The best for financial planning and forecasting
March 24, 2016

The best for financial planning and forecasting

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Modules Used

  • Anaplan for Finance

Overall Satisfaction with Anaplan

Anaplan is a useful tool to handle among other features financial projections, forecasts and review actual financial results. While the main focus could be the usage of Anaplan by the finance departments, Anaplan is flexible enough to use it to handle non heavy financial-focus solutions, such as territorial planning and tracking of sales results. Anaplan could be defined as a very powerful MS Excel on the cloud, it is a spreadsheet like tool or platform but it is a multi-dimensional approach, where multiple spreadsheets can be connected through relationships and formulas all across in order to extract all sorts of data combinations, make analysis of the data and present it in configurable dashboards.
  • Plan Financial Forecasting, you can set specific financial goals and use Anaplan to show you how variables need to be set, like how many more resources, employees you would need to achieve that goal, or what volume of sales would be required in order to achieve those results, based on current or actual data/results.
  • Presenting Financial Results, historical data for incomes and expenses can be imported into Anaplan, then all this data can be massaged and you can apply formulas in order to present specific financial results for any specific period of time or fiscal year, quarter results in dashboards.
  • Play with "What If" scenarios, Anaplan allows the user to "play" with the data in order to foresee what would happen if certain data variables are modified, like for example it can be set to show what the overall revenue would be under circumstances like having 'X' number resources in the sales team, making average sales of 'Y' amounts over 'Z' periods of time, and then these variables can be manipulated and see how the rest are affected in order to achieve a specific revenue goal.
  • Anaplan is not the easiest or most intuitive tool to use, deep understanding on how formulas and relationships between lists and modules need to be set is required in order to get the value that Anaplan can provide.
  • While at a high level it looks like handling of spreadsheets for which most users are familiar working with, simple tasks can be challenging in Anaplan, like a simple addition of a "column" or "row" would be no problem in a spreadsheet, in Anaplan this gets complicated due to the defined relationships that have been built for the Lists, Modules and their dimensions.
  • The training and certifications provided by Anaplan, while useful to get your feet wet, do not touch the deepest configurations, handling of dimensions and relationships that 'real-life' scenarios demand.
  • Anaplan has been good to plan future fiscal years, by doing the planning in here and seeing the financial impact certain variables can produce it is easier to make decisions within the company such as hiring, eliminating certain costs etc., to achieve the financial results as set in the company goals.
  • Dashboards have been really helpful for the financial executives as very specific data can be analysed and presented in the dashboards focused to specific financial teams, so it is easier to see the actual results and forecasts.
  • On the negative side, since Anaplan is a complex tool to handle, it is better to have a dedicated resource or resources to the handling in Anplan. Regular business analysts could not handle their regular tasks and doing complex configurations in Anaplan without the help of well trained Anaplan resources, extra dedicated resources are needed to work with Anaplan.
  • MS Excel
While MS Excel is excellent to track results and manipulate formulas to do financial planning, Anaplan is way more powerful to do these analysis and to build relationships between the data and manipulate variables to get specific information that the user wants to see. This can then be displayed in manipulable dashboards.
Ananplan is excellent to do planning, forecasting and showing actual financial results. The ability to import historic data and then create lists, modules and dimensions to analyze and manipulate the data is really good in Anaplan where growth can be applied to results to foresee future estimated financial results as well as to review actual results and compare against forecasts in order to make adjustments to the variables to see wehat was missed, what worked or what did not work in order to use that data for future forecasts

Anaplan Feature Ratings

Long-term financial planning
10
Financial budgeting
10
Forecasting
10
Scenario modeling
10
Management reporting
9
Financial data consolidation
10
Journal entries and reports
9
Multi-currency management
9
Intercompany Eliminations
9
Minority Ownership
Not Rated
Local and consolidated reporting
10
Detailed Audit Trails
10
Financial Statement Reporting
10
Management Reporting
10
Excel-based Reporting
10
Automated board and financial reporting
10
Personalized dashboards
10
Color-coded scorecards
10
KPIs
9
Cost and profitability analysis
10
Key Performance Indicator setting
10
Benchmarking with external data
Not Rated
Flat file integration
10
Excel data integration
10
Direct links to 3rd-party data sources
8