Budgeting and Planning Software

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While makers of planning applications have come a long way with their products, they've tended to overlook one small item: most users of computer programming aren't, in fact, computer programmers. In the words of one software analyst, "The focus so far has primarily been on providing products that deliver the most analytical power."

That's understandable. Given the competition in the budgeting-and-planning software sector, B&P vendors have had little choice but to trick out their programs with all sorts of bells and whistles. But after prodding from customers many of which rely on entry-level workers to input data into modeling programs most vendors are at least beginning to address the issue of usability. In his article "Simplicity Is Golden," technology writer John Edwards observes that both established vendors and upstarts are attempting to design applications that are simpler and more straightforward.

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