Factors to Consider when Evaluating Budgeting Software: Ease of Use
As with all other software out there, the most powerful budgeting applications on the market are not necessarily the easiest ones to use. Similarly, a simple application with just a few screens and menus can be mastered in a few hours, but will not have the flexibility as more complex software.
In particular, you will find this to be true in the area of report writing. The more you want to customize reports and input screens to fit your company’s particular business model, the more powerful the report writer you will need and the more time you’ll need to spend learning it. While the most high-end budgeting applications offer customization of menus, labels, reports, and so on, lower-end software usually has limited functionality in these areas.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Budgeting Software
As a selection tool, a cost/benefit analysis helps you focus on the most suitable category of software, rather than trying to differentiate between similar budgeting solutions. For example, it can help you find out if your needs are better served by:
- High-end or low-end software
- SQL-based or OLAP based software
- Web-based or standard client-server software
- In addition to helping to distinguish between different software categories, a cost / benefit analysis can help you decide whether to stay with what you have or make a new software acquisition.
If you were to look at a range of companies using the different budgeting packages on the market, you would see that their levels of satisfaction range from highly satisfied to dissatisfied. Finding success with a particular solution is dependent on several factors including some of the following:
- Software features
- Skills and involvement of key employees
- Long term support and software upgrades from the software vendor
How to Match Organizational Needs with Software Features
In the software selection phase, matching the organizational needs and constraints with software features is essential for success. One of the best ways to do this is to devise a list that weighs the benefits against costs.
A cost / benefit analysis table can become rather subjective because it is hard to assign a value of intangible items. However, because each item is weighted, it usually provides a better indication than simply drawing up a list of pros and cons with no assigned values.
Choose Solver Budgeting Software Solutions
To help you in your search for budgeting software that best fits your organization, our solution Solver Planning can be viewed anytime in a recorded webinar “Looking to Take Away the Pain of this Year’s Budgeting Process?“. Following the webinar, if you should need any additional information or contact us.