Budgeting and forecasting is an essential practice for any business that allows planning ahead future possible scenarios and ensuring that the business is prepared for them. Managers are forced to consider how the conditions might change and what steps should be taken now for mitigating or preventing them. Any business that is attentive to its market trends needs a software solution that will help define his strategies and objectives for any situation.

Different possibilities arise for different business sizes. When considering an implementation of a Budgeting and forecasting tool, decision makers should focus on factors such as the functionality that best supports our current needs and goals, whether being a developing or an expanding business phase, and scalability options that best support the expected future growth of the business.

1. Adaptive Insights

Released in 2003, Adaptive Planning is one of the leading budgeting applications, with over 300 partners worldwide in Europe, Asia, and the Americas, and strategic reselling partnership with NetSuite. Adaptive Planning enjoys positive reviews and recommendations from users and budgeting experts across the board, supported by a customer base of over 20,000 users from 1000 businesses. Adaptive target industries include business services, healthcare, manufacturing, nonprofit organizations, and it is mainly popular with software companies (its customer base includes 150 software companies). Adaptive Planning offers comprehensive functionality suitable for businesses of all sizes, with features such as budgeting and forecasting, reporting, dashboards, financial modeling, administration, and the recently added extended consolidation module which targets large and global businesses. Average implementation lasts between 12 days – 3 weeks, with an Excel-like easy UI, a SaaS model that requires no additional hardware or software and minimal IT support, and continuous updates which quickly reflect customer needs. Adaptive offers a variety of implementation support packages, ranging from self-implementation to consultant support, and overall average TOC is 600$ per user.

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2. Anaplan

Officially launched in 2011, Anaplan is becoming one of the most prominent players in the budgeting software field, with a customer base increase of 500% in 2012 around the world, and clients such as Jive, Pandora, McAfee and Kimberly-Clark. Anaplan is funded by Meritech Capital Partners, with business partners in USA, most of Western Europe, Russia, Czech Republic, and recently Asia. Anaplan stands out with its scenario planning and powerful performance analytics, combined with a highly scalable platform which make it a fitting solution for fast growing businesses looking into performance management and future forecasting abilities. Anaplan’s target users are executives from sales, operations and finance, and its sales orientation that includes features such as modeling for maximizing sales per sale territory will apply to global companies with branches across the world. Anaplan offers a unified approach to planning and performance management that allows aligning data between departments that usually do not work well together because of incompatible tools or methods, thus creating an accurate model with priceless added value that can be leveraged towards future expansions. Anaplan’s true SaaS model in the cloud and in-memory architecture requires minimal IT intervention, and its simple UI which is similar to Excel allows easy user implementation. Anaplan’s self-service approach allows end users to quickly and easily build their own applications without consuming IT resources, leading to a short implementation cycle of several weeks. Anaplan’s scalable approach also offers a subscription based, scale-as-you-go service with a wide range of packages tailored for specific customer needs.

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3. PlanGuru

PlanGuru is budgeting software targeted towards small to medium businesses in the field of retail, hospitality, insurance, engineering and banking. Its main features include budgeting, reporting, and extensive modeling abilities. PlanGuru involves ‘painless’ implementation with simple and intuitive UI and easy set up by simple integration with an existing accounting program, and robust interface with QuickBook and Excel which allows easy import of existing data. PlanGuru’s SaaS model subscription includes a one-time license from 35$ per month requires minimal IT support, and its Cloud hosting services (also at 35$ per month) are provided via Citrix platform by their recent business partner, NovelAspect. PlanGuru is supported in Asia, USA, Europe, and the Middle East, and provides services to over 4,200 users. With an affordable price, and basic budgeting features, Planguru is the solution for starting or small to medium businesses that are looking into organizing and upgrading their budgeting management quickly and seamlessly from existing spreadsheets.

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