Overall Satisfaction with Planful (formerly Host Analytics)
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.
- Host has helped eliminate a lot of the issues we were experiencing with preparing our financial budgets in Excel. Ultimately, our department has become extremely efficient at producing master budgets and forecasts.
- The reporting module has made it easier to produce ad hoc reports easily and efficiently. There have been several projects that would have taken a full day to complete before Host. With Host, these projects only took a couple hours to complete.
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.