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How Cloud-Based Financial Reporting Software Can Help

March 2, 2022
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CEOs and boards of directors ask their teams tough questions for a reason: They want to know how their company is performing against plans and identify risks or opportunities that lie ahead. To answer their questions, you need up-to-the-minute insight into your business and the ability to test “what if” scenarios on the fly. While no one can predict what the market will do, accurate forecasts can help you anticipate impacts to sales, investments, and personnel. To achieve this, you need a cloud-based financial reporting software that can support frequent forecasting, scenario planning, and reporting. While accuracy in reporting remains a top priority for CEOs, efficiency and speed follow close behind. To meet their objectives, you need a financial reporting software that lets you spend less time inputting data and formulas, and more time on analysis. If you’re still relying on spreadsheets to do the job, your company may miss red flags or time-sensitive business opportunities.If you’re using Excel as your primary reporting tool:

  • Your spreadsheets run the risk of inaccuracy due to human errors in data entry and formulas.
  • Important data can be hidden, as you’re only getting one view of raw data.
  • Multiple columns of data don’t lend themselves well to analysis and can be easily misinterpreted.
  • You won’t have access to historical data as spreadsheets get updated.
  • It’s difficult to share data and reports, and even more difficult to collaborate during the reporting process.

Each of these drawbacks contributes to a lack of efficiency, accuracy, and coordination. Not to mention, you can make embarrassing and costly errors. For example, in October 2014, the number of outstanding shares of Tibco Software was misstated because of one small spreadsheet error. As a result, the sale price of the company was overstated by $100 million. After the transaction was completed, the acquired company’s shareholders received $100 million less than they expected, and lawsuits ensued.1

Rely on a Modern Platform That Supports Analysis

By adopting an integrated financial reporting software solution built in the cloud, your company can spend less time reconciling reports and more time analyzing for the future. Centage created Planning Maestro to build flexible, driver-based budgets, forecast financial performance, analyze results, and share critical information across the business. It can not only help you ditch spreadsheets for good but also transform the way your financial team contributes to the future of your business.

  • Budgets created in Planning Maestro pull data directly from your data sources (e.g., GL, ERP) and process all transactions in accordance with the company’s business logic and accounting rules. At any time, you can produce accurate balance sheets, cash flow, and P&L statements for your CEO.
  • Test multiple scenarios in budget models — including a slowdown in sales or increasing headcount — and see the direct impact of these business decisions on your financial statements immediately.
  • Look to the future. Review the implications of opening a new sales office or acquiring a company. Planning Maestro can test your assumptions at a level of granularity that is impossible to achieve with spreadsheets.

Best of all, Planning Maestro illustrates data for your stakeholders more clearly than Excel charts can. You can organize and display data in multiple ways for different audiences, filter views, and give members of your team authorization to share and review reports on their own.

  • Organize and display your data in multiple ways to tell a complete story. With built-in intelligence and automation, creating multiple reports that drill down from a standard report no longer consumes additional time or staff.
  • Manage operational reporting more efficiently to better target customers and boost sales in real time. By importing CRM data into Planning Maestro, you can easily display revenue by product and sales reports by product, region, salesperson, customer type, or other metrics important to your organization.
  • Create custom dashboards that help executives understand root cause and effect. For example, a dashboard might clearly show that a regional office is falling 20% behind plan. By drilling down, you can illuminate the drivers behind variances — whether it’s the result of a specific promotion, the loss of a client, or a particular region or product line that’s lagging in sales.

To optimize reporting and facilitate proactive analysis, you need to spend less time on busy work and more time focusing on the big picture. Adopting the right financial reporting software moves your financial focus from past history to future opportunity.

Trusted by more than 10,000 users, Planning Maestro has been able to help its customers create driver-based budgets in days, generate annual budgets 50% faster, and allow teams to view business model changes in hours.

Centage’s Planning Maestro was recently named a Best Financial Reporting Software of 2021 by, a leading independent review website for small business online tools, products, and services. Planning Maestro was ranked among the top solutions for financial reporting features, integrations, and reports, along with customer feedback.

1 Tan, Gillian. “Spreadsheet Mistake Costs Tibco Shareholders $100 Million.” Wall Street Journal, October 16, 2014.
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