Easy to use, accurate, customer focused and constantly improving cloud based F&A system
Updated May 11, 2015

Easy to use, accurate, customer focused and constantly improving cloud based F&A system

Shane Riddle | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Modules Used

  • Budgets, Reporting, Scorecard

Overall Satisfaction with Planful (formerly Host Analytics)

We use Host Analytics for Budgeting, Forecasting and Analysis. Our power users are located in the F&A group, but we have users located throughout the different functions in the company. Host meets a number of needs for us including giving us a simple to use tool to access reports and data from our ERP system. This includes structured reported used in our public reporting elements (10-K/Q) down to quick ad hoc reporting done my managers and analysts alike. It serves as our system of record for budgeting and forecasting and makes the rolling forecast process quite simple. We also use it for creating dashboards and other types of reports.
  • Ad Hoc reporting is quite easy with Host. Building a report or modifying and existing report can be done in a matter of seconds and it takes no special knowledge of computer coding or a request to an IT group.
  • Our Host application is 100% supported by the F&A group, no IT support. This reduces the burden on our internal IT team and also give us in F&A better ability to make changes on an as needed basis.
  • Host does a great job of integrating MS Excel functionality into a web application. We are all familiar with Excel and the power of that tool, but also know what it's like to get stuck in Excel Hell with multiple versions of a spreadsheet, or a broken spreadsheets. Having online templates allows F&A to be in control of input templates, which are easily accessible by all who need to see them and user/security management is simple and easy to update.
  • The Host customer service team is always willing to help if we ever run into a problem. The company has a customer first attitude that comes through in everyone you deal with.
  • As a web based platform there are at least quarterly product releases and new functionality is being added all the time. Much of the new functionality is based on custom request and the company is willing to listen if you have a need or idea.
  • Large input templates can be slow to load. i.e. if you have driver based models that are hundreds of lines long you can expect template loading to take a couple of minutes. The company is improving this, but it would be nice if it was faster.
  • Template maintenance can be cumbersome and they haven't quite created the online Excel experience here yet. That said, they do have an offline, Excel based tool to address this, but we have not had good luck getting it to work well so have largely avoided it. This is a small problem in the scheme of things, but would be nice if it worked as advertised.
  • Sometimes our reports our slow to load...although I think some of this has to do with network security at our site (it operates much more quickly at home when I'm not behind a corp firewall), but still my guess is that other companies employ similar security measures. In an ideal world it would operate just as fast as a local client.
  • Report production time is cut down significantly and accuracy is much better when compared to when we did everything in Excel. We can now put together the slides/inputs to our Our monthly forecast review meeting in a couple of hours rather than days as it was in the past.
  • The amount of time analysts spend doing analysis rather than data clean up and maintenance has improved significantly. Previously we manually consolidated multiple ERP systems using spreadsheets which was error prone and time consuming. This is done automatically in Host, eliminating human error and lettings us do value add analysis rather than data tasks.
  • sap
I don't have experience with other cloud based solutions. We selected HA because of its value proposition: it's easy to use, can be maintained by F&A, eliminates Excel/spreadsheet consolidation of forecast/actuals and is reasonable priced.
We are a mid-sized (~$200M in revenue) publicly traded high tech light manufacturing company. Host Analytics meets our needs very well. We are located in multiple time zones, countries, currencies, etc. and are distributed across the globe and Host eases the pain of global budgeting. We do all of our product Rev/Mgn planning as well as manufacturing/OCOS planning and functional OPEX planning in Host. After initial configuration the system is fairly easy to maintain and make changes to and this call all be done locally by your F&A team with no special IT knowledge needed.
Key questions to ask before buying:
- Who will do your installation?
- How will the system be maintained after installation?
- Who are the key users and what do they want from the system?
- Will it integrate with you ERP system? (manual data loads are possible, but integration is recommended)

Using Planful (formerly Host Analytics)

15 - All functions use the system including F&A, Ops, Mktg, Sales, G&A and R&D.
3 - There are no dedicated resources required to support Host Analytics. It is supported and maintained by members of the finance team. Anyone with modern day PC skills and basic knowledge of databases can maintain the application.
  • Monthly Rolling Forecasts
  • Strategic Planning
  • Annual Budgeting/Planning
  • Ad Hoc Analytics
We are in our 5th year using HA and have renewed our contract already. We went through a major ERP conversion last fiscal year and at that time reevaluated whether or now we would stay with Host or move to another system. Host is meeting our needs for forecast/budget/report/etc and does so at a reasonable price so we saw no need to move to another system.

Planful (formerly Host Analytics) Implementation

  • Vendor implemented
  • Implemented in-house