Budgeting Software Evaluation Guide

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Top 10 Things to do BEFORE YOU Replace Spreadsheets with Budgeting Software

While larger companies can afford to pay consultants $20,000 to help set up demos and find the right software to meet their needs, $20,000 is even more than you're hoping to spend on the actual software implementation. Since you don't have the time or money required to make the right software selection, I am writing this guide on the top 10 things you can do for FREE to make your evaluation effective.

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  • Budgeting Software Evaluation Guide

    1. 1. Ben Lamorte, Business Development Budgeting Software Evaluation Guide Top 10 Things to do BEFORE YOU Replace Spreadsheets with Budgeting Software
    2. 2. Why this Guide? <ul><li>Problem: Spreadsheets don’t work for budgeting very well </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunity: Dozens of software solutions now available that offer reasonably priced solutions for small & mid-sized companies to move budgeting and forecasting into a robust package. </li></ul><ul><li>Your Problem: While larger companies can afford to pay consultants $20,000 to help set up demos and find the right software to meet their needs, $20,000 is even more than you're hoping to spend on the actual software implementation. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep Reading If: you don't have the time or money required to make the right budgeting software selection </li></ul>
    3. 3. #1 “Unbiased” Software Reviews © 2007 Alight <ul><li>Problem: Vendor websites only highlight their strengths </li></ul><ul><li>Solution: Get the real story </li></ul><ul><li>Example: See sample reviews from www.capterra.com. Instead of just the “pros”, you will also see “the cons” </li></ul>
    4. 4. #2 Screen Vendors on Their Dime <ul><li>Problem: Too much time required to narrow your search </li></ul><ul><li>Solution: Make Vendors Pay to Contact You </li></ul><ul><li>Example: www.findaccountingsoftware.com </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Have a free 10-minute requirements discussion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>100s of Software vendors will bid to purchase your contact info and this way, only the right 3-5 software vendors call you. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In other words, stop looking and let them find you! </li></ul></ul>© 2007 Alight
    5. 5. #3 Don’t Buy Software Yet! <ul><li>Problem: Software may not solve your problems! </li></ul><ul><li>Solution: Consider consulting services to add value on day one </li></ul><ul><li>Example: www.b2bcfo.com </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Before you buy software, be sure you want to take the time to get up to speed on a new solution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Regardless of what any vendor says, learning a new tool takes time and the learning curve varies </li></ul></ul>© 2007 Alight
    6. 6. #4 Leverage Your Network <ul><li>Network on LinkedIn: Get active on www.LinkedIn.com which is an excellent free resource when used correctly. </li></ul><ul><li>Post your question to discussion: give as much info about your company and specific goals </li></ul><ul><li>Recommended LinkedIn Groups: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Network </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Finance & Accounting Professionals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Business Forecasting & Planning Innovation </li></ul></ul>© 2007 Alight
    7. 7. #5-10 Still Reading This? <ul><li>5- Check out 3rd Party Analyst Groups </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ventana Research: These folks really know the budgeting and planning software market and have a ton of free research available: www.ventanaresearch.com. As for free 3rd party research, Ventana is my personal favorite group based on my reading of their white papers and research articles. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>6- Read the News </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep up with the latest software vendors news all at one website: www.budgetingjournal.com </li></ul></ul><ul><li>7- Ask the Right Questions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Key question to ask the vendor: &quot;What are the 5 things that can go wrong during your software implementation and how do you suggest I avoid them?&quot; You will learn a lot about your software vendor when you ask this question + it might help you down the line with whatever software package you purchase! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>8- Hold the Vendor Accountable </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If a software vendor seems to be confident that they are the best fit, ask them to spread out payments with the first payment being small and the second payment being large. The way your sales rep reacts will reflect how confident your sales rep really is... </li></ul></ul><ul><li>9- Find Partners who Sell Multiple Solutions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Look for 3rd party partners who specialize in reselling several budgeting solutions since they will be less biased and can point you to the right solution for you. One example is: www.applied-analytix.com. Another is www.beyondEPS.com </li></ul></ul><ul><li>10- Read the Books </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Two of the best books on the subject of budgeting and forecasting are Managing with Rolling Forecasts by John Stretch and Future Ready by Morelidge and Player. </li></ul></ul>© 2007 Alight

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