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.

FEATURE ARTICLE
Simplicity Is Golden
Heeding customer demands, sellers of planning software aim to make their products easier to use.


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MORE ARTICLES ON BUDGETING AND PLANNING SOFTWARE
Budgeting in the Real World
More companies are writing budgets that reflect strategy and reduce frustration.
Spreadsheet Heaven
The battle to replace Excel with dedicated budgeting and planning software takes an unexpected turn.
Surprise Inside
The software buried deep within business machines can be a tax saver.
Capital Ideas: Back to the Future of Valuation
The inventor of a new valuation model claims to have a roadmap for value creation that includes signposts on how to set, track, and meet growth goals.
A World of Pain Points
Originally pitched at finance, BPM software is proving useful across the organization.
How CPM Software Empowers Users
Corporate performance management software is faster and easier to use than traditional spreadsheets. CPM software offers improved information integrity and flow, and it enables users to develop analytic approaches tailored to their companies' needs.
Getting a Grip on Performance
As performance-management software continues its climb, widespread acceptance may be at hand.
Internal Rate of Return: A Cautionary Tale
Tempted by a project with high internal rates of return? Better check those interim cash flows again.
In the Fast Lane
Companies are trading in their spreadsheets for swifter, more powerful applications.
Testing the Top Line
Analyzing a company's sources of revenue can bring insights into growth.
Rolling Along
Many finance chiefs aspire to a dynamic budget, but most companies ''just aren't planning and measuring the right things.''
Getting Your Seat at the Strategy Table
The right technology can help finance executives provide their enterprises with ready access to reliable information, and a structure for translating that information into actionable strategies with measurable outcomes.
When Do Companies Outgrow Their Spreadsheets?
There comes a time at every smaller, growing company when managers perceive a need for more sophisticated software tools than spreadsheet-dependent planning, budgeting, and forecasting.
See It Now
New budgeting-and-planning software offers increasingly sophisticated visual aids: dashboards and scorecards.
Drowning in Data
A flood of corporate data, intensified by Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, threatens to overwhelm business managers.
Spreadsheets Forever
On the eve of its silver anniversary, the electronic spreadsheet remains golden. Co-creator Dan Bricklin explains why.
File Under 'Nightmare'
Information overload has acquired a regulatory dimension, forcing senior executives to take notice.
How to Improve Performance Management
Selecting the proper technology is a start -- but for a successful implementation, don't ignore these four important steps.
Rolling Budgets, with a Twist
A full-blown rolling budget isn't practical at many companies. But some finance executives have found that a scaled-back approach suits them just fine.

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