Planful is NOT painful
Updated November 18, 2022

Planful is NOT painful

Angel Woodard | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Modules Used

  • Planning
  • Consolidation
  • Reporting and Analytics
  • Dashboards

Overall Satisfaction with Planful

Planful is currently used by our Technology Group, an overhead department in the company. Additionally, Kiewit Business Services, another overhead department utilizes the tool. We have other departments that have observed how easy Planful is to use and how successful we have been with meeting our budget, and they have asked for information on how to utilize it as well. We use Planful for workforce planning, budgeting, forecasting, and reporting. Kiewit's use of this program is unique in the sense that we do not use Planful for income statements and balance sheets or for any manufacturing or international currency needs. As an overhead department, we do not utilize all of its features.
  • Workforce planning is amazing. We can personalize each record, and updating is very simple.
  • The ability to have a rolling forecast is very useful for us in an overhead department. It enables us to pull up information on what we are forecasting for company IT costs for the upcoming years.
  • The flexibility of the program and the reporting has been extremely helpful for us.
  • They customer service is 2nd to NONE!
  • Their willingness to improve their tool based on feedback from business user groups, customer advisory boards and their planful engage program is absolutely amazing.
  • Dashboards need improvements. It would be nice to have a VIEW ONLY ability to push a dashboard to select users at the top level of finances for the group.
  • Dated Hierarchies are cumbersome and not as helpful as they could be. There is so much opportunity with dated hierarchies, especially during re-organizations and budgeting.
  • Planful has enabled us to come in closer to our budget number than ever before.
  • The first year we used Planful (then Host Analytics), we were approximately 7.5% under budget. We were able to close out 2020 within .01% of our budget.
  • Planful gives our money managers all of their budgeting, forecasting, and workforce planning needs right at their finger tips.
  • Planful enables our managers to manage their financials closer and better than ever before.
I was able to set up our hierarchies to mirror what our home office accounting department requires/uses. This gave me the ability to easily export a dynamic report that I created and literally email it to accounting when they request forecast updates from our department. Also, having the ability to push financials and workforce planning out to our managers on a regular basis, pushing them to review variances, etc. without the need for excel side spreadsheets has made my job as IT Controller so much easier and has also given our users a peace of mind when using the tool.
Unfortunately, the tool doesn't make it up to our CFO office, as we are just an overhead department using it to track our operational expenses. But I will add that our department has been UNDER budget every year since using Planful, and being an overhead department, it is essential that we are under budget and not at risk of reducing revenue by creating additional overhead.
We have automated reports we use weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly. We do not use Planful it is the truest and fullest ability for financial planning holistically for income statements, balance sheets, etc. as we are an Overhead department. We also use Planful for all Workforce planning in structured planning. This has helped us tremendously and allows us to budget and forecast using actual payroll numbers.
Dynamic reports are so easy to create. When we first began using Planful it was challenging, but now that we've used the program for a few years, Planful continually improves the capabilities and it has enabled us to continue to do better and better. Dynamic reports are very easy. I think dashboards could improve some. I think it would be helpful to have the ability to set up an enterprise dashboard that all users can view, allowing them to see how we are trending budget vs actuals and how we are progressing through the year on an enterprise level, rather than just the security level they have access to see. Read-only with no drill-through capabilities would be desired.
Planful is so easy to manipulate. Even when we have new money managers request access, it takes very little training to run through their responsibilities in the program and how to utilize all of the tools they need. I've stated it before, the improvements over the years have been impeccable, continually getting better and easier to use.
We have only used custom-built Excel interfaces for our financials and workforce planning in the past. As stated earlier in my review, Planful has grouped all of this into a fantastic program that is easy to use, easily manipulated to match our needs and we have been very happy with all of our experience with Planful.

Do you think Planful delivers good value for the price?


Are you happy with Planful's feature set?


Did Planful live up to sales and marketing promises?


Did implementation of Planful go as expected?


Would you buy Planful again?


I am constantly talking about Planful and the benefits of using the system. I have been on numerous calls for Planful with possible clients, and I am always honest about how well the program works and how happy we are. Planful is flexible, and when changes are needed to our environment, Planful developers are always happy to help and walk us through all necessary scenarios.

Planful Feature Ratings

Long-term financial planning
Financial budgeting
Scenario modeling
Not Rated
Management reporting
Financial data consolidation
Journal entries and reports
Multi-currency management
Not Rated
Intercompany Eliminations
Not Rated
Minority Ownership
Not Rated
Local and consolidated reporting
Detailed Audit Trails
Financial Statement Reporting
Not Rated
Management Reporting
Excel-based Reporting
Automated board and financial reporting
Personalized dashboards
Not Rated
Color-coded scorecards
Not Rated
Not Rated
Cost and profitability analysis
Not Rated
Key Performance Indicator setting
Not Rated
Flat file integration
Not Rated
Excel data integration
Not Rated
Direct links to 3rd-party data sources
Pixel Perfect reports
Not Rated
Customizable dashboards
Not Rated
Report Formatting Templates
Drill-down analysis
Formatting capabilities
Report sharing and collaboration
Publish to Web
Not Rated
Publish to PDF
Not Rated
Report Versioning
Report Delivery Scheduling
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
Not Rated
Predictive Analytics
Not Rated
Multi-User Support (named login)
Not Rated
Role-Based Security Model
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)
Single Sign-On (SSO)
Responsive Design for Web Access
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile

Planful Features and Attributes

When we first began using Planful, support was less than desirable, but over the years they have continually improved and it is 2nd to none now. When you submit a ticket, you get a very quick response and they are willing to jump on a call and assist with any issues. They also have multiple methods of contacting support (i.e. Support ticket, chat, etc.)
Planful is extremely flexible to meet the needs of all types of customers. When we first implemented Planful, we used it in a very limited fashion, but Planful has the ability to enhance the ways you use it as time goes on, it doesn't have to stay the same year over year. Additionally, they have started using a monthly release of new features, and do an excellent job of communicating these to their users.
This feature was the final deciding factor for us to purchase Planful. It is a priceless feature to have financials at all of our money manager's fingertips daily (and even hourly). It has helped us streamline so many processes. With the built-in access security, we are able to use real salary numbers for budgeting and forecasting, whereas in the past we didn't have security features in our custom-built tool, so we were constantly experiencing variances due to the use of blended rates.
Our data accuracy has definitely been impacted by the use of Planful. In the past, it was very difficult to reconcile our processes in our custom-built tool to the "one source of the truth" data that comes out of SAP. Moving onto the Planful platform, I have been asked multiple times if I believed in the data in Planful. Multiple times I was able to pull up EXACT numbers from our SAP systems to prove the data, and the more and more I've performed that task over the years, our Money Manager's confidence in Planful's data has grown!
This one is easy! We recently wanted to map an account to a line in our Opex Template so that when Capex items were built in the Capex template, it would fill those amounts into the depreciation line of the Opex Template, to gain awareness for our Money Managers that there were Capex items in their forecast. I reached out to Planful, thinking it could possibly take weeks to create and test in the sandbox environment, only to have it done within 30 minutes. They were so absolutely helpful, and what I loved most about that particular challenge was they didn't just do it for me, they were willing to SHOW ME how to do it so I might make enhancements to our environment on my own in the future.

Using Planful

66 - Business Functions (department that supports our jobsites/districts)
Technology Finance professionals

I am also looking to bring other overhead departments onto the Planful platform, it has just been a little challenging 1) finding the time during budgeting season and year-end and 2) their financials are handled slightly different than our overhead department, so it has taken some time to ensure the system can accommodate the needs.
2 - There's not a lot to add as comments to this. I am one of 2 subject matter experts at our company that supports Planful.
  • Easy, daily visibility to actuals, forecasts and workforce
  • Management Reporting out of Planful is a breeze
  • Constant enhancements to the system to continuously improve features
  • We have created reporting attributes to help track additional information needed when planning our workforce such as interns, college-grad positions, etc.
  • This year we reached out for assistance with creation of an accrual template. This enables our managers to enter their own year-end accruals into a template, rather than my team manually tracking.
  • I think eventually we will be able to use Predict, we are not quite that sophisticated yet
  • I also believe we will be able to set up multi-currency. We currently use a field in SAP that converts other currencies to USD
  • By the end of Q1 2023, I want to be using Planful to track workforce actuals. This will be a huge value add to our organization
I have been in Finance at my company since 2008, and this program is, by far, the easiest, most flexible program I have used. It has enabled us to meet or exceed (in a good way) our budget every year, and makes workforce planning a breeze.

Evaluating Planful and Competitors

Yes - Planful replaced a custom-built excel tool that we used for years. It did not replace another financial software.
  • Price
  • Product Features
I don't think I would have changed the evaluation process. Although I was not part of the group that did the evaluation, I have been the subject matter expert and essentially "owned" the tool in my organization since the day they made the decision. This was an easy decision when we compared other tools and their cost as well as the flexibility Planful provides.

Planful Implementation

I want people to know when working with a 3rd party to implement, make sure they are doing their research and taking the time to figure out what your needs are, as their customer. If you don't feel they are being adequate, stop them, ask questions and make sure they are setting up Planful to best meet your needs. It's much easier to do that upfront than to "fix" the system at a later date.
  • Third-party professional services
We used RSM for our implementation.
Change management was minimal
  • The company we used did not do enough discovery, therefore we were forced to make updates throughout the first 3 years to optimize it for us

Planful Training

  • Online Training
  • In-Person Training
I have made a point to attend the Planful Perform conference and it, by far, offers so much more information than "other conferences". Planful does an amazing job including their customers (other users) in their conference to ensure their customers are getting the most out of the information provided. It is truly a wonderful LEARNING experience for their customers!
A few years ago I participated in a lot of their online learning. Their references have grown over the years and continue to get better and better. We use it throughout the year to update the information we hold internally for documentation and to educate ourselves on all of the new release notes and features within Planful.

Configuring Planful

We have had several situations where we wanted to configure Planful to improve our usage of the system over the years. Planful staff is always willing to work with our internal IT folks to make this happen. Currently, we are working on integrating our workforce data to push automatically into Planful to make some of our workforce planning processes easier and less manual and the group from Planful has been wonderful to work with.
I really don't have any specific recommendations for this area simply because we have internal IT folks that typically handle configurations of our systems. I do know that Planful has been very helpful throughout the years we have been using the system each and every time we look to improve upon our use of the software.
Some - we have done small customizations to the interface - I don't want to downplay this and make it sound like it's EASY to do, but when you work with Planful, they are always happy to help. They are attentive to your needs, and are very quick to let you know best practices when trying to achieve what you are trying to do. As stated throughout my review, they are easy to work with.
No - we have not done any custom code
I do not have any additional configuration or customizations that I wish to include in this survey

Planful Support

Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
No, we currently have a contract with a 3rd party company that is owned by a previous Planful employee that we built a relationship with before Planful offered their premium support.

Using Planful

Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Quick to learn
Feel confident using
  • Dynamic Reports are very easy to use
  • Workforce Planning, when set up correctly, makes workforce planning in our department so much easier than spreadsheets, blended rates, etc.
  • Dated hierarchies do not function as we need them to. We have brought this up to Planful and they are constantly working to improve the system and usability.

Planful Reliability

I give this rating simply because I have first-hand knowledge of the scalability of Planful when working across departments in our company that use different financial systems. We have one team on InEight and another using SAP. When we implemented it, we only customized the system to accommodate one of these financial platforms, but when we considered expanding the use of Planful to other departments, we were able to make the necessary adjustments to accommodate our needs.
I only give a 9 rating rather than a 10 rating because it seems that every day around 2pm we see a slowdown in the use of Planful. I have requested our internal IT department verify that it is not an internal issue and have been assured it is the tool. We have not yet reached out to Planful to do extensive research to solve this issue.
Again, the system is very reliable and, for the most part, runs very quick and smooth. When running larger queries, it does take some time, and during budgeting season our users experienced slower loading times, but nothing that raises concerns outside of normal network issues. Occasionally, as with any software we use, it will crash and you have to restart, but that does not happen very often.

Integrating Planful

  • SAP
We currently have SAP integrated with Planful using Boomi. Unfortunately, I do not have a great deal of knowledge about this integration, as our IT department worked with the Planful professionals to get this set up. My team does have the ability to view errors when they occur between SAP and Planful, and ensure that we are reporting the most up-to-date, accurate data we can within the tool.
  • At this time, there are no additional systems
At this time, there are no additional systems we wish to integrate with Planful.
  • Single Signon
Unfortunately I cannot fully answer this question as I do not know if we have used API, Javascript, etc., but I do know that we have implemented single sign-on within our company when using the Planful software.

Relationship with Planful

Planful's employees are the best I've worked with when it comes to vendors in my position. They truly care about their customers and are quick to respond when their customers need anything. They are inclusive in the sense that they have created a customer advisory board, and take all of the CAB's feedback to ensure Planful is the best software of its kind.
Planful employees have been nothing but kind and helpful throughout our entire engagement. I truly feel like a valued customer and that they care about our feedback. They are constantly taking feedback and improving Planful for their users, large and small. I am happy to call a few of their employees friends now.
When we negotiated with Planful, we discussed cost as well as renewal of licenses. We also discussed what we needed to do when we required additional licenses, or we were not using all of the licenses we had purchased. Their business model is very flexible and again, their staff is just super easy to work with.
The only tip I can think of that will help customers more effectively deal with Planful is don't be afraid to speak up. My team has created a "wish list" of features that would enhance our experience and usability with Planful, and we meet regularly with our Customer Success Manager to discuss this list. One of our wish list items just became a new feature with a recent release, and we couldn't be happier!