W 10 Most Promising Financial Planning & Analysis Software Providers

Financial Planning
& Analysis Software Providers
10 Most Promising Financial Planning & Analysis Software Providers
10 Most Promising Financial Planning & Analysis Software Providers
The Navigator for Enterprise Solutions
apRIl - 2014
In My Opinion
Thomas W. Sweet
SVP & CFO, Dell Inc
CFO Viewpoints
Fran Shammo
EVP & CFO, Verizon Communications
Bob Swan
SVP, Finance & CFO, eBay
Wade D. Miquelon
CFO & President- International, Walgreens
BOARD International:
Taking Budgeting
and Planning to a New High
Giovanni Grossi
|1 |
march 2014
hile corporate strategy helps determine the long-range vision
for a company, the business environment is constantly
changing, leaving a questionable impact on optimizing
efficiency and effectiveness in a firm’s current operations. To help finance
sectors to cope with agility and performance ratio, many companies are
coming up with financial planning and analysis software solutions, which
provide key financial modeling capabilities to help companies meet their
budgeting and ongoing forecasting needs.
With the assistance of new technologies, the vendors create tools
with which the businesses can easily access comprehensive financial
reports and metrics that give a unique perspective into the operations. The
software provides complete overview into an organization, with budgets
that include costs, deadlines, deliverables, workflows, and summaries.
It is now time for finance to demonstrate how it can support business
strategy, competitive analysis, overall enterprise performance planning
and management, and drive revenue and profit growth.
In the last few months we have looked at hundreds of solution
providers who primarily serve the finance industry, and shortlisted the
ones that are at the forefront of tackling challenges faced by this industry.
In our selection we looked at the vendor’s capability to fulfill the
needs of the finance sector through the supply of a variety of financial
planning and analysis softwares that support core business processes,
including innovation areas related to cloud, mobile, Saas, PaaS and
ERP, Big Data and analytics, mobility, and social media in the specific
context of the finance industry. We present to you CIOReview’s
10 Most Promising Financial Planning and Analysis Software
Providers 2014.
Centage is a growing software company
that provides, automated budgeting,
planning, and forecasting software. It
is designed for small to mid-market
companies and automates many of
the time-consuming and error-prone
activities associated with using
spreadsheets to generate accurate
budgets and forecasts.
Key Person:
Barry Clapp
April 2014
Maestro of Budgeting Solutions
udgeting in Excel is a bear. It is a tedious and timeconsuming process, in which companies typically
end up passing around spreadsheets that can
generate multiple iterations and become hard to reconcile,” says
Barry Clapp, President and COO of Centage—a leading provider
of automated budgeting and forecasting software solutions.
Headquartered in Natick, MA, Centage develops software
that helps its clients achieve unprecedented accuracy and
efficiency in their financial planning and reporting processes.
The company’s easy-to-use and scalable budgeting, planning,
and forecasting solutions allow small to mid-market firms
to automate many of their time-consuming and error-prone
activities associated with spreadsheet budgeting, and generate
accurate budgets and forecasts.
The Maestro suite is made up of three integrated solutions.
Their flagship product, Budget Maestro ® is a giant leap beyond
spreadsheets; this software delivers extraordinary efficiency,
deep visibility and increased agility to help their clients manage
financial health of their organization. By simplifying the task
of data collection, with built-in GAAP compliant business and
financial logic via wizards, spread methods, and drop-down
menus, Budget Maestro dramatically shortens budget cycle time
as well as improves accuracy and relevance of results. It’s also
the only solution that provides integrated projected cash flow,
income statement and balance sheet statements that reflect your
plans, what-if-scenarios, and actuals.
Analytics Maestro, an integral module of the Maestro
suite, offers users a clear graphic representation of gaps
between budget and actual data to help drive better
decision making and increased accountability
throughout the organization. It allows users the
ability to create their own visual dashboards and
reports with the most relevant, accurate, and upto-date information, customized to meet their
changing needs. The solution facilitates selfserve analytics and reporting by empowering
users to refresh reports on-demand and drilldown to detail, eliminating the need for external
consultants or IT support. The third module of the
suite, Link Maestro, offers bi-directional
integration with your ERP/General
Ledger, allowing users to
seamlessly load budget
and forecast versions
from your G/L into
Barry Clapp
Budget Maestro, preserving their existing chart of accounts and
These integrated solutions enable Centage to provide its
clients, unprecedented visibility into their key activities that
are driving financial statements. Talking about the benefits of
Centage’s products customer Daniel Lien, general manager at the
Office of Strategic Management, Wagner Asia said, “Like many
companies, Wagner Asia relied on spreadsheets as its ‘budgeting
software’. With Budget Maestro we were able to overcome the
usual headaches of budgeting with spreadsheets—challenges
Budgeting in Excel is a tedious,
time-consuming and errorprone process
consolidating budgets, questionable data, broken macros, and
writing formulas to develop a comprehensive budget in a matter
of weeks, instead of what previously took months.”
Link Maestro enabled us to deploy seamless data
integration, secure data transfer, and automate import of the
resources at any time to plan, budget and forecast. It eliminated
the potential for human error, importing, and keying numbers.
In addition, the unprecedented level of granularity offered by
the tool, allowed us to dig deep into our individual
divisions, gain valuable insight, and more
strategically manage the business,” he adds.
Moving forward, Centage aims to simplify
the tools that it offers and continue to enhance
the user experience, making it easier for
non-financial users to contribute to the
budget process and see the impact of their
recommendations as they are making them.
Centage also plans to venture into cloud
solutions and expand its business intelligence
expertise so that more people can drill
through and carry out better
analysis of their actual
performance whether
in the home office, at
a customer, or on the
April 2014