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Leading Alaskan Retailer Relies on Centage Corporation for Automated Budgeting and Financial Reporting

May 22, 2013
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Natick, MA – May 21, 2013 – Centage™ Corporation, a leading provider of budgeting and forecasting software (Budget Maestro™) for small and medium sized businesses, today announced a successful implementation at leading Alaskan retailer, Hames Corporation. Hames Corporation owns and manages several retail stores in both Sitka and Ketchikan, Alaska, two of the largest and most-visited cities in the state. More than 65 years ago, the business began as a small neighborhood market and has evolved into a thriving third generation operated company. As the company grew and expanded its business, it’s chief financial officer realized they needed to significantly improve their budgeting and forecasting management reporting processes to more effectively manage the growth of the organization.

Traditional Approach to Budgeting & Forecasting

Like many small and medium businesses, Hames Corporation primarily relied on Microsoft Excel for its budgeting, forecasting and management reporting needs. But with so many stores and diverse operations – and a total of 150 employees– the budgeting process was becoming complex and time-consuming."Budgeting was becoming problematic from the standpoint of timeliness, accuracy and frankly relevance. It became so cumbersome and difficult and something had to be done to better manage the growth and competitive environment of our business," commented Maxwell Rule, CFO, Hames Corporation. "Our financial reporting, budgeting and forecasting for internal management purposes was not where it needed to be."After researching several options, Rule selected Centage Corporation's Budget Maestro for budgeting, forecasting, consolidations and reporting. The company can now seamlessly, and periodically, import its actuals from Microsoft GP in addition to being able to budget by department at a detailed level. With Budget Maestro, Hames is also now able to produce a cash flow statement and execute cash forecasting automatically as the budget changes, in real time.

Zeroing in on Personnel Costs

One of the biggest benefits of Budget Maestro has been the ability to manage personnel costs, one of Hames’ most significant operating expenses. Unlike anything else on the market today (for small and medium businesses) Budget Maestro can track and analyze all salary-related expenses and provide an unprecedented level of granularity to help financial leaders gain an understanding of costs by individual employee."The ability to analyze and budget labor and related benefit costs has been invaluable, particularly in light of the unknowns and challenges related to the Affordable Care Act. We can now accurately budget and monitor our healthcare costs, even down to the specifics of an individual employee's health plan options," continued Rule.Not only has Budget Maestro made Hames’ budgeting and forecasting process quicker and easier, but it has also resulted in much more sophisticated financial reporting. Hames now has regular reports for balance sheets, cash flows, results from operations and department profitability."Budget Maestro has replaced some of our 'traditional' financial reporting. This new, strategic approach to reporting has made our, shareholders, executives, and management team very happy and more confident in the long term financial success of our organization," continued Rule."We are thrilled with the success of our relationship with Hames. Our goal is to empower our clients with easy to use software that allows them to make better decisions with more accurate data," said Barry Clapp, President & COO of Centage Corporation. "By automating the budgeting and forecasting process, Max and his team have eliminated the need to maintain complex and time consuming spreadsheets, and instead can focus on making strategic financial decisions."