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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.

10 Key Reasons for Mid-Sized Companies to Modernize Consolidation

Sponsored by Talentia

  • Modern consolidation systems are not limited to legal consolidation, but can also support extensive management reporting as well as budgeting and forecasting.
  • Author: BPM Partners
  • Date: April 2022
  • Pages: 9
  • Request your copy today by completing the White Papers Request form.

Executive Summary:

Full-featured consolidation and management reporting systems were often seen in the past as reserved for large enterprises, due to their cost and complexity. Increasingly, however, they have become more accessible to mid-sized (midmarket) businesses as newer solutions have become available that address their cost, ease of deployment, and usability criteria. As we are reminded by corporate Finance groups each year with their responses to the annual BPM Pulse survey by BPM Partners, consolidation remains ripe for improvement and time savings. Nearly half (46%) of the Finance groups who answered the Pulse survey take two weeks or longer to complete their monthly close. Only 16% finish in three days or less.

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

Leveraging Financial Consolidation to Manage Through Uncertainty

Sponsored by Fluence Technologies

  • Learn how streamlined financial consolidation can be a major asset in helping mid-sized companies navigate through times of major change and disruption.
  • Author: BPM Partners
  • Date: December 2020
  • Pages: 12
  • Request your copy today by completing the White Papers Request form.

Executive Summary:

Having a single platform process financial data, regardless of source, helps ensure that companies can achieve that all important ‘one version of the truth’. This reliable and consistent data set can then be used to feed instant production of high quality reports and ultimately better informed decision-making.

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.

10 Key Requirements for Next Level Financial Consolidation

Sponsored by Board

  • Discover how large companies can achieve sweeping benefits with a full-scale, comprehensive makeover of financial consolidation, enacted incrementally.
  • Author: BPM Partners
  • Date: July 2020
  • Pages: 11
  • Request your copy today by completing the White Papers Request form.

Executive Summary:

Consolidation is a foundational element of any corporate performance management solution today. Improved management reporting, for example, which is cited as a primary driver in two-thirds of all CPM/BPM projects, relies heavily on consolidation functionality. This whitepaper recommends a set of ten key criteria for selecting a consolidation solution and gives real-life examples of several major companies that “took consolidation to the next level”.

Findings from the 2019 BPM Pulse Survey

Craig Schiff , President and CEO, BPM Partners

While most people focus on the individual vendor customer satisfaction ratings that are part of our annual BPM Pulse survey, they tend to gloss over the other useful information that makes up the bulk of the survey. Let’s highlight some of those key findings that would otherwise be overlooked.

The Three Main Reasons Products are Selected Over Alternatives

When asked why they purchased the performance management vendor they did, one answer rose to the top, regardless of which vendor they actually selected: Product Flexibility. This of course assumes that the product also met their business requirements. All other things being equal  though flexibility was a key selection criteria. In second and third place respectively were Ease of Use and Scalability/Complexity Handling. If a product is flexible, easy to use, and can handle large, complex problems it should come out on top more often than not. The problem is some easy to use products are not very flexible, nor can they handle big challenges. On the other hand, some very flexible products that can handle anything thrown their way are not as easy to use as they should be.

Dashboards Are Not Meeting Expectations

Survey respondents were asked to rate their own vendor’s functionality in several areas: budgeting, reporting, consolidation, analytics, and dashboards. One clear trend emerged – regardless of the vendor, dashboards received comparatively low ratings across the board. Why is that? The survey data didn’t provide much additional insight, but we know from our field work what the general complaints have been. Customers are looking for more interactive dashboard solutions (as opposed to the static Executive Information Systems of days gone by). They want to be able to drill down as many levels as it takes to understand why a particular metric fell short of the target. They want to be able to insert commentary to explain variances. They want the dashboards to be even more visual and intuitive. Based on the survey results there is clearly work to be done here.

Performance Management Solutions are Sticky

When asked how much longer they were planning to keep their current performance management solution 80% of respondents said they had no plans to change. This is consistent with another question which asked ‘what is the useful life of a performance management solution?’ and a third of respondents said 9 years or more (and another third said 6-8 years).  A couple of takeaways a) these systems must be doing something right to have so few purchasers expecting to change any time soon (or it is so painful to change that  it may just be easier to stick with a sub-optimal solution), and b) you better make sure you get the right solution because whether it is for good reasons or bad, you will be living with it for years to come.

Want to see more results? Get your own copy of the 80-page 2019 BPM Pulse Survey Results whitepaper.