution is typically recommended to companies with annual revenue between one... Read More
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Sage 100 ERP (formerly branded as Sage ERP MAS 90 and 200) is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software system for small and midsize businesses. The solution is typically recommended to companies with annual revenue between one... Read More
 
SAP Anywhere logo
 
SAP Anywhere integrates sales, marketing, e-commerce, and inventory activities into one complete front-office system. With SAP Anywhere users can manage and track inventory, manage orders, manage the procurement process, and more.... Read More
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SAP Anywhere integrates sales, marketing, e-commerce, and inventory activities into one complete front-office system. With SAP Anywhere users can manage and track inventory, manage orders, manage the procurement process, and more.... Read More
 
Vena Cloud logo
 
Vena is a cloud-based, corporate performance management (CPM) solution that leverages native Microsoft Excel and maps existing spreadsheets, models and formulas to a secure database, eliminating the need for manual work and driving... Read More
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Vena is a cloud-based, corporate performance management (CPM) solution that leverages native Microsoft Excel and maps existing spreadsheets, models and formulas to a secure database, eliminating the need for manual work and driving... Read More

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SAP ERP Core Finance logo
 
Over 30,000 companies, spanning 120 different countries, are using SAP ERP Financials to conduct their financial management.  Noteworthy names include General Mills and Office Max. SAP ERP Financials is a part of SAP’s Business... Read More
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Over 30,000 companies, spanning 120 different countries, are using SAP ERP Financials to conduct their financial management.  Noteworthy names include General Mills and Office Max. SAP ERP Financials is a part of SAP’s Business... Read More
 
Dynac logo
 
Dynac is a scalable on-premise Accounting and Corporate Performance Management solution that focuses on budgeting, forecasting, and financial reporting. It can be utilized across a wide variety of industries including agriculture,... Read More
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Dynac is a scalable on-premise Accounting and Corporate Performance Management solution that focuses on budgeting, forecasting, and financial reporting. It can be utilized across a wide variety of industries including agriculture,... Read More
 
AccuFund Accounting Suite logo
 
AccuFund is an online accounting and financial reporting solution designed specifically for the nonprofit industry. Integrated into one, AccuFund's Accounting suite helps nonprofit organizations and government agencies report funding... Read More
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AccuFund is an online accounting and financial reporting solution designed specifically for the nonprofit industry. Integrated into one, AccuFund's Accounting suite helps nonprofit organizations and government agencies report funding... Read More
 
A3 Modeling logo
 
A3 Modeling is a cloud-based solution that offers enterprise class budgeting, forecasting, financial reporting and executive dashboards. The solution couples Excel with a backend database for data management. It is suitable for companies... Read More
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A3 Modeling is a cloud-based solution that offers enterprise class budgeting, forecasting, financial reporting and executive dashboards. The solution couples Excel with a backend database for data management. It is suitable for companies... Read More
 
FinancialForce Financial Management logo
 
FinancialForce Financial Management (FM) is a cloud-based system built to provide a complete financial management solution for sales and services-orientated companies of all sizes. FinancialForce FM has several inherent applications,... Read More
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FinancialForce Financial Management (FM) is a cloud-based system built to provide a complete financial management solution for sales and services-orientated companies of all sizes. FinancialForce FM has several inherent applications,... Read More

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Host Analytics EPM Suite logo
 
Host Analytics EPM Suite is a cloud-based Enterprise Performance Management solution. Host Analytics EPM Suite is suitable for mid-sized to large businesses seeking a system that can provide insights into their business. It includes... Read More
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Host Analytics EPM Suite is a cloud-based Enterprise Performance Management solution. Host Analytics EPM Suite is suitable for mid-sized to large businesses seeking a system that can provide insights into their business. It includes... Read More
 
VersAccounts Small Business Cloud ERP logo
 
VersAccounts is a web-based accounting and enterprise resource planning (ERP) system designed for growing small and midsized businesses looking to gain real-time financial and operational insights. This Cloud 2.0 system enables businesses... Read More
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VersAccounts is a web-based accounting and enterprise resource planning (ERP) system designed for growing small and midsized businesses looking to gain real-time financial and operational insights. This Cloud 2.0 system enables businesses... Read More
 
Abila MIP Fund Accounting logo
 
Abila MIP Fund Accounting from ProSoft Solutions is a finance management and fund accounting solution designed to serve nonprofits and government agencies. The solution can be deployed on-premise, in the cloud or be self-hosted. Abila... Read More
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Abila MIP Fund Accounting from ProSoft Solutions is a finance management and fund accounting solution designed to serve nonprofits and government agencies. The solution can be deployed on-premise, in the cloud or be self-hosted. Abila... Read More
 
PlanGuru logo
 
PlanGuru is an on-premise business planning and budgeting solution for small businesses and nonprofits. The solution helps accountants to build financial forecasts, prepare budget analysis and address financial constraints of small... Read More
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PlanGuru is an on-premise business planning and budgeting solution for small businesses and nonprofits. The solution helps accountants to build financial forecasts, prepare budget analysis and address financial constraints of small... Read More
 
BOARD logo
 
Created to combine business intelligence, corporate performance management, and business analytics, BOARD is a full-featured business intelligence system that serves midsize and enterprise-level companies in a variety of different... Read More
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Created to combine business intelligence, corporate performance management, and business analytics, BOARD is a full-featured business intelligence system that serves midsize and enterprise-level companies in a variety of different... Read More
 

Buyer's Guide

by Lisa Hedges,
Content Analyst
Last Updated: August 20, 2017


Financial planning software applications utilize historical data and estimates of future conditions to track a company’s financial progress and compare it to business expectations. The long-term survival of a business depends on its ability to establish a budget and operate within its confines. With the help of business budgeting software, businesses can forecast likely future expenses, establish more precise and realistic budgets and have a greater chance of achieving ongoing profitability.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is Budgeting and Forecasting Software?
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Benefits and Potential Issues
Market Trends to Understand
The Vendor Landscape

What Is Budgeting and Forecasting Software? 

Like many budgeting programs, business forecasting software reduces the opportunity for potential human error. Because budgets are formulated by the recording of business data, human error can drastically affect the budgeting process. Negligence and typos can easily destroy the validity of budget strategies. With the right system, however, automated reminders can ensure that the user knows when to input key business information for budget analysis.

Effective business budget software can also automatically import data directly from integrated accounting applications, including the general ledger, ERP system and HR system. This automated importing strengthens consistency and completeness for data analysis that is reliable and error-free. In addition, the ability to connect and interact with other programs provides consolidated data collection, as well as a variety of different ways to complete the budgeting and forecasting process.

Collaboration in budget formulation becomes much easier with the use of budgeting and forecasting solutions. When certain areas of a company’s budget are headed by different individuals, manual collaboration can be troublesome. But with business forecast systems, the budget approval process can be standardized to improve organization and communication. Hypothetical forecasting also allows for the inclusion of complex or often-forgotten factors like inflation. These scenarios improve general awareness of potential obstacles ahead, providing greater foresight in budget formation.

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Although some of the most important points of the budgeting and forecasting process are the same across industries, different organizations have different priorities and requirements in finding the right system. Here are the main categories of buyers:

Small businesses. Small and fledgling businesses may want to pay particular attention to a user-friendly interface or more intuitive presentation styles, which can produce easily understandable graphs and charts. Budgeting is a critical feature here, but often forecasting capabilities and needs are somewhat limited, due to costs and lack of historical data.

Mid-sized and growing businesses. Slightly larger and rapidly growing businesses can benefit from a system that adds forecasting features to help predict future growth and sales based on past patterns. A common mistake for growing businesses is to assume that last year’s surge will carry over into this year. However, many different factors play a part, and the ability to predict changes in those factors can prevent massive overinvestment in your company’s infrastructure.

Large corporations. Large companies with dozens or hundreds of different departments create a whole other level of complexity in the budgeting and forecasting process. They need something that can handle multiple types of expenses and multiple sources of revenue, all coming from different users in different departments. This information needs to be integrated in a seamless, intelligent way.

Benefits and Potential Issues

A strong budgeting and forecasting system improves accuracy for budgeting and long-term business development planning.

Improved accuracy. The tight deadlines and overtime hours associated with the budgeting cycle make it an error-prone process, but a single human error can have a massive impact on a company’s profitability. A good budgeting program eliminates most of the opportunities for calculation errors, increasing overall accuracy of the process.

Faster and simpler. Budgeting and forecasting software contains high-level functionality specifically dedicated to this purpose. This saves time on process creation (no need to create an Excel file), allows for data to be saved and reused year over year and makes the budgets easier to manage and amend. Overall, this can halve the amount of time spent on the budget cycle.

Report consistency. These solutions connect employees across the enterprise, ensuring that the budgets have the same readable format no matter who prepares them.

Better forecasting. Computer forecasting programs use complex algorithms that are designed to predict future expenses and sales based on past data. This makes for more accurate forecasts and long-term success.

Market Trends to Understand

Changing markets. The whole point of forecasting is to predict the unpredictable, which is to say rapidly changing markets. Since market trends in your industry are constantly changing, it’s important to select a forecasting solution that can account for these changes.

Increased vertical specialization. Over time, budgeting and forecasting software has become increasingly specialized, adding value according to unique workflow types. Systems are catering to the specific needs of the medical industry, nonprofits, construction companies, engineering firms and others. So if industry specialization is important to you, keep this in mind when evaluating systems.

Increased specialization by industry. Increasingly, consumers are demanding more industry-specific features, and vendors are listening. Products that were once “horizontal”—such as Sage MAS 90/200, QuickBooks and Microsoft Dynamics—are increasingly adding new vertical features to cater to buyers’ specific industries. Make sure to keep a lookout for features that fit your particular industry when investigating tools and solutions.

Software as a service (SaaS). SaaS lowers costs and speeds up implementation for buyers by offering Web-based software that doesn’t need to be installed on-premise. This is more cost effective for smaller buyers. It’s typically offered on a annual or monthly subscription basis, helping firms anticipate and control costs.

The Vendor Landscape

There are a number of considerations when selecting budgeting and forecasting software:

  • Is the system user-friendly: accessible charting/graphing capabilities, online user forums, troubleshooting applications?
  • Does it provide a variety of hypothetical situations for forecasting things like inflation?
  • Can the program involve multiple users for collaboration purposes (i.e., intra-software messaging, multiple users by department, automated combination or comparison of multiple budget submissions)?
  • Does the solution effectively provide reminders for adhering to deadlines?
  • To what degree is the software capable of interacting with important accounting applications or modules, such as general ledger, HR etc.?
  • Does the price range justify the features?
  • Does the program encourage and give reminders for frequent data entry to ensure precise and consistent information storage?
  • Does the software effectively analyze past business performance?

These are some of the major players in the budgeting and forecasting applications market:

Small businesses PlanGuru, Budget Maestro, Epicor
Medium-sized & growing businesses Planning Maestro, Epicor, Adaptive
Large corporations Adaptive Planning, Epicor

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