Whether it is panacea or not the answer depends upon your circumstances, your budget and the application you buy. For any small business, we don’t believe that an application will offer any benefit over Excel, you don’t need other people to contribute to your budget, and you probably don’t need to share them, what you need is a good cash flow forecast. If you understand your business it really should be a piece of cake to build a cash flow forecast which will be adaptable, accurate and suit your business, it’s not rocket science.
However, if your business is more complex with multiple branches, a large cost structure, and many employees, customers and suppliers then a SaaS-based app will probably be worth your while. Depending on the application, you may have access to machine learning AI to help forecast, you might be able to build complex company structures, have multiple bank accounts, add your own calculations, access a template library, integrate into your core accounting application, have an audit trail, sharing capabilities and a host of other tasks.
Despite all of these features and wonderful gizmos, I can assure you that there will be things that you want to do that the software is just not built to do. We see it time and time again when clients come to us from other applications where they are frustrated by a particular missing bit of functionality that they need for their business.
Because of this, we have a professional services division that will relativity inexpensively customise features so that ProForecast fits your business processes. If we believe that these features will benefit other customers we will contribute towards the cost to ensure that we can incorporate the change into the core application for the benefit of all customers.
In contrast, traditional suppliers are very inflexible and if you require a change you have to go through their lengthy product development process which can take years. Even then they may not make the change as it might benefit only a small number of customers. Many of our clients come to us because they were frustrated by the lack of customer service and innovation from their previous supplier.
Having said all of that every application needs both a financial investment and an investment in your time and resources to maximise the value. If you simply want to press a button and magically create your budgets and forecasts, I have to tell you that it wont happen. You need to spend time to craft your setup and first budget, but the good news is that once you have done that the time and cost savings going forward will be immense.
SaaS-based budgeting & forecasting apps have many features and benefits which will be appealing to businesses of all sizes, but depending on your business you might not need them all. Our approach is different in that we don’t force users to use the features that they don’t need and we will actively work with them to add the features that they do need if we don’t have them. Ultimately, it’s your choice and you need to decide what is best for your business, but I would conclude that SaaS based applications are neither a panacea or a headache, but a very helpful tool.