It’s mid October.  At most companies, planning season is in full swing. 

Finance is hip deep in budgets.  And, for many companies, that means you’re hip deep in Excel spreadsheets, too.  Mailing them back and forth.  Making new versions.  Sync’ing up different versions.  Figuring out who’s approved what. Then trying to tie it all together into a Frankenstein of a budget.

Formulas get over-written.  Mistakes get made.  Versions get mixed up.  Targets get lost.  The board and senior execs see the roll-up and then change the targets.  So, you need to go back and do it all over again.  And in just a few days, you’ll need to start on the October close and monthly reporting cycle — and figure out how to do that while still moving the planning process forward.

So, it’s no surprise that many financial professionals end up spending Halloween not with family and friends, but trapped in Excel Hell.

For this year it’s probably too late. But you don’t have to repeat the insanity next year.  By using an enterprise performance management (EPM) system like Host Analytics, you can make planning and budgeting a breeze and spend Halloween with friends and family instead of with spreadsheets and PowerPoint. At Host Analytics, we do this in three ways:

  • We can automate your planning and budgeting process, help with scenarios and versions, make roll-ups a snap, eliminate errors due to problems like overwritten formulas or data, and make reporting off the budget quick and easy.
  • We can reduce the time it takes to go through each budget cycle, reduce reporting time, and help people meet budget targets more quickly.
  • We can tie the budget to targets in your long-range financial model.  We can tie operational models (such as bookings waterfalls, consulting utilization, or inventory management) to the budget, to keep everyone on the same page and eliminate the nightmare of dueling models between finance and operations.

In short, with Host Analytics, we can help you get your Halloween back — and that’s not to mention that we can help get your Thanksgiving back, too.

Download our Buyer’s Guide to EPM to take the first step now.  And then make moving to EPM and Host Analytics your New Year’s resolution.

Buyer’s Guide to EPM

23 responses to “Will You Be Trick-or-Treating or Copying-and-Pasting This Halloween?”

  1. Lauren Mazzone says:

    We have used Host to plan for 3 years now and each year it wraps up faster!

  2. Michelle Chaffin says:

    We’ve been using Host for 3 years and it has significantly reduced our planning cycle.

  3. Rahul says:

    Host has helped us wrap up our plan faster for past two years — going for third year in a row.

  4. Ali says:

    We’ve used Host Analytics planning for the past 2 budget cycles and having such a tool with ease of customization to meet our business need has saved us time. Using Host Analytics allows us to enter and manage data in one central location.

  5. Jamie says:

    Host always helps us lock our plan quickly! We rely on it every year for planning!

  6. Tina McWhirter says:

    I am not sure how long our Agency has used Host since I have only been in Accounting for 2 years. I know it is a convenient tool for recording and reviewing budgets. We use it on a monthly basis to keep track of past and future planning.

  7. Kate says:

    reducing the time it takes me any day of the year is worth it in my book!

  8. Nicole says:

    I have been with companies that budget exclusively in excel and now using host analytics it makes it much more time effective and easier for budgeting

  9. Han Shih says:

    Host Analytics generates budget reports much easier than spreadsheets and can house as much supporting documents where it should be without savings hundreds of files in the shared drive.

  10. Edward Mitchell says:

    Still excel, but getting close.

  11. Linda says:

    It’s our 2nd year using Host for Budgets – couldn’t survive without it!

  12. David Cannon says:

    We have shaved weeks off our annual planning process thanks to Host.

  13. Megan says:

    Host is ALWAYS a better option than trying to budget using only Excel!

  14. Courtney says:

    We use a combination of Host and excel. Using Host the last several years has saved hours upon hours of data entry time, frustration over mistakes & broken spreadsheet links, and careless errors. We are constantly learning more about the capabilities of Host and it continues to help us improve both our budgeting and reporting processes.

  15. andrea says:

    Host helps us plan quickly, so that modeling and synthesizing data doesn’t slow us down during the process.

  16. Jean Dane says:

    Going to a planning system like Host increases efficiency and reduces errors. The system is so flexible compared to excel!

  17. Mary McLaughlin says:

    This article brings back pre-Host Analytics nightmares. I would never go back to a completely Excel based budget, life is too short.

  18. Cindy Beggs says:

    Host has been a great way to enable all of our locations to use the same accounts and assumptions. It also allows for the reporting of such.

  19. Noel Vandever says:

    We’re in our second year using Host. First time using it for our official budgeting process. Can’t wait to no longer have broken excel links!

  20. Lee Burton says:

    Been using Host Analytics for several years now (2015 Budget was the first budget cycle). Don’t miss Excel files for gathering data for me to use one bit. Distributed data gathering via Plan Templates is so much of an improvement over prior process…as is holding all the data in a database rather than on an Excel file. Doing it all via the Cloud is definitely the way to go.

  21. Pam says:

    We’ve been using Host for 3 years and it has definitely helped us save time and reduce errors.

  22. Lanny Baldwin says:

    This is our second year with Host and it’s only getting easier.

  23. Jeremy Zhao says:

    Major benefit of having an EPM is the ease of rolling up financials. The system takes care of consolidating varies segments, departments, accounts combinations into well designed reports, not if we can only get the inputs buttoned up.

André Lafayette has more than 20 years of combined experience in accounting and marketing across B2B and B2C companies, giving him a unique understanding of the challenges and needs of Host Analytics’ customers. His experience spans both tech and consumer packaged goods, from Intuit to financial software startup Pillar Corporation, whose products eventually became Hyperion, to consumer package goods manufacturers, Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream and Nancy’s Specialty Foods. As vice president of product marketing at Host Analytics, André is chartered with driving the overall strategic lead gen efforts and go-to-market strategy for the company’s cloud EPM solutions. This includes spearheading the company’s Oracle Hyperion Migration Program, which gives customers an easy path to move off of legacy Hyperion EPM.

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