Overall Satisfaction with Planful (formerly Host Analytics)
- 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 ability to forecast more accurately and in a more timely manner.
- The reporting for the different sponsors-we can create different attributes, time sets, etc to create very specific sponsor report requests.
- The "look" of Excel made a lot of users comfortable right away. Our old system was not liked by many, so wasn't used. The "buy-in" of the budget managers and other users demonstrates to us that we made the right decision in changing our budgeting/forecasting software and that it is a good investment.
I know we narrowed our choices to three software products, but it was about 18 months ago, so I don't remember who the other twp were.
We had been using Adaptive Insights, and that was the software we replaced. For us, as a grant based organization, the structure was too rigid, so we couldn't have all of our agency information in one database (they set up twp instances based on two major grant date ranges). The result was HR information in two different databases, so there was no total picture for programs that had both kinds of funding. Reporting in Host is also a better fit for us and our needs.