Times have changed. Google and Bing are the best friends of buyers these days.
For accountants looking to improve the way they do budgeting and planning today, they usually google “the best budgeting software” or “top-rated budget planning software” or “number 1 budget software”.
The first step usually in a buyer´s journey starts with search engines. We leave it to google and Bing to tell us which among the crowded sea of vendors are worth spending time on.
Most buyers do this because it is hard to trust vendors these days and if a vendor is reviewed by a significant number of people, we are bound to find out something – good or bad.
Google and Bing will then pull up paid ads, directory listings, review sites, among others. However, both these search engines won´t necessarily tell you what defines the best budgeting software. How can they when this in fact is a loaded question even for a smart algorithm.
Is being the best equated to having the most positive user reviews? Is it about having the most aggressive marketing strategy online? Is it about having the right price?
For Performance Canvas Financials – a subscription based financial reporting, budgeting & planning, and financial consolidation software, there are 3 critical items that define the best budgeting software – Stability, Capability, Affordability.
Here are short explanations on each.
This is a very important yet less focused-on feature of a budgeting software. Mostly because vendors don´t really market stability as there is a quiet assumption of “of course, your product should be stable”.
However, it is worth emphasizing that product stability goes hand in hand with other marketed features because what will you do with all these shiny new features when there are constant flaws or bugs in the product that it becomes cumbersome to use it?
Now, it is naive to say a software should be bug-free. That does not exist in the real world unless no one is investing in the development and competitiveness of that product. A reasonable number of bugs should be expected but one thing that should be clearly evident in the product should also be its stability and how do you really know if a product is stable? Demand a trial with your own data before you purchase it.
What makes for the best budgeting software is very subjective and it really comes down to unique needs and preferences of every business.
You do not need hundreds of capabilities because these things are just nice to have but you can live without them. What you should be looking at is the capability of a budgeting solution to address your current pain points. For example, are you struggling constantly with having to manually consolidate figures? Then your solution should allow you to do automatic aggregation of numbers. Do you have issues in not being able to control who has access to what? Then your solution must have a smart way of handling security.
Do not be blinded by all these nice things. Before, you get into buying mode- you should decide what your pain points are and what the must-do or must-haves of the solution should be. That way, it is easy to quantify the best budgeting solution for your business.
The old belief that the more expensive the product, the better it is – is not anymore applicable today. People know better that there are certain vendors out there that do not have a realistic appraisal of the product´s abilities. They only work hard to get the brand right, not so much get the product right.
When you look for the best budgeting solution assess if the product is stable, if it has the ability to address majority if not all of your pain points, and if the price is commensurate to the product´s abilities.
If you think that you are getting good value for money, that usually is a good indication. When you are evaluating a known brand, step away for a bit and ask yourself – if I didn´t know this brand – would I still think this is good value for my money and would I still buy it?
If you have not found what you deem is the best budgeting solution, Performance Canvas Financials which you can learn more about at www.performancecanvas.com is worth taking a look at. We do not promise it is the best because as mentioned, what best means to one might not mean the same to another. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to see a free online demo. Nothing to lose, right?
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