I’ve been reading a lot about Microsoft Forecaster and a number of the other good high-end budgeting and planning software programs.  Blogs, whitepapers, press releases, sales materials, have all been part of my reading diet this past month.

I was pleasantly surprised when I had lunch with the CFO of a large medical association yesterday (Dynamics SL client) and he and his controller confirmed that the list of pains people have with Excel budgeting was quite similar to the list of issues I’ve been blogging about.  Here is what he said:

1. There are too many Excel worksheets.

2. It is too hard to get to the assumptions behind the budget number for any individual account.  The assumptions are often in other worksheets.

3. There is no roll-up capability for the budgets until you import the budget and allow the FRx Financial Report Writer to do this reporting element for you.

4. No one can view the whole budget until all the spreadsheets are imported.

5. Excel worksheets don’t link up.

6. Often someone will add a new account to their budget worksheet-but the account is often not in the General Ledger.