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Look, we get it. ACI Consulting knows from experience – and from talking to plenty of our own customers – that budgeting is not a fun task for most professionals. This is primarily due to the logistically tedious nature of manually stitching together spreadsheets into a unified workbook, but third party Business Intelligence (BI) manufacturers have made it easier for all of us. If you are an organization that is healthy in size, you’re probably outgrowing, if not already have completely outgrown manual Excel budgets, so you will want to pay attention to independent software vendor (ISV) planning solutions to streamline and enhance your processes. The premier budgeting software of today allows you to securely collaborate, which provides ownership to contributing staff and less manual logistics for the budget manager.

Budgeting and forecasting usually entails multiple people involved in producing a complete plan. Planning processes require comparisons of historical actuals with projected figures for the upcoming period. Excel is the global spreadsheet program standard bearer, but it can be a logistical mess when more than one is involved in the budgeting. Plenty of finance teams are still relying on Excel, and some have stayed with Sage Budgeting & Planning, so it might seem like a substantial investment of time and money to implement an application beyond the current program licensing. However, in this article, we will explore how an ISV planning solution can benefit and improve your Sage X3 experience.

Implementing a third party planning tool has become more popular in recent years, probably due to the flexible, yet secure nature of the collaboration functionalities. Furthermore, some budgeting and forecasting tools are Excel-powered, some are web-based, and some are hybrids of both platforms. The best ISV planning solutions also build accounting logic right into the product for the business end user, with easy automation configuration and reusable templates.

ISVs have answered consumer requests for more secure and logistically streamlined planning. Without oftentimes lengthy e-mail threads and heavy spreadsheet attachments entailing messy linkage of spreadsheets, some of the premier budgeting solutions empower budget managers to distribute ownership of budgets to the supervisors who have to manage them. Then, the budget manager can facilitate the construction of a truly collaborative, sensible, and comprehensive budget. The return on your investment can be not just money, but also time, energy, and staff morale.

When it comes to investing in one of today’s powerful, intuitive budgeting solutions, ACI Consulting knows you will see a variety of positive results. However, you’re probably wondering what modern features and functionalities you should be seeking in a budgeting solution to accelerate your Sage X3 planning experience.  The primary considerations include which technology platform you prefer, how you want to integrate your data, and the value of a budgeting tool within a complete suite of BI solutions.