A good financial tool is Planful
October 12, 2021
A good financial tool is Planful
Score 9 out of 10
- Reporting and Analytics
Overall Satisfaction with Planful (formerly Host Analytics)
It is was implemented in 2015 as a solution to accelerate the consolidation all over the world. Before Planful, everything was done through Excel sheets. In 2016, we started to include the budget figures into the tool. During 2017 and 2018, templates were created to fill with stock, income taxes, and headcount details. In 2020 we started using the "planning," so it wasn't necessary to build templates into Excel to project the budget and forecasts scenarios. Today, Planful is used just by the financial department. The best improvement by Planful is the speed in the consolidation. We have all information needed by spotlight add-in, instead [of] 20 excel [sheets] before planful. The translation by different rates is easiest comparing the oldest way, and there is no problem with data because everything can be locked and doesn't change and is auditable.
- Excel add-in (Spotlight) - integration in Excel is very good.
- Structured Planning - great tool to project budget and forecasts.
- Reports - It is the same idea as pivot tables, user-friendly.
- More details during the consolidation process, like estimated time to finish.
- Windows/Android/iOS Apps, sometimes is better than using directly from browsers.
- Upload directly from Excel, without using DLR, like one add-in as Spotlight.
- Time saved is the best improvement.
- Security data, we can track the database and lock the figures.
- Planning module, leaving Excel, to avoid misunderstanding in spreadsheets.
Replacing Excel with Planful saved a lot of time and avoided problems with Excel changes accidentals. The Spotlight add-in increases the capability to create new reports. It is simpler and easier to update, replacing the time of reports production to analyze those reports; a clear benefit and better use of time, that was spent in operation activities, and now is management functions.
If you know the idea of pivot table in Excel, you will understand the report module is a very similar way to work on those. The Spotlight add-on is a little bit more complicated if you compare to the Reports Module, but it is not so difficult to work, and in my opinion, it is better when do you need to run a monthly report.
The planning module is very simple to work with; you can copy and paste easily from other sources. I think it needs more ways to change the template and options like other budgets/forecasts figures in the same template to [easily compare] the changes that you are proposing through the scenarios already included in Planful. This is possible in the Reports module but there is no way to check in the Planning Module.
I think they are very different functions, [...] Planful is more [useful for] big data to maintain and consolidate your financial figures. You can safely keep the amounts to avoid changes not required. [...] Excel is more a tool to see the results of your financial activities. You can use the big data from Planful to create and analyze the amounts and the financial KPI's that you can create by yourself. Together those are amazing.
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?
I wasn't involved with the selection/purchase process
Did implementation of Planful go as expected?
Would you buy Planful again?
It is a great solution to use for financial purposes, to improve the speed in financial consolidation and budget projections, and to maintain a big data of financial figures. I think it is the best option. I don't see sales management or production KPI's; I think it is not the best tool for those kinds of requirements.