Financial Consolidation, Close, and Reporting: Challenges and Priorities

Craig Schiff , President and CEO, BPM Partners

Overview

Most performance management research studies have tended to focus primarily on budgeting and financial planning, usually targeting the FP&A team for responses. This is beginning to change though as several vendors with a primary focus on financial consolidation have commissioned their own research to better understand the challenges and needs of the Controller’s department.

Let’s take a look at highlights from two of these recent vendor surveys, as well as our own BPM Pulse, to better understand what the challenges and priorities are when it comes to Financial Consolidation, Close, and Reporting.

Talentia Consolidation and Financial/Management Reporting Survey Results

Here are a set of facts from the Talentia survey that clearly tell the story:

55.5% say that the team frequently works extra hours to deliver monthly, quarterly, and annual reports

70.1% say that the internal cost to meet financial and management reporting requirements has increased over the past 3 years

50.4% still use Excel for financial consolidation and reporting

 (Source: Talentia)

The economic volatility of the past few years has made it necessary to update data and reports more frequently, respond more quickly to ad hoc information requests, and generally operate with greater agility. This of course has required the already overburdened reporting team to put in more hours to get the job done, which in turn has increased the internal costs. The fact that half of the organizations are relying on Excel and a labor-intensive manual process does little to address this challenge and may in fact be the primary cause of the time demands on the team which in turn generates additional cost.

Fluence Survey on the State of Financial Consolidation, Close and Reporting Among Mid-Market Firms

In the same vein here are some data points from the Fluence survey:

55% said consolidating financial data is more time-consuming and difficult than it needs to be 

72% of those surveyed are still suffering through manual processes to some degree 

69% of those surveyed said the post-COVID hybrid work environment has caused them to re-evaluate their financial consolidation and reporting process

 (Source: Fluence)

Respondents to the Fluence survey expressed similar concerns to those raised in the Talentia survey. They also highlighted the fact that the evolving approach to the office/home work model was an opportunity to revisit the entire process. 

BPM Partners 2022 BPM Pulse Survey

From the vendor survey results it is clear that change is needed, and would be welcomed by the participants in this process.  The BPM Pulse survey can help us understand what that change might look like.

Question: Where Should Financial Consolidation Take Place?

(Source: 2022 BPM Pulse)

The data shows that the majority believe financial consolidation (and by extension close/disclosure management and financial reporting) should be included as part of a performance management system alongside financial and operational planning. This makes a lot of sense since having the processing of the actuals in the same system that is already home to the planning data will make actual vs. plan performance reporting more seamless and less error-prone.

Question: What is Important in a Financial Consolidation Solution (5= Most Important)?

(Source: 2022 BPM Pulse)

Those that still believe their ERP or ledger is the best pace for consolidation should look at the top results for this question where  respondents rated the importance of various aspects of a financial consolidation solution (on a 1 to 5 scale). The top 2 responses in particular are not traits you would usually associate with ERP systems. Elsewhere in the Pulse survey more than half of respondents said they have more than one ERP/GL system. Consolidating data from multiple source systems is a core feature of performance management consolidation systems and not something easily accomplished in any one  ERP system.

Conclusions

Financial consolidation and reporting is an important area that companies recognize needs to be improved upon, is taking longer and costing more than it should, and is probably leading to both reporting errors and employee burnout. There is a solution, and it is not a standalone spreadsheet nor an ERP system. We believe that a modern, cloud-based performance management system that unites budgeting, planning, and forecasting with financial consolidation and reporting is the best choice to address the challenges highlighted by these recent surveys.

Source Material:

Talentia – Controllers; Consolidation and Financial/Management Reporting Survey Results

Fluence – Survey on the State of Financial Consolidation, Close and Reporting Among Mid-Market Firms

BPM Partners – 2022 BPM Pulse Research Study

Further Reading:

BPM Partners Financial Consolidation and Reporting Buyers Guide

The Top Rated Budgeting, Planning, Consolidation and Reporting Solutions for 2022

Craig Schiff , President and CEO, BPM Partners

Overview

Now in its nineteenth year, BPM Partners’ BPM Pulse is the longest running survey of trends and customer satisfaction relating to budgeting, financial and operational planning, modeling, forecasting, consolidation, reporting and analytics, and performance dashboards (collectively referred to as performance management, EPM, CPM, BPM, xP&A or FP&A solutions). Over the years thousands of companies have relied on these ratings as part of their vendor selection evaluation criteria, ultimately impacting purchase decisions for hundreds of millions of dollars worth of performance management solutions.

Now it’s time to acknowledge the top tier of vendors that earned the highest overall satisfaction ratings from their customers in 2022. You can learn more about them including their actual numeric rating, industry success, current offering information, latest news, analyst reviews, articles, blogs,  and current job openings by clicking on their name which will take you to their PerformancePlace page on this site.

 

These vendors received an Overall rating from their customers of 4.75 or above, out of 5.

The list is organized by target market and is in alphabetical order.

 

Target Market: Enterprise

Board International

JustPerform

Wolters Kluwer CCH Tagetik

Target Market: Midmarket/Large

deFacto Global

Fluence Technologies

XLerant

 

These vendors received an Overall rating from their customers in the range of 4.50 to 4.74, out of 5.

The list is organized by target market and is in alphabetical order.

 

Target Market: Enterprise

Acterys

Anaplan

OneStream Software

Syntellis Performance Solutions

Target Market: Midmarket/Large

IBM

Place

Prophix

Vena

Bonus: Top Rated Vendors (4.50 – 5.00) by Functionality:

PerformancePlace Filter: Top Rated for Budgeting and Financial Planning

PerformancePlace Filter: Top Rated for Operational Planning

PerformancePlace Filter: Top Rated for Consolidation

PerformancePlace Filter: Top Rated for Reporting

You can add additional filters to sort these Top Rated vendors by target market, price range, and more.

For each vendor’s complete chart of 15 detailed BPM Pulse ratings, plus Recommendation Rate, read the 2022 Vendor Landscape Matrix report, or request free Vendor Snapshots.

Focused Acquisitions for Fluence and Syntellis

Craig Schiff , President and CEO, BPM Partners

Overview

While big acquisitions get all the attention, sometimes it’s the focused ones that add the most value for customers and prospects. This type of acquisition allows a vendor to further build on a unique strength, or close a gap in their offering. As a plus they usually come with minimal product overlap and business disruption. Two recently announced acquisitions exemplify this approach.

Fluence Technologies Acquires Sturnis365

Fluence Technologies has announced their acquisition of Sturnis365. Fluence is a fast growing leader in financial consolidation and reporting. They started with a robust consolidation and close product built by the same architects behind many of the well-known names in consolidation software.  Fluence then developed their own account reconciliation solution, acquired XLCubed last year for enhanced financial reporting capabilities, and now with Sturnis365 have added collaborative disclosure management and narrative reporting to the mix. In just a few short years, thanks to targeted acquisitions coupled with strategic in-house development, the breadth of their offering in this key area of performance management now equals or exceeds that of their competitors. Learn more about Fluence here.

Syntellis Performance Solutions Acquires Stratasan

With their just announced Stratasan acquisition, Syntellis Performance Solutions is building on a key differentiator – industry specific data analytics. Syntellis, through its Axiom Software suite, offers rich budgeting, planning, and reporting functionality coupled with extensive content for the banking, healthcare, and higher education markets. While other vendors have recently started to adopt a verticalized approach to the performance management market, Syntellis is way ahead of them when it comes to targeted data and analytics. Two years ago (while part of Kaufman Hall) they acquired Change Healthcare’s Connected Analytics which provides a range of data solutions for healthcare organizations and a set of tools that can be expanded to other industries. Syntellis has also delivered their own Syntellis IQ solution which is essentially a data science engine that collects market data from financial and operational source systems across more than 1,000 sites and applies AI/machine learning to deliver predictive and prescriptive insights to customers.  Stratasan focuses on strategic planners in healthcare organizations and delivers market intelligence coupled with advanced analytics to enable hospitals to understand where they fit in their marketplace and identify opportunities to better serve their patients and profitably grow their business. This latest acquisition further extends Syntellis’ lead in healthcare planning coupled with data and analytics capabilities. Learn more about Syntellis here.

Vendor Selection Advisory Services for FP&A Groups and Controllers

As the performance management vendor landscape continues to rapidly evolve with acquisitions, new entrants, and product line extensions it is more important than ever to leverage an expert when selecting your own budgeting, planning, consolidation, reporting and analytics solutions.  Learn about our offerings here.

Anaplan to be Acquired for $10.7 Billion by Thoma Bravo

Craig Schiff , President and CEO, BPM Partners

Overview

Thoma Bravo has announced its planned acquisition of Anaplan for $10.7 billion. Anaplan’s revenues for its most recent fiscal year were $592.2 million with a GAAP operating loss of $200.7 million. Those numbers show how impressive this valuation is. I believe this is the largest acquisition ever in the performance management space (see other recent investments in the space here). The investment of course factors in the huge potential for Anaplan as it continues its successful growth path in the hot performance management space.

Details

With this deal Anaplan will once again become a private company. Why would they choose to do this? The money of course, but there are other reasons. The stock market is brutal, regulatory reporting is painful and time consuming (which is one reason you should buy a performance management consolidation and reporting solution), and the pressure of having to achieve quarterly targets forces compromises to be made. So, not too surprising.

Anaplan is a leader, particularly in the rapidly growing operational planning (or extended planning and analysis) segment. It does have some strong competitors though. While SAP and Oracle are often cited as their chief competitors, you’re just as likely to see OneStream Software or Wolters Kluwer’s CCH Tagetik going head to head with Anaplan in deals, and getting their fair share of wins. While OneStream and CCH Tagetik were initially focused primarily on financial planning, consolidation, and reporting, over time they have added impressive capabilities focused on operational planning. Their combined financial and operational strengths give them an edge over Anaplan in financial planning-led deals that also include operational components.

Thoma Bravo is not new to this space. They are an investor in another performance management vendor, Syntellis Performance Solutions. Syntellis, with their Axiom product, combines financial and operational planning with comparative benchmark analytics. They focus almost exclusively on three verticals: banking and credit unions, higher education, and healthcare, with specialized content for each. While there is certainly overlap with Anaplan’s capabilities, we don’t often see them competing in the same deals. Thoma Bravo also owns Qlik, which several performance management vendors have partnered with for analytics.

Our Assessment

A rapidly growing vendor, a knowledgeable investor, a hot market. Seems like a recipe for success to us.

Further Reading: Hg Acquires Majority Stake in Prophix, Host Analytics to be Acquired by Vector Capital, Longview Acquired by insightsoftware, Adaptive Insights to be Acquired by Workday, Wolters Kluwer Acquires Tagetik

Fluence Technologies Acquires XLCubed

Craig Schiff , President and CEO, BPM Partners

Overview

It’s another exciting week in the performance management world. The space itself is hot, but the financial consolidation segment is on fire.

Fluence, a top-rated North American consolidation and close vendor for the midmarket, has announced the acquisition of European-based XLCubed, a specialist in financial reporting and analysis leveraging Excel. As one of the newer vendors in the consolidation market, but already a key player, Fluence was looking to accelerate its development roadmap and increase its global footprint. This acquisition helps them achieve both goals.

Details

Fluence gains many new customers, an office in the U.K., and an Excel-centric enterprise class financial reporting, analysis, and dashboard solution designed for Finance self-sufficiency, to complement its Excel-centric consolidation and close solution. XLCubed offers many leading edge capabilities that companies are either looking for today, or will be looking for shortly, such as IBCS compliant reporting templates and models, web-based instant and interactive report distribution to any user on any device, governed real-time access to multiple data sources in addition to Fluence including SAP HANA, Oracle Essbase, Microsoft SQL Server, IBM TM1, and  Microsoft Power BI. The combined products will deliver a comprehensive and unified Finance-owned consolidation, close and reporting solution for the midmarket and upper midmarket.

Our Assessment

This combination is a no-brainer. What’s consolidation without comprehensive financial reporting, and vice versa?

Fluence and its customers:

  • Fluence picks up a European office, expert staff, a global partner network, and over 700 additional customers
  • Fluence should be able to sell their consolidation solution to a sizeable number of those new customers
  • Fluence now is also able to offer a standalone solution for financial, management, and operational reporting that can lead to consolidation and close sales down the road
  • Existing Fluence customers gain dramatically enhanced reporting capabilities at least 18 months ahead of schedule (if Fluence had developed it themselves)

XLCubed and its customers:

  • XLCubed joins a rapidly growing organization that offers a complementary solution, and the combined companies can reach a greater market than either could alone
  • XLCubed customers will continue to see their products enhanced
  • XLCubed customers gain access to a feature rich Excel-centric consolidation solution to complement their Excel-centric financial reporting product

Midmarket/Upper Midmarket Buyers of Performance Management solutions:

  • By broadening its product set and global presence, along with an increased customer count, Fluence becomes an even more formidable competitor

This is where we usually talk about downsides, but there are no obvious ones. There is minimal product overlap. The common Excel-centric approach will make integration easier.  The industry veterans at the helm of Fluence have been involved in many mergers and acquisitions over the years so I have every confidence that they will avoid most of the typical merger pitfalls. We believe this is a good combination for all concerned.

We know its difficult to stay on top of everything that is happening in performance management. It’s important though, to make sure you have the most current information as you embark on your next project. We can help. If you would like to discuss midmarket planning and consolidation solutions, or anything else performance management related, you can reach us here.

Further Reading: Prophix Acquires Sigma Conso, Two New and Noteworthy Vendors, 10 Key Requirements for Next Level Financial Consolidation, Leveraging Financial Consolidation to Manage Through Uncertainty

Prophix Acquires Sigma Conso

Craig Schiff , President and CEO, BPM Partners

Overview

Prophix, a leading North American  budgeting and planning CPM vendor focused on the midmarket, has announced its acquisition of Sigma Conso, a European CPM vendor focused on consolidation and close. While most CPM (performance management) projects are driven by the need for budgeting and planning, demand has been steadily rising for robust financial consolidation and close capabilities. In the midmarket in particular the options for a complete CPM solution that includes budgeting, planning, reporting and true consolidation have been somewhat limited. Consolidation is one of those things that every vendor claims to do, but most only offer a very basic version of the necessary functionality.

Details

The acquisition will bring Prophix several hundred new customers, offices throughout Europe and Asia, and a consolidation suite that includes consolidation and reporting, intercompany reconciliation software,  an IFRS16 (lease accounting) module, and a disclosure management platform powered by Iris Carbon. Equally important is the addition of Sigma Conso’s expert staff to the Prophix team. There will be no job losses related to this acquisition. Although not publicly disclosed, it has been speculated that Prophix paid US$100 million plus for Sigma Conso.

Our Assessment

We believe this is a big win for all concerned, with limited downside.

Prophix and its customers:

  • Prophix becomes a global enterprise with a comprehensive and competitive CPM suite for the midmarket/upper midmarket, and the ability to pursue deals that may not have been a possibility in the past
  • Prophix will have the opportunity to upsell their budgeting and planning solution to Sigma Conso customers
  • Prophix customers gain access to a consolidation solution that can handle more complexity and larger use cases than their current Prophix consolidation solution

Sigma Conso and its customers:

  • Sigma Conso and its staff become part of a larger organization and will see their flagship product expand into the North American market
  • Sigma Conso customers will now be part of a larger global user community and also  see additional investment and support for their consolidation products
  • Sigma Conso customers will have the option to take advantage of Prophix’s budgeting and planning solution

Midmarket/Upper Midmarket Buyers of Performance Management solutions:

  • Prophix will become another viable option for those looking for robust consolidation coupled with company-wide planning

The (limited) downside:

  • It will take a while to integrate the products and we don’t expect to see data integration until some time in Q1 2022
  • Sigma Conso currently sells a budgeting and planning solution (“powered by” Unit4 FP&A) and there will need to be a well thought out plan to manage customers of this product and their expectations, and of course eventually entice them to move to the equivalent Prophix solution
  • Prophix has never done an acquisition before and we all know there will be many challenges both expected and unexpected, hopefully since the companies appear to have similar cultures and are both customer centric this will go more smoothly than some mergers I personally have been part of in the past

The  Updated Vendor Landscape for Midmarket Budgeting, Planning, Reporting and  Robust Consolidation Solutions

Midmarket/Upper Midmarket Focused:

  • Prophix – a new competitor in this segment with the addition of Sigma Conso’s consolidation capabilities
  • Fluence – combines enterprise class functionality with ease of use and is integrated with Vena for budgeting and planning
  • Planful – the former Host Analytics has always had a very capable midmarket consolidation solution coupled with easy to use planning

There are also solutions targeting the larger company market that have seen success in the midmarket: OneStream Software and Wolters Kluwer’s CCH Tagetik are two of the best.

The performance management market continues to grow and evolve. We’ll continue to stay on top of it and keep you informed with everything you need to know for your own project. If you would like to discuss midmarket planning and consolidation solutions, or anything else performance management related, you can reach us here.

Further Reading: Fluence Acquires XLCubed, Hg Acquires Majority Stake in Prophix, 10 Key Requirements for Next Level Financial Consolidation, Leveraging Financial Consolidation to Manage Through Uncertainty

The Performance Management Gold Rush

Craig Schiff , President and CEO, BPM Partners

Updated July 2021

Overview

Casual observers have probably noticed some of the new investments made in the performance management space this year. As dedicated followers of the space we have tracked almost all of them, and the volume (both number of deals and total dollars) in such a short period of time is truly astonishing. This is nothing new for performance management as we have seen similar hot streaks in the past, but the number of vendors involved, the deal size, and the valuations take it to a new level.

Deals

Let’s start by summarizing the deals and their key attributes.

 

Vendor (links to PerformancePlace)  Date of Deal (links to announcement)  Dollars (* our estimate)  Type    Notes
Jedox January 2021 $100 million + Private equity
Prophix January 2021 $400-$500 million* Majority investment
Board March 2021 Not disclosed Ownership expansion Added new CEO
Cube March 2021 $10 million Series A New Vendor
Unit4 March 2021 $2.1 billion Buyout ERP/FP&A vendor
DataRails April 2021 $18.5 million Series A New vendor
OneStream April 2021 $200 million Series B $6 billion valuation
Vena April 2021 $300 million Series C
Fluence May 2021 $10 million Series A Added new CEO
insightsoftware July 2021 $1 billion Minority investment $4 billion valuation

That’s over $4 billion invested in performance management vendors in just the first 7 months of the year! While the big dollars went to established vendors, there are a number of newer vendors getting funded as well. One of the most interesting things to note here is that OneStream’s latest round values it at $6 billion dollars. The acquisitions of two major vendors I was part of didn’t come close to that valuation. Oracle picked up Hyperion for a little more than half that amount, and SAP’s purchase of OutlookSoft was significantly less.

Analysis

So, what’s driving this ‘gold rush’ in the performance management space? Success. This is not some buzzy new technology, although the fact that all of these vendors started in the cloud or have moved their product and market focus there certainly helps. Performance management systems are mission-critical front office business software solutions. They have benefited from two major trends: Finance transformation, and the need for greater agility necessitated by the challenging business climate caused by the pandemic. While many businesses struggled this past year, just about every performance management vendor we have spoken with achieved or exceeded their pre-pandemic budget targets.

With money flowing and demand increasing many new vendors have recently entered the space. In addition, existing vendors around the periphery have rebranded and repositioned to take advantage of the opportunities related to performance management. Some of these newer or relaunched vendors include the already mentioned Cube, Fluence, and DataRails, as well as Acterys, Place, OnPlan, MYGIDE, BankBI, Synario, Quantrix, Limelight, and Jirav.

What does this all mean for prospective purchasers of these products? The larger vendors will use their new investments to expand their offerings as well as their geographic reach. The newer vendors will build out their product suites and invest in sales and marketing. This will result in a great selection of solutions to choose from, in fact possibly the widest range of options that has ever existed in this space. While it all sounds wonderful, not all is rosy. We have recently met with every vendor mentioned here and more. For established vendors who haven’t’ recently raised funds it may get more challenging to compete with vendors flush with cash. For some of the newer vendors, as you might expect, their marketing messages are a little ahead of their current product realities. Hopefully it will all settle out over time. With great choices, comes great responsibility: it is more important than ever to do your homework and make sure you choose the best solution for your organization.

 

Profitability Analytics Center of Excellence

Larry R. White, Advisory Board, Profitability Analytics Center of Excellence

Highly effective internal decision support information is the key to long-term profitability by maintaining or expanding the role of accounting and finance in companies for today’s highly connected, digital, and data-rich environment.  The Profitability Analytics Center of Excellence (PACE) builds on Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) Statements on Management Accounting (SMAs) that are developed by its members, including The Profitability Analytics Framework, Conceptual Framework for Managerial Costing, and Revenue Management Fundamentals.  PACE seeks to design and support end-to-end processes that are tied to strategic planning while building on traditional ROI elements – Revenue, Operations/Cost, and Investment.  The PACE approach to traditional ROI elements is adapted to today’s business environment by incorporating a data-analytics focus, Industry 4.0 trends, and tangible and intangible investments.

PACE is a not-for-profit organization that works to advance management accounting and thought leadership to ensure the profession is prepared for a future that is focused on creating value and insights, standing in contrast to traditional historical reporting.  PACE is committed to helping the accounting profession move beyond historically-oriented financial reporting models and move aggressively toward models that reflect cause and effect for internal decision support and the real economics faced by companies in fast-moving markets.

PACE addresses issues like:

  • Why is finance and accounting’s cost information ignored? What’s wrong?
  • What are the indicators needed by organizations for new and improved cost systems?
  • How can accounting and finance more effectively engage in revenue management processes?
  • Why is traditional depreciation misleading? What a good alternative?
  • How to develop and deploy affective models for internal decision support information?
  • And more…

The PACE website contains information about our program and reference materials to assist your efforts to improve internal decision support.  It also has a forum for discussion and questions. PACE also maintains an active LinkedIn page that supports discussion and routinely announces PACE activities, such as our monthly webinar. PACE webinars are recorded on the Profitability Analytics YouTube Channel.

Written by PACE Directors:  Larry R. White, CMA, CFM, CSCA, CPA; Douglas Hicks, CPA; Gary Cokins; and Monte Swain, PhD, CPA, CMA, CGMA.

For assistance with your own profitability and operational analytics efforts learn more about BPM Partners’ offerings in this area.

Hg Acquires Majority Stake in Prophix

Craig Schiff , President and CEO, BPM Partners

Overview

The trend of significant investments in the performance management space continues into 2021. It was announced last week that Hg, a global investment firm with a focus on software and service businesses, has taken a majority ownership stake in Prophix, a successful midmarket focused performance management vendor.  The first question people usually ask when they hear about these acquisitions is: how much did they pay? It has not been publicly disclosed and I’m not one to spread rumors, so you’ll have to do your own research to find the answer to that question. From what we‘ve heard though, the investment does indicate a fairly significant valuation of the company. The second round of questions that people often ask includes: how will this impact the vendor and their customers, prospects, and competitors? Those questions are much easier for us to answer.

Prophix

Prophix has been around for over 30 years and has over 1,600 customers. More importantly, they have a solid product with a broad range of capabilities that supports both financial and operational planning and reporting. We have met with the team many times over the years and they are very focused and know exactly where they are going. They are also highly thought of by their customers. In fact, our own BPM Pulse Survey confirms the high levels of satisfaction they have achieved (see their current BPM Pulse rating here). The main knock we have heard about them is that they are overly cautious and risk-averse. That’s interesting because that can also describe their target customer in Finance. This may explain why several of their prospects have told us they felt a greater cultural kinship with Prophix than with the other vendors they were considering. This slow and steady approach does sometimes have a cost though. They were late to the party with a cloud-based solution and may have missed out on some opportunities, but in the end they did ultimately deliver a well-received solution.

The Competitive Landscape

The midmarket performance management space is the place to be. In the past year we personally were involved in many deals in the space, even in the middle of a pandemic. In fact, the economic environment may have caused some companies to toss their spreadsheets or legacy systems sooner than planned. From a midmarket vendor perspective, the landscape has evolved over the years. Up until fairly recently Adaptive Planning (Adaptive Insights) dominated this market segment. Since their acquisition by Workday that has changed. While they are still included in many midmarket deals, our experience is that they don’t end up as a finalist as often as they used to. Some of this is due to the fact that they are often the most expensive midmarket vendor in the deal. In addition, they appear to be self-selecting for deals that will also include other Workday solutions. This of course makes perfect sense, but results in them focusing on a subset of opportunities. Other vendors have swooped in to fill the gap and there is now  a good array of top-rated solutions to choose from. This space is also about to get even more competitive. Some new venture-backed vendors (see Jirav and PlaceCPM as just two examples) have entered this market in the past year or two and are focused on the lower end of the midmarket. They don’t intend to stay there forever, and as they flesh out their product sets they plan to move up into the core midmarket performance management space.

Impacts of the Deal

We met with Hg several times last year and provided our research to them as part of their due diligence process. We believe they have a good understanding of the space, the opportunities as well as the challenges, and are in it for the long haul. Based on the structure of the deal as we understand it, Prophix employees had an opportunity to participate as well. So, from a Prophix perspective it looks like they found a knowledgeable investor that will help them grow the product set, the team, and their global footprint. With their product and team they were already in a good position to do battle, but sometimes you just need more resources. This is especially true when you consider that competitors Planful (formerly Host Analytics) and Vena Solutions had recent infusions of capital as well, and just this week Jedox also joined in.

From a customer and prospect perspective there seems to be little risk, only potential upside. With more funds Prophix can accelerate the rollout of new product features, expand customer support offerings, open offices in more locations, add more voices to the user community, and perhaps even acquire a complementary product.

For competitors there may be a valid concern that this will make Prophix an even stronger foe, but on the other hand this new investment is further confirmation that there is significant growth still to come in this market segment. From what we have seen in just the past year we are confident there will be continued growth and more than enough opportunities for all the key midmarket players to prosper.

 

The Best Midmarket Budgeting and Planning Solutions for 2020

Top Rated Midmarket Vendors

 

Craig Schiff , President and CEO, BPM Partners

Overview

The midmarket has historically been underserved when it comes to having a wide range of top-rated and robust options for budgeting, planning, and reporting (also known as performance management: BPM, CPM, or EPM). Midmarket Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) managers have struggled to find an Excel replacement that is easy to use, cost-effective, yet comprehensive in terms of its functionality. That is no longer the case. Today there are many good solutions available that target this market segment. Existing midmarket vendors have enhanced their offerings with new capabilities, while at the same time making them easier to use.  Other vendors who had previously only focused on larger companies have now made their full-featured solutions available to this market as well. Lastly, new vendors (either brand new or new to the North American market) have also been added to the mix. If you are a midmarket organization (US$ 50 million to US$ 1 billion) and are looking for a budgeting, forecasting, planning, reporting, or financial consolidation system you now have a large number of viable options to choose from.

The following list is based on three key criteria:

  • Vendors offering products that are designed and priced for midmarket companies
  • Vendors receiving top “overall satisfaction” marks from their customers (4.5 or higher out of 5 in our 2020 BPM Pulse Research Study)
  • Validation in BPM Partners’ field work with hundreds of FP&A departments selecting and successfully deploying budgeting, planning, and reporting solutions from these vendors

Top-Rated Midmarket Budgeting, Planning, and Reporting Solutions for 2020:

Note: Clicking on each vendor’s name will take you to their PerformancePlace page which will display their overall BPM Pulse rating, latest developments, resources, analyst reviews, and even job openings.

In alphabetical order:

deFacto Global – a Microsoft-based FP&A solution that handles complexity, leverages AI, and integrates business intelligence for additional capabilities

Jedox – complete FP&A focused offering with an Excel UI, coupled with business intelligence and an extensible platform and library of supplemental applications

Planful – robust planning solution with powerful modeling and consolidation capabilities and a dynamic interface tailored to user role

Prophix – comprehensive financial and operational planning solution that selectively leverages AI, with low TCO

Vena Solutions – pairs Excel with a full FP&A solution that turns the spreadsheet into a secure, centrally -controlled, and extensible platform linked to a visual workflow engine

XLerant – easy to use budgeting and planning solution with a unique wizard-driven interface and low TCO

Bonus Top-Rated Vendors:

Although these vendors don’t focus primarily on the midmarket, they have been successful in this segment by offering additional capabilities.

CCH Tagetik – for more complex needs this budgeting, planning, and consolidation solution is highly-scalable and supports global regulatory requirements

Syntellis Performance Solutions – this vendor focuses exclusively on budgeting, planning, and reporting for healthcare, higher education, and financial institutions and provides value added content and data

If you would like to learn more about any of these vendors, or find out why some well-known names are missing, speak with one of our experts. For detailed BPM Pulse vendor ratings (overall plus 15 attributes)  read the 2020 Vendor Landscape Matrix report, or request free Vendor Snapshots.