This article will discuss the options you have to achieve modern, rich budgeting in the cloud with Acumatica.
The leading cloud ERPs, like Acumatica and recently acquired Intacct, were ahead of the curve with their platforms – and we’re seeing the rest of the enterprise technologies race to join them in the new normal of cloud solutions. As you hit your stride in Q3, some of us in a new fiscal year, while others are starting the budgeting process for 2018, planning might be a central focus for you and your team. However, Acumatica cloud customers have not had many choices of true cloud budgeting tools in the past, where Adaptive Insights and Host Analytics have been mostly alone in the mid-market. The challenge has been limited integrations to Acumatica at a high cost. Now, new cloud solutions like BI360 Cloud are coming to the marketplace, both with better Acumatica integrations than the older cloud tools, more flexible budget form designers and a price level more suitable for the mid-market. This article will explore what to look for in a modern cloud budgeting solution for Acumatica users.
Recently, I have been trying to figure out how to move from a paper planner (I’m old school) to an electronic version. The challenge I have is replacing what was the central repository for all of my events and tasks – in paper form. I’m looking to avoid relying on multiple calendars, to do lists, and whatever other applications I use on my mobile devices to know what I should be doing, what is due, or what needs to be prioritized at any given time. I am trying a free version of an app called ToDoist, and I’m not sure how I would rate it so far, but I’m kind of wondering if the perfect synergy actually exists. In terms of budgeting and forecasting for Acumatica, there’s now a more concrete answer and path forward for the consumer.
Much like my quest to streamline my events, my tasks, and my deadlines, in the context of business, budgeting and forecasting contributors and managers might go between multiple cloud or on-premises systems, like Acumatica, ADP or Workday for Human Resources (HR) and payroll tasks, a support ticket management application, Google Analytics to track web site activity, perhaps an event management solution, and the list continues. This can be a nuisance to navigate on a regular basis – to pull the variety of historical data types you might want to include to adequately plan on a financial and operational level, in regard to logging in and out of your tools. Your worker bee mind also has to go in different directions across disparate web user interfaces. On top of that, there are still plenty of folks depending on homegrown budgeting processes, so integrating the data to the planning tool is another obstacle. Sound like fun?
Probably not. Regardless, budgeting and forecasting are essential processes to remaining competitive and making smart plans for continued organizational success. On any given day, you could be retrieving revenue and expense actuals, lead conversion monies through event attendance or referral traffic, e-commerce information through email opens and clicks, or any other project within your organization. Moreover, the business realm continues to evolve toward interdepartmental planning for more integrated strategy at all levels.
I have written about the importance of a data warehouse to aggregate any number of data sources and disparate data into one space, but this has already been a staple for smart budgeting and forecasting processes. Modern pre-built, customizable data warehouses, as part of a cloud CPM or BI suite, provide a singular place to store all of your important information from diverse sources, on-premises or cloud-based. But another important aspect to budgeting off of a data warehouse involves integrations.
Integrations are exactly what connects enterprise technology. You should invest in a budgeting and forecasting tool that delivers deep integrations to your different applications, but especially Acumatica. Some budgeting solutions can connect directly to on-premises data sources, but with at least Acumatica in the cloud, a data warehouse functions as a solution to managing multiple sources for comprehensive budgeting and forecasting – as long as the integrations are there. Different applications have better ETL and/or integration technologies than others to assist in configuring the integrations you need.
Some corporate performance management (CPM) tools are on-premises, while some are pure cloud, and still others offer hybridity in the form of both deployment options. A data warehouse is basically a required investment if you want to successfully manage budgeting based off of multiple cloud transactional systems. When it comes to budgeting and forecasting with Acumatica, you probably still want a tool that is Excel-powered, but accessible to end users through a web portal, so the budgeting team can contribute from anywhere you can connect to the internet, without needing IT involvement due to the familiarity that Excel and web interfaces deliver. The solution should be easy-to-use for the business user, specifically in regard to secure collaboration. It’s crucial to identify what is important to your organization to effectively tell the story of your strategy. And the importance of how solid the integration technology is cannot be stressed enough when you’re extracting, transforming, and loading (ETL) all of your different types of information.
Budgeting and forecasting is only going to grow in benefits and results if you are able to leverage all of your data – from both cloud and on-premises tools – to plan accurately. As you figure out a strategy for multiple software system management, you are likely going to need a tool that delivers a unified platform for your different data types – because of modern, robust integration technology. You might have some question marks as you maneuver through the marketplace, and Solver, Inc. is happy to answer any questions and review BI360’s easy-to-use, Excel- and web-based budgeting and reporting solution that enables teamwork and streamlined decision-making capabilities for your BI experience.