When budget season rolls around, do you look forward to it or experience a profound sense of dread?
Microsoft Excel serves well with simple personal or departmental budgets, but is not adequate for most organizations over $1 million in revenues who need to tie historical accounting and payroll data into annual budgeting and forecasting.
Many finance teams still depend on Excel, so third-party budgeting and forecasting software might feel like a cost you can avoid. Is it possible to use third-party software that layers business intelligence on top of Excel that is also priced well for professional services firms and not just the Fortune 500?
You can with BI360 from Solver.
BI360's budgeting module provides professional services firms with a complete data entry interface to capture strategies, goals, budgets, forecasts, and what-if scenario models – all as an extension of Excel.
Available as cloud and on-premise deployment, BI360 comes with workflow to help you manage it all – and without the typical long implementation and high software cost of legacy planning solutions.
A data warehouse is a multi-dimensional database that serves as a virtual storage place housed on a stand-alone or shared server. As a comparison, external hard drives provide a space where you can house diverse file types and software whereas a modern data warehouse offers a place to store a variety of data sets, both operational and transactional.
Another conceptualization: if you took an Excel spreadsheet and three-dimensionalized it, you could order your operational and transactional information in consolidated, efficient, and impactful ways, which is exactly what data warehousing does, avoiding errors with easy-to-use technology. Modern commercial data warehouse solutions are managed with a technical database management application, like Microsoft SQL Server Visual Studio or Solver’s own tool, called the BI360 Data Warehouse Manager, with a business user friendly interface positioned with the BI360 Suite.
Certainly not every professional services firm will want or need a data warehouse. However, if you think about how vital utilization, or the function of hours billed per week divided by 40 hours/week, is to your business – or even evaluating your billing rate, or what the typical billing per dollar is that you charge your clients and how it is increasing – then you know how essential all of this information can be to remaining competitive.
Usually, this data comes from more than one source, and many organizations typically aggregate it all in a tool like Excel, but the data warehousing module of BI360 can help you avoid error, time and money wasted, and the frustration of manual documentation. Additionally, if you’re slowing down your accounting software (e.g. Dynamics AX) because of substantial and sometimes simultaneous data pulls, a data warehouse delivers a stable, high performance without making your accounting system or operational database server sluggish.
The data warehousing module of BI360 also allows you to produce powerful, richer reports, budgets, and data visualizations because you’re able to include data from diverse systems like sales order, payroll, and CRM systems.
Download the eBook:
Best Practices for Selecting Accounting Software for a Professional Services Firm