Our Feature Differentiation
Any good budgeting application has the basics. These are a database application with consolidation, organizational structure management, reporting, general ledger, payroll/HR and fixed asset integration and currency conversion. But XLerant has studied how line managers want to budget and their need for flexible budgeting methods and responded by building the following capabilities and how finance wants to manage the process. It’s a big list:
Our unique features include:
- Turbo-Tax-Like Interface for Budgeting – BudgetPak does not automatically force users into a matrix view of accounts going down the page and periods or scenarios going across the page. The product guides the user through the process of preparing a comprehensive and well-thought-out budget trough a Q/A process that leads to a finished budget.
- Simplistic, Yet Powerful Application Management – BudgetPak offers table-driven set-up and maintenance so financial people can easily maintain the application without learning a programming language.
- Situational Budgeting Capability - We understand that every department in every organization has distinct needs that are situational in nature. Some departments want to budget by entering a number, some want to have a percent increase or decrease from last year, some want to budget by the number of people in the department, some want to budget showing the supporting detail and some want a free-form modeling capability. Let your users budget their areas and accounts the way they think about their accounts.
- Interactive Budget Map - What am I trying to achieve? What version am I in? What accounts have I budgeted? Am I close to my targets? Have I submitted? Have I been approved? ….Where am I? Each User has a dashboard which helps them through the budget process, orienting them to where they are in the process, which accounts still need to be addressed, and how they are doing against Finance guidelines—real-time.
- Our market-leading and innovative ActionPaks allow each department to plan for their unique initiatives that apply only to them but touch multiple accounts. Marketing thinks in terms of campaigns or IT thinks in terms of service contracts or HR thinks in terms of training programs…) This is all user controlled and no programming or maintenance is required.
- Embedded Calculations and Drivers - Administrator-defined, but User-controlled functionality to simplify complex budgeting –things that you can't do in Excel, and confuse Users or drive them crazy.
- Comprehensive and Flexible Spreading - Choose from a variety of powerful and practical real-world spreading methodologies, resulting in monthly integrity of your budget.
- Detailed Salary Planning - Seventy percent of most company expenses relate to people-costs, yet are done outside the budget. We provide a secure, step-by-step personnel-level salary planning tool controlled by finance, but with flexibility for the user to plan for increases, changes to headcount, and other personnel data.
- Documentation, Justification, Notes & Annotations - Allows the user to provide detailed documentation of assumptions, notes, and justification for any account which is stored in the application, therefore expediting the budget approval process.
- Bi-Directional Linkage with Excel – While you do not want to use Excel for budgeting, you may want to use Excel for complex models or report visualization and analysis. BudgetPak allows users to seamlessly exchange data with Excel allowing Excel to do the things it was designed to do well.
- Asset Planning - Users choose from a catalog of pre-defined company assets. This powerful capability ensures people are using consistent pricing for asset requests, are using consistent accounting methods for the requested asset I nthe budget process. But most importantly, BudgetPak tracks what has been requested and what has been approved by department and by asset and when the asset is to be deployed so that there is never a question of whether something is in the budget or not. This helps purchasing and other departments who now have a complete plan for the following year of what needs to be purchased and deployed and when and where.
- Guided What-If Analysis - Any system - even Excel - is essentially a what-if platform. What if I do this? What if I do that? Our entire solution is based on a "what-if" technology, because you can make pinpoint or sweeping changes, and see the results immediately. But as a convenience, the What-If feature collects together in one place the typical things a User does to a developed budget to change it up or down towards a target. Suppose the User was told to reduce expenses by 2% , they could explore questions such as, "What if I delay my new hires by three months?", or "What if I take down my discretionary spending by 3%?" and then apply those chances as necessary. On the spot. One click.
- Forecasting - A sophisticated capability that allows the ability to combine a few months of actuals with budgets to facilitate the forecasting ability throughout year and then make appropriate adjustments based on the reality of the year as it unfolds. It's just the right balance of power and flexibility.
- Automated Approval Workflow - As Users are going through the multiple versions of the budget , Finance and Senior Management have transparency into whose budget is completed, submitted, approved, or not even started, and can then take immediate action.
- Complete Reporting – BudgetPak offers complete reporting for the budgeting process and the monthly management reporting process. There are budget review, audit trail, consolidation as well as comparative reports woven directly into the system. All aspects of the budget process are covered. In addition, monthly variance and analytical reports are provided for the management reporting process and customized reporting is covered in a finance-friendly manner.