After attending a 4.000-strong customer conference in the last week in Las Vegas and spending much of our time talking to financial controllers and finance managers, there were two recurring facts these decision-makers tried to point out– they want to get away from doing budgeting and planning in Excel spreadsheets and they are struggling with having too many disparate systems.
Make no mistake, these controllers know the future of their business depend on how they build their analytical abilities and the strategies they come up with to move their organization to the right direction. This means they need to move away faster from all the issues that plague their budgeting and planning process which threatens the trust level in their organization.
It is worth pointing out that from one conversation to another, it was clear to us that this isn´t any more about convincing decision-makers they need a new financial planning software, this is just all about choosing carefully which platform will help them achieve their goals at the fastest possible time with minimal friction in their operation.
So just what are the things you need to consider when choosing the right financial management software?
- The financial planning software should have the ability to tie information together from various ERP or LOB systems
One recurring fact for most of the businesses we have had the privilege of chatting with was the fact that they are terrified at the idea of taking in yet another software to add to their long list of software to maintain.
The harsh truth is they are barely keeping up with the many ERP systems they must maintain that do not even talk to each other plus all their line of business systems that also hold critical information.
Therefore, it is important that if your business finds itself in a similar situation, you have to find yourself an ERP-agnostic financial accounting software that has the ability to facilitate a seamless flow of critical information across many systems.
Your choice of financial planning software must not only be attached to 1 specific ERP system, rather it must treat all ERP systems equally so that you do not feel trapped in your ERP system should it fail to meet your needs in the future.
Having 1 software that allows you to pull and store all the necessary information from various systems will be a gem in your business in the sense that it will give you the necessary structure and clarity your business needs.
- It must be business-user friendly
Many business finance software claim they are user-friendly, but we ask – which type of user though?
For us, it makes no sense if your financial planning software is only technical user-friendly or IT user-friendly because while these people are great help, at the end of the day, it is the business user or the finance user that understands accounting more than anyone else. It is no one else´s duty but the finance user to create financial reports, make budgets and plans or consolidate.
Needless to say, a critical evaluation criterion in choosing an accounting software must be that the entire platform be easily used and maintained by the business user, not the IT user.
- It must be cloud without compromise
There is no doubt that cloud is the future. It is cost-efficient plus easy to upgrade and maintain among others.
However, given the fact the financial planning solution of your choice will hold classified financial data, you must always choose a cloud solution without compromise.
We know for a fact that security is one of the main concerns of some businesses why they feel they aren´t ready to move to the cloud yet and this is a valid concern. However, there are always some questions that you can ask your vendor to help reduce the anxiety you feel and help build that confidence needed. Questions such as –
- what hosting provider do you use?
- where do you host our data?
- What is that country´s data privacy regulations?
- Do you have a SOC 2 certification?
- What is your disaster management policy?
- How many layers of security layer exists in your financial accounting software?
If you are in the process of evaluating a financial budgeting and planning software, might we suggest you add Performance Canvas Financials to your list. We do not promise it is the right solution for you because there might be specific business points you need to address that this software does not support but what we can guarantee is that this financial planning software´s biggest selling points are that it is ERP system agnostic, it is business user friendly and it has robust cloud and excel security.
You can read more about it at www.performancecanvas.com or simply email firstname.lastname@example.org to see a free online demo or request for a free trial with your own financial data. Non-disclosure agreements will of course be signed prior to the trial.
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