Planful (formerly Host Analytics) Reviews

107 Ratings
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Reviews (1-25 of 54)

Paul Boerema | TrustRadius Reviewer
October 18, 2019

The Perfect Budget Consolidation Tool

Score 9 out of 10
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We are using it across our entire organization for our budgeting process to effectively create our consolidated budget with dynamic budget templates that we have built. We also use it for financial reporting throughout the year, bringing in our financial data from Microsoft GP (both at the summary and transaction level).
  • Familiar Excel-style interface for entering data into budget templates
  • The capabilities provided by the budget templates allow for a dynamic, consolidated budget that can be easily be put together and verified.
  • Being able to integrate with the accounting system makes Host the perfect resource for Budget vs Actual reporting and tracking during the year.
  • The tables and other visuals in dashboards are pretty stagnant and not flexible in terms of formatting (we have moved to Tableau for visual reporting).
  • It would be helpful to be able to edit budget templates even if there is data entered (having to un-map and re-map new templates that may need to be tweaked after budget data has been entered can become time-consuming).
  • There could be a mobile-friendly version.
Host Analytics is perfect for any organization where the dynamic budget is put together by several budget owners across the organization, as the budget templates (which can be customized to your organization's needs), are perfect for budget consolidation. This budget data can then easily be used in financial reports within the application. Host would be less appropriate for a smaller organization with a straightforward budget that is only owned by a single person or entity. I also would not recommend strictly Host for an organization that is more reliant on visual reporting, but it serves as a great complement.
Read Paul Boerema's full review
Joshua Henke | TrustRadius Reviewer
May 16, 2019

Host Analytics works, but the UI is underwhelming

Score 6 out of 10
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Only our Financial Analysts and the financial execs use Host Analytics directly. The primary purpose is budget forecasts.
  • I often hear from my users, "the best thing about Host Analytics is the export to Excel feature so we can do our work there."
  • I'm struggling to come up with things it does "particularly well," so I think it would be a disservice to readers to make up something
  • User interface, while not bad, really could take some cues from basic interfaces. Strange to navigate. Perhaps its method of often requiring double-clicks is smart, but it's not consistent with most web interfaces
  • Their newly touted native NetSuite integration is techncially GA, but really needs more time to bake. Documentation for this new feature is improving but still is confusing.
  • It's surprisingly configurable, perhaps overly so for a point solution. "Surprising" also because it's hard to navigate and find the configurations.
  • When there are problems with data loads, my experience is its challenging to find the problem (weak error messages and reporting), and fixing the problem often means deleting entire periods of data and reloading again.
  • While a lot can be done with reporting, the way to generate custom functions is...uncommon. I forget the name of the query language.
If you can use their provide Boomi integration, you may have a better experience because they say they'll have greater insight to data loads than we seem to have with our own Boomi integration. I also consider that we have had Host Analytics for several years and think we would benefit from a reimplementation (a somewhat common scenario with systems (or cars or girlfriends): "that system looks much more attractive, I'm ditching this... or maybe I should consider revisiting some basics")
Read Joshua Henke's full review
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
July 24, 2019

Host Analytics allowed Finance team to scale and enable better decision making.

Score 9 out of 10
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Today Host Analytics is being used just by the finance team -- it helps us scale our financial planning from zero to one. Huge boost for team productivity.
  • Excel integration via Modeling Cloud
  • Robust out-of-the-box feature set, particularly in terms of payroll
  • Easy connection to your Accounting ERP via boomi connection
  • No size limitations (# of scenarios, model complexity size)
  • User interface could be more attractive and approachable
  • Better visualization tools within the application (e.g. charts, tables, etc)
  • Overall system speed -- particularly in terms of switching between templates
Well suited: investment planning, compensation planning, excel integration, planning for organizations < 10k employees, planning at startups

Less appropriate: revenue modeling, planning for organizations > 10k employees, planning for organizations with > 20 Finance team members actively using the system
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Monica Seaney, CPA | TrustRadius Reviewer
January 19, 2018

Host - dynamic cloud based capabilities increase efficiency

Score 8 out of 10
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It is used by my organization for financial planning & forecasting as well as management reporting. It is used to not only host financial data but non financial metrics to create dynamic reports and budgets that can be utilized for a variety of cases. The cloud based platform makes collaboration between the teams effective and efficient.
  • Cloud based platform enhances collaboration
  • Dynamic models increase efficiency
  • user friendly
  • can always be more user friendly
  • ability to calculate without creating custom report template
Host Analytics Cloud EPM Suite is well suited for financial planning and management reporting. The dynamic cloud based capabilities make it very useful in those instances. A scenario when it may be less appropriate is for financial reporting done by the accounting team as that requires linkage to invoicing and purchasing system.
Read Monica Seaney, CPA's full review
Mary McLaughlin | TrustRadius Reviewer
September 25, 2017

Host Analytics took a lot of data and made is useful.

Score 10 out of 10
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Host Analytics is being used by myself for budgeting, financial reporting and product gross margin reporting. The resulting reports are used by other executives within the organization.
  • I have a large amount of product data that Host has helped me organize into something I can use in my business.
  • I can get several financial reports with the push of a button each month.
  • As I use the software I realize there are more things I can do.
  • The Host customers for life team is always there to help me when I explore these possibilities.
  • It can be difficult to set up a report templates. Once set it is good and there are no worries. It would be nice it the report setup was easier to use.
  • It has a large learning curve, but I am unsure how this can be improved upon. To understand the details of how it works is a time consuming endeavor.
Financial reporting is a wonderful use. It can take the raw data and enable you to present it in almost any format you can imagine. Budgeting in Host is also a wonderful use of the software. I find that it is so much easier to look back at a budget and see "where the numbers" came from. The other major thing we use Host for is our product information - this was a monster of an Excel workbook each year and we were unable to combine time periods the way we can in Host.
Read Mary McLaughlin's full review
Lauren Bissell, CPA | TrustRadius Reviewer
March 27, 2017

Host Analytics Review

Score 9 out of 10
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We implemented Host Analytics initially as a consolidation and reporting tool, which helped to automate the consolidation of multiple entities on different ERPs across the globe. Six months after implementation, we automated the feed from our domestic ERP into Host Analytics (integration), allowing end users to see GL account level information nearly real-time in the application. Six months after the integration, we implemented budgeting for operating expense and workforce planning relating to our corporate departments. We are currently in process of rolling out the budgeting application to our different businesses for their own use. Currently, only finance and accounting personnel at corporate and our business locations have access to the application, which will likely expand to operational individuals once businesses start budgeting in the application. Through the implementation of Host Analytics, we are now able to measure performance on a constant currency basis, and saves time in the preparation of financial information, allowing for more analysis to be able to be performed.
  • Customer service and ongoing customer support
  • Soliciting feedback from customers and incorporating ideas into their release / update schedules
  • Facilitating one source of the truth that can be accesses by all end users with varying degrees of security
  • Minor application quirks in the use functionality.
  • Updates are pushed to your application during specified maintenance windows, allowing for immediate use of the new functionality whether you were prepared or understood the changes or not. Any significant changes are clearly communicated ahead of time.
Host Analytics is well suited for our business as we operate on multiple ERPs in different currencies, thus allowing us to have a single source of the truth for financial reporting. Relating to budgeting, we also have many different ways our individual businesses currently budget, thus efficiencies are able to be gained when our businesses can leverage what others are doing as they can all budget within the application in a similar manner depending on the nature of their business. It is hard; however, to fully automate the financial reporting process within Host Analytics, as the current data visualization capabilities are complex and heavily reliant on MDX language.
Read Lauren Bissell, CPA's full review
Lauren Mazzone | TrustRadius Reviewer
June 15, 2017

Host Analytics Review

Score 8 out of 10
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We keep Host within our finance department to load the data and create reports to push out to the rest of the company. We also use it for planning.
  • Reporting is very quick and easy to consolidate information.
  • The planning and HR modules slashes the time to create forecasts and plans tremendously.
  • They could offer more dimensions because 13 make it very limiting.
  • It was frustrating converting some report books, which they deprecated, to report collections because of the 10 tab limit. If they could find a way to work around this that would be great.
  • The new report sets are a great feature but could use some more work with the precedence columns. It is always a guess and check and when using both a row and a column set, you don't always get what you want for formatting.
Well suited: Reporting and planning
Read Lauren Mazzone's full review
Mike Johnson | TrustRadius Reviewer
August 25, 2016

Host EPM Review

Score 9 out of 10
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Our firm currently uses Host Analytics for our financial planning and reporting. The accounting department is the primary user of the application. Other departments [have] limited exposure to the application during our budgeting and forecasting processes.
  • Reporting is a huge strength in Host. It's extremely easy to build aesthetically pleasing reports for your company. In addition, dynamic reports make it easy to build ad hoc reports quickly.
  • The planning module helps simplify budgeting and forecasting. It's highly beneficial having it all in Host and moving away from the problems we were experiencing with maintaining our budget in several giant Excel spreadsheets linked together.
  • The learning curve isn't steep with Host. Any users that are familiar with Excel will feel comfortable with building templates in no time.
  • The HR planning module is frustrating to use. I found that making a ton of changes to the payroll budget is extremely time-consuming. For any new users, I'd recommend simplifying your payroll budget to minimize use of this module.
  • The formatting capabilities are a bit limited in the reporting module. It would be nice to have formatting near the same level of Excel.
I'd recommend Host Analytics to companies looking to improve their planning process. A lot of the problems that are associated with preparing budgets in Excel (e.g. version control, user access, crashes, etc.) are mitigated in Host.
Read Mike Johnson's full review
Lee Johnston | TrustRadius Reviewer
August 11, 2016

Host Analytics - An Excellent Partner

Score 10 out of 10
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Host Analytics has dramatically reduced the time it takes to produce a forecast. Before we implemented Host Analytics, we struggled to complete a single mid-year forecast each year that was already outdated by the time it was published. We are now completing quarterly forecasts and higher level monthly "flashcasts". By 2017 we will be on a monthly rolling forecast schedule.
  • Eliminates the risk associated with version control
  • Provides ability to slice and dice data across multiple dimensions and scenarios very quickly
  • Provides a single source of truth for planning and reporting
  • Host Analytics is constantly making improvements. Other than the relatively new Modeling (SpotlightXL) functionality which is still in it's infancy, I can't think of anything in desperate need of improvement.
Host Analytics has proven to be particularly useful during the budget process - specifically related to the generation of multiple iterations. For me, it has always been very important to provide a trail or bridge from one iteration to the next. People become comfortable with the current iteration and need to fully understand what changed before they can support the current version. Host Analtytics provides the ability to lock the current scenario and create a new one in minutes and then quickly compare the two iterations across dimensions via reporting. It's a great way to check for reasonableness and ensure nothing major was missed.
Read Lee Johnston's full review
Lee Starr | TrustRadius Reviewer
July 15, 2016

Righting the ship with Host Analytics

Score 10 out of 10
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We are new users to Host. We implemented the reporting tool then the planning tool. Our intention is to use it across the entire organization. We brought Host in to give non-financial users an easy self-service tool to manage their department. Non-financial users will participate in the planning phase by entering forecast into templates and reviewing reports. They are pulling reports on monthly activity also in order to provide commentary to Board members on results. Finance department is moving the numerous spreadsheets over to Host in order to shorten close time and reduce redundancy in labor. We are currently building our 2017 plan in Host.
  • Host reporting has already proven to be a time saver. Even in the early stages of use, I was able to build a report for management that compared actual to forecast and then report on various departments.
  • One of the biggest challenges we had was managers taking ownership of their budgets. In the past, they would pass off the data to Finance and then cast blame when the results were not favorable. This year, they are in charge in entering and approving data. VPs now have to approve and all of this is completed in Host. Elimination of extra steps for Finance to rekey and potential errors.
  • I really love the community feature. This allows you the ability to ask other users how they are handling an issue. We have solved a great many problems with this.
  • As with all software packages, we would love to have an undo button.
  • One of the best features is also a feature that is hard to adjust to at the beginning. The Row sets and Column sets make building new reports quick but when your Column contain various formulas, you have to add exceptions. Exception formulas within cells are not very forgiving. They do not let you make changes to your report once you create them. This is making us rethink how our old reports are designed.
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Connie Yan | TrustRadius Reviewer
July 12, 2016

Bio-chemistry small company with complex business model

Score 8 out of 10
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Verified User
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We have recently completed the project of Host implementation. It helps us a great deal in reporting, consolidations, budget, and forecast.
We have limited users in Host, but next year we will expand the usage of Host cross the company.
It is nice to have beautiful reports and able to slice and dice these reports in various ways. It gives us different views of the business at any given time which is something we could not achieve previously.
  • Host HR templates are solid built. It can mirror actual payroll process very well.
  • A number of ways data can be loaded and cleared from Host. It is flexible and easy to use.
  • Host Reports are well built. It really slice and dice our data in many ways that we could not do previously.
  • A needs a solidly build-in Balance Sheet template that Host implementation consultant can manipulate to fit for any client.
  • Modeling is still not flexible enough. We will wait couple of more years for before adopting it.
  • Forecasting can certainly use some improvements.
Host has the capacity and suites for many business models. My concern was the complexity of our business. We ended up building many more templates than we thought in order to make it really work for us. I guess the key is about understanding the best practice and having the support from Host to do what we need to do. Very important to us to learn experiences from similar business with similar business model who are using Host as well.
Read Connie Yan's full review
Jarrod Lemon | TrustRadius Reviewer
May 17, 2016

Host Analytics Review

Score 10 out of 10
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Four years ago, we started out using Host Analytics as a tool to get our finance team out of Excel hell. We just had our forecasting team (4 individuals) using the system to prepare the annual budget and quarterly forecasts. It was also used to generate monthly variance reports. Since that time, others have seen the powerful reporting capabilities within the tool and have requested access. We now have 50 users in the system from across almost all departments in the organization. For us, we primarily use Host Analytics to disseminate financial information to management in a quick, efficient fashion and allow analysts within each department to create ad-hoc reports as needed.
  • Strong reporting capabilities. We like to view our financials in several different ways, and the reporting module is intuitive to get almost any thing we are looking for rather quickly.
  • The budget module allows you to document all of your assumptions, so there's no guesswork on what was used for a budget vs. a forecast.
  • User security can be determined in several stages, so everyone can see what they are supposed to see and nothing more!
  • The workflow in the budget module doesn't quite work for our organization, as there's no way to forward individual budget templates. The entire entity must be forwarded for approval, which includes allocation templates that don't need to be seen anyway.
Host Analytics may not be appropriate for companies with a large number of allocations. We find allocations to be somewhat overly burdensome, especially if it is based on percentages that are constantly changing, yet not able to be referenced in Host Analytics. Also, if you need precise workflow, this may not be the right tool.
Read Jarrod Lemon's full review
Brad Tingey | TrustRadius Reviewer
July 20, 2016

Host Analytics an Accounting Driven Application

Score 10 out of 10
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Host Analytics Clud EPM Suite is currently used to perform our global consolidation. The suite is primarily used by [our] finance & accounting [department] for changing a previously manual process into something in a more robust flexible environment that allows analysis on things that previously weren't compared.
  • Flexible and easy to implement. We were able to get data into the application without extensive assistance from our IT department and feel like we really own our solution in finance and accounting.
  • Removal of MDX coding for the dashboarding and visualization features of the landing page.
Host Analytics Cloud EPM Suite is well suited in an environment where finance a accounting want to own the solution with Convert the flexibility to manage a growing organization.
Read Brad Tingey's full review
Derek B. Hazelwood | TrustRadius Reviewer
May 20, 2016

Host Analytics Delivers!

Score 10 out of 10
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We use it for our budgeting, forecasting, and management reporting process. I allows us to grant access to reporting and budget detail to managers and executives across the company. It also allows us to perform ad-hoc forecasts and financial models in an efficient way. The cloud scheduler allows me to send out recurring reports in an automated fashion.
  • Excel-like features make picking up the application rather easy.
  • Report design utilizing substitution variables makes recurring reports able to be automated.
  • Hierarchy management makes understanding the structure of our complex company much easier.
  • Compatibility with default browser settings is an issue.
  • Would like more formatting options for reports that delivered via cloud scheduler.
  • Chrome compatibility would be great!
I think it could work for most any industry, which is apparent in the diversity of the companies they serve.
Read Derek B. Hazelwood's full review
Brian Chin | TrustRadius Reviewer
May 20, 2016

Host Analytics - Automation of KPI Reporting

Score 10 out of 10
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Host Analytics is used by the Finance/BI team to automate operational KPI reporting processes. The solution allowed us to report on accurate metrics in a timely manner. The solution brings in data from various sources using APIs to streamline the reporting process.
  • Automation
  • Reporting
  • Consolidation
  • Customer Service
  • Visualization
  • Mobile
  • Different browser functionality
Host Analytics' is well suited when the business wants to automate their KPI reporting. By doing so, Host Analytics can bring in the data via APIs and report on the metrics. Host Analytics allows the user to report on the different dimensions and is great for customized and/or ad hoc reporting.
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Bailey King, CPA | TrustRadius Reviewer
August 23, 2016

Join the fun!

Score 10 out of 10
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We use Host Analytics in our department on a daily basis and across our subsidiaries on a monthly and quarterly basis. Host has allowed us to decentralize some of our data entry, allowing the subsidiaries to own their data input. Reporting in Host couldn't be easier; once you understand how the dimensions relate to one another, you can report on anything.
  • As its in the cloud, our IT team doesn't have to assist very often.
  • Multiple subsidiaries across the country (and world) can input data and we can review it in real time.
  • The response time in consolidating and processing is amazing!! So much faster than our on-premise solution was.
  • I wish the time period went back before 2001. Our management likes to have lots of information in the database. We have formulated a clunky work around but it would be nice to have more time options.
I think for holding companies doing a lot of consolidations or budgeting it is a perfect product. I would assume some companies might need something a little more industry specific.
Read Bailey King, CPA's full review
Patrick J. Slattery | TrustRadius Reviewer
August 17, 2016

Rapid Realization, Ease of Use and Reduced TCO

Score 10 out of 10
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Host Analytics Cloud EPM Suite is used across divisions with diverse business models to develop driver-based estimates, labor models and financial plans.
  • Rapid realization through cloud platform
  • Easy/efficient user interface
  • Sound planning and financial reporting logic
  • Excellent customer support
  • Extension of the solution into business processes, methods and definition of roles and responsibilities in FP+A
Businesses with data trapped in a myriad of spreadsheets will benefit greatly.
Read Patrick J. Slattery's full review
Kate Sedam | TrustRadius Reviewer
July 25, 2016

reporting made easy

Score 8 out of 10
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We use it as a reporting tool for our budget. The budget team uses it closely and we try to get each department to also use to better manage their budget.
  • it is a great reporting tool. there are so many ways to organize your data
  • we use it to enter our budget information
  • it is a great tool to watch headcount and allocate certain expenses
  • there are some organizational changes that could be made to make it easier.
i am on the budget team so it is something i am constantly using. it is easy to pull reports
Read Kate Sedam's full review
Lily Eng | TrustRadius Reviewer
March 16, 2016

The Good, the Bad and the not so Ugly

Score 8 out of 10
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Our Finance team uses this for budgeting, forecasting and reporting. This has greatly reduced the time required to manage forecasts and reporting. We are able to spend more time in analysis of data rather than generating the reports. The reports we are using are distributed to many groups including our executive team. We are able to pull data in a timely and efficient manner with high confidence in the results.
  • Strong reporting tool. Able to run ad-hoc reports as needed as well as build standard reports we can use on a recurring basis.
  • Good budgeting/forecasting (with the exception of limited time span). Budgeting has good features such as allowing note fields and good headcount template with various cost calculations (ie taxes, benefit, etc).
  • Customer feedback is incorporated into product development and improvements
  • Customers for Life group strives to address customer issues to satisfaction
  • Some product features aren't fully tested before release. For example, report collections idea is great, but if a parameter is setup incorrectly, rather than returning an error message, the reports are distributed to the wrong people (causes the distribution list to scramble). Also when removing a department from the report list, this also causes the distribution list to scramble. Another example is under Template Setup. There was a bug with the filter feature that deleted mapped departments when that was not the intention.
  • Their special projects process could use improvement. We had a need to edit our nightly load data and the quote process seemed somewhat random. We were quoted for work that did not need to be done as well for time that we as a customer would have been responsible for. Additionally, there was little oversight to ensure the project ran on time and smoothly. Our 1-month project took 5 months to complete. Additionally, we've had challenges with our nightly data loads while testing for this project where things that worked before no longer work, loads that pointed to a test database were forgotten to be repointed back to production, edits to the load script caused errors, etc...
  • Some areas are not the most intuitive to understand. For example, understanding that data loads do not always overwrite the previous data loads but that zeroes need to be loaded.
  • Rolling forecasts were promised as a product feature that would be available soon, but we have yet to see it or anything with this feature.
We only use this for budgeting/forecasting and reporting. These are all good tools with some drawbacks. It's especially helpful for reporting as there are many ways to generate reports to meet various needs. During selection, I would ask questions around the various reports & how they could create these in the tool. What are the product development plans for the future? How responsive are they to customer inquiries and help requests?
Read Lily Eng's full review
Eli Salembier | TrustRadius Reviewer
March 14, 2016

Host Analytics is a great tool for us!

Score 7 out of 10
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Verified User
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We use Host for global budgeting. All parts of our business budget revenue, expense, and capital in Host once a year.
  • The Cloud model allows any employee across the globe to access Host easily.
  • The reporting module is fantastic. Host has done a great job of build hierarchies in their chart of accounts to allow for flexible and easy report building.
  • Template setups in the budget module allow for a great deal of flexibility.
  • The consolidation module is not the most user friendly module. We evaluated the module and decided not to use it. So I'm not completely up to speed on where the module stands today.
  • Some aspects of the system can be slow. But Host is always working on improving speed and I do see improvements all the time.
  • While Host handles foreign currency very well there are a few small places where functionality is lacking.
Host Analytics Cloud EPM is quite flexible and I can see it being used in all but the most complex of scenarios.
Read Eli Salembier's full review
Greg Rasmussen | TrustRadius Reviewer
September 26, 2015

Global Mid Size Manufacturer using Host Analytics

Score 10 out of 10
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Selig Sealing Products is using Host Analytics for financial reporting and consolidations for 4 locations (domestic and international). This includes both management reporting and statutory reporting (including local GAAP requirements). In addition, Selig is using the Budgeting and Forecasting application for the annual budget process.

Selig converted a cumbersome and manual Excel based process to a more efficient process with better data integrity through the use of Host Analytics.
  • Easy to load or consolidate data from different ERP systems into a common chart of accounts.
  • Allows us to manage the payroll budget process very effectively by allowing the department managers to just focus on staffing on not worry about all the other related payroll costs.
  • Provides a flexible and robust financial reporting platform.
  • Although the reporting functionality is very good, they could improve the report formatting capabilities.
  • This is a minor nuisance, but it would be nice if they allowed us to report the exchange rates that are entered into the exchange rate table. Instead, we have to load the rates into the system twice, once for the foreign currency translation process and once for the disclosure of the rates in our reports.
  • The system performance in Europe could be better.
It does a great job of handling multi-currency, multi-location financial reporting and consolidations.
Read Greg Rasmussen's full review
Sandy Brewster | TrustRadius Reviewer
September 17, 2015

Host Analytics is the answer for grant based organizations!

Score 8 out of 10
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Verified User
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Host Analytics Cloud EPM Suite is our budgeting and forecasting tool. It is used throughout the organization, in our Seattle headquarters and in countries around the world. The forecasting allows us to react to different sponsor questions/funding decisions pretty quickly.
  • The reporting ability is really terrific for any grant based organization. You can build reports for grants that have different parameters than the organization's fiscal year. There is the capacity to have financial information flow out to other software formats.
  • The template structure allows for flexibility at the entry level and can be designed with different date ranges for projects that don't follow the org fiscal year. For our organization, the templates allow the budget manager to see all expenses for a specific project (HQ versus Country) in one place.
  • The ability to be very specific in granting security rights. Our former software was an all or nothing proposition for security rights. Host Analytics provides the ability to be very granular.
  • Using the older version of Excel (xls). That version of Excel limits the number of lines that can be uploaded into the software.
  • The method of FTE allocations in the HR module. We knew this would be a pain point for the budget managers when we bought the software, and we have come up with some entry workarounds, but doing staffing allocations is still onerous. We would love to see something more streamlined and user friendly.
  • One of the software capabilities that influenced our decision to purchase Host Analytics Cloud EPM Suiteis the ability to work offline. This is really a valuable tool for the overseas offices. However, the functionality of the line item detail ability is negated when working offline. We would love to see that function work in the offline version - it would make the software a very powerful and useful tool.
The flexibility in the design of an organization's system is a big plus, as is the ability to create templates and disparate date ranges in the templates and in reporting. It is a great software for a grant based organization.
Read Sandy Brewster's full review
Jean Dane | TrustRadius Reviewer
September 14, 2015

Host Analytics is they way to go

Score 8 out of 10
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We use Host Analytics across the company for planning purposes. Each cost center manager is responsible for entering their plans and updating forecasts in the Host System. Finance than consolidates and reports on the plan and forecasts using Host Reporting. We moved from Excel based planning to Host so we could be more efficient and timely with our planning / forecast process. The system has resulted in time savings, increased accuracy and more manager accountability for their plans. We love that we are not relying on "linked" spreadsheets anymore and have more confidence in our plan numbers.

We also use Financial Package Publisher (FPP) to generate our Monthly Financial Results package for the board and other leaders. The reporting in Host is very robust and easy to implement and use. The increased functionality with the ability to now schedule Host jobs makes our jobs even more efficient. By utilizing Host reporting we have realized huge time savings in our monthly process of reporting results, analyzing plan and forecasts, and our ability to push reporting to our users.

  • Reporting - The dynamic reporting is easy to use and roll out. The Report Collections capability is fantastic and we use this functionality for pushing out reports to users and our own analysis. The new enhancement that allows us to schedule these jobs makes our jobs that much easier.
  • Boomi Tool - This tool allows us to load actuals from our SAP system directly to Host Analytics on a scheduled timeframe without any manual intervention from us. Currently we load actuals into Host every night, and on the hour during the first two days of our close process. This keeps Host relevant and up to date. It is a seamless process.
  • Plan consolidation - In SAP it took 4 hours just to consolidate. IF we found an error we wasted another 4 hours. In Host consolidation is within a matter of minutes. Huge benefit over SAP.
  • Business Analytics Reporting - Difficult to use and training is not sufficient for understanding how to write these types of reports. Compared to their Dynamic reporting functionality it doesn't even come close from an administration / report writer view.
  • Headcount/FTE Reporting - This is a simple and required function. Host should be able to report on this without workarounds. We don't want to sum FTE's to get number of FTE's for Qtr, Year etc. All clients use / want an easy way to report this and Host is lacking in this area.
  • Initiatives - You have the ability to enter capital into your initiative (Project) templates but this doesn't flow into the capital planning templates. So if you enter in the initiative you also have to enter into the capital module. Double work and not productive. The expenses for initiatives flow into the planning module so they should have consistency in their application with the capital piece. We have chosen not to use capital in the initiative templates due to having to enter it twice. This needs to be corrected.
We loved the idea of Host being a cloud application. This in and of itself saves us money and time. We don't need our own servers or IT group to support the system. Enhancements are rolled out quarterly so updates are faster than if we went with a host based solution.
Read Jean Dane's full review
Tom Sullivan, CPA, MBA | TrustRadius Reviewer
September 10, 2015

Streamlining the Finance Function with Host Analytics

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
At Acciona Energy we have leveraged Host Analytics to improve our budget and forecast processes tremendously. Streamlining our backend processes using Host Analytics has enabled the finance team to spend more time with decision makers and record a clearer picture of the drivers impacting our business and how to adjust to them. The reporting module has given us the flexibility to provide managers with better information on a more timely basis to better run the business.
  • The templates in Host Analytics used for budgeting and forecasting are structured so that budget owners can record information is a way that is meaningful to them. The ability to enter notes, sub-line detail and attached supporting documentation ensures that users can understand inputs months or years after the budget/forecast has been completed.
  • The best part about the reporting module is that it is owned by the finance team. When unusual or ad hoc requests come in, the tool allows finance personnel to quickly customize a report that is accurate and meets the needs of the end user. This eliminates the need to wait in an IT queue or perform complex manipulations in Excel.
  • The ability to easily create multiple scenarios and update forecasts with actual results provides multiple views of the future to be managed simultaneously and simplifies versioning.
  • The consolidation module simplifies the process of consolidating companies and provides strong workflow capabilities to ensure proper review.
  • On occasion the quarterly updates can be disruptive. While there is definitely a benefit to free upgrades and new functionality, they come regularly, sometimes when it isn't convenient for the business to make the necessary adjustments.
Frequently companies are looking for very complex solutions, but they haven't thought through how to implement them at a detailed level prior to selecting a product. Host Analytics Cloud EPM Suite is, to some level, an out of the box ready to use product. It provides the flexibility to report financial and non-financial information and do so fairly simply. It also allows the user to change or add information to the system as the need arises or as the business gains a better understanding of what they want to create in terms of reporting and data capture. In most instances, having a tool that is easy to implement and provides the ability to evolve over time without the need to hire expensive consultants, is better than a highly customized tool that doesn't provide flexibility down the road. For me, Host Analytics is the tool that has provided that ability to evolve and grow over time.
Read Tom Sullivan, CPA, MBA's full review
Karen Edwards, CPA | TrustRadius Reviewer
September 10, 2015

The Power of Host Analytics

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Host Analytics Cloud EPM Suite is being used primarily by finance, with individual department managers having access to input budget/forecast data into templates built for them. By having the department managers participate in the variable cost input, we are creating greater accountability across the organization.
  • Most importantly, Host Analytics Cloud EPM Suite takes the implementation very seriously and they spend a significant amount of time training you to become an expert with their solution. While this is an investment of your time upfront, it saves valuable time later as you fully understand the system.
  • The Host Analytics Cloud EPM Suite product has allowed us to create multiple versions of a forecast with little effort. We have several allocations based on headcount and with multiple headcount changes between versions, the allocation templates we created in Host Analytics Cloud EPM Suite allow for automatic update of all allocations as headcount changes - this has saved weeks of man-hours.
  • The Host Analytics Cloud EPM Suite product has provided greater visibility across our organization of our true costs. Managers now have a detailed view of employee costs that includes all components of compensation (as opposed to merely wages).
  • The ability to delete more than one employee (in the same department) at a time within the HR module.
  • The ability for an admin user to create templates in a working scenario so you can see the impacts of formulas immediately. Right now you have to create a blank template in set-up mode, then move back to a working scenario to see if the formulas are what you expected. If not, you have to move back to set-up mode to adjust the formulas, then back to the working scenario to test again. Would be easier to make changes on the fly within a scenario.
  • When adjusting a template in a forecast scenario that has several months of actual data, if you copy that template back to the default scenario to use for future versions, the default template is missing any formulas in months that has been populated by actual data in the forecast template. If changes are made to a template for forecasting purposes, when that template is copied back to default - all months should have the forecast month formulas.
Obviously users have different needs and expectations for the product. We have not come across any situation that the system cannot handle yet. Host Analytics Cloud EPM Suite has saved us tremendous effort in producing forecast scenarios, given us greater support behind the numbers and increased accountability across the organization.
Read Karen Edwards, CPA's full review

Feature Scorecard Summary

Pixel Perfect reports (1)
5
Customizable dashboards (1)
5
Drill-down analysis (1)
10
Formatting capabilities (1)
6
Report sharing and collaboration (1)
6
Publish to PDF (1)
7
Report Versioning (1)
10
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.) (1)
7
Multi-User Support (named login) (1)
9
Role-Based Security Model (2)
8.0
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete) (1)
9
Single Sign-On (SSO) (1)
8
Responsive Design for Web Access (2)
3.4
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile (1)
2
Long-term financial planning (40)
7.0
Financial budgeting (44)
8.6
Forecasting (42)
7.0
Scenario modeling (35)
7.0
Management reporting (43)
8.0
Financial data consolidation (28)
8.6
Journal entries and reports (21)
9.9
Multi-currency management (24)
7.0
Intercompany Eliminations (20)
6.4
Minority Ownership (10)
1.0
Local and consolidated reporting (27)
10.0
Detailed Audit Trails (20)
5.6
Financial Statement Reporting (39)
10.0
Management Reporting (42)
7.0
Excel-based Reporting (43)
9.5
Automated board and financial reporting (32)
7.0
XBRL support for regulatory filing (3)
7.1
Personalized dashboards (17)
4.9
Color-coded scorecards (13)
5.0
KPIs (14)
5.0
Cost and profitability analysis (14)
5.8
Key Performance Indicator setting (10)
4.5
Benchmarking with external data (8)
3.1
Flat file integration (28)
7.0
Excel data integration (38)
9.0
Direct links to 3rd-party data sources (24)
6.5

About Planful (formerly Host Analytics)

Planful (formerly Host Analytics) provides a Continuous Planning platform designed to empower finance to automate and accelerate FP&A activities, drive faster and more agile planning and decision-cycles, and elevate the financial IQ of the organization so that everyone is making smarter decisions more frequently.

STRUCTURED & DYNAMIC FINANCIAL PLANNING Structured Planning with Planful enables finance with a multitude of planning methodologies. Prebuilt planning functionality and financial intelligence provides finance with the structure, governance, and control needed to meet financial planning and reporting standards. Dynamic Planning provides a modeling engine that enables users with bespoke models and unlimited scenario analysis with instant connectivity between plans.

FINANCIAL CONSOLIDATION The Planful platform offers financial consolidation functionality which automates journal entries, intercompany eliminations, minority interest, entity consolidation, currency conversion, and financial reporting so finance can close the books fast and accurately.

FINANCIAL REPORTING Planful provides a library of reporting formats and delivery options. Formatted presentation-quality GAAP reports, self-service ad hoc analysis, visual dashboards, and dynamic integration with MS Office.

PLANFUL CONNECT Planful provides bi-directional data integration capabilities allowing access to data from ERP, HCM, CRM, data warehouses and many more.

Planful (formerly Host Analytics) Screenshots

Planful (formerly Host Analytics) Integrations

SAP ERP, Sage Intacct, Oracle ERP, Netsuite ERP, Microsoft Dynamics ERP

Planful (formerly Host Analytics) Competitors

Pricing

  • Does not have featureFree Trial Available?No
  • Does not have featureFree or Freemium Version Available?No
  • Has featurePremium Consulting/Integration Services Available?Yes
  • Entry-level set up fee?No
EditionPricing DetailsTerms
CorporatePer User per Month
Enterprise
ModulesPricing DetailsTerms
Host Analytics Planning
Host Analytics Consolidation
Host Analytics Modeling

http://www.hostanalytics.com/about/contact-us

Planful (formerly Host Analytics) Customer Size Distribution

Consumers
0%
Small Businesses (1-50 employees)
10%
Mid-Size Companies (51-500 employees)
25%
Enterprises (> 500 employees)
65%

Planful (formerly Host Analytics) Support Options

 Paid Version
Phone
Live Chat
Email
Forum/Community
FAQ/Knowledgebase

Planful (formerly Host Analytics) Technical Details

Deployment Types:SaaS
Operating Systems: Unspecified
Mobile Application:No
Supported Countries:We have customers in 90 countries
Supported Languages: English