Centage’s Planning Maestro - formerly Budget Maestro - is a cloud-native planning & analytics platform that delivers year-round financial intelligence, transforming how companies budget, forecast and report performance. Centage delivers a level of sophisticated financial intelligence typically only enjoyed by large enterprises, at a price point accessible for SMBs. With a direct line-of-sight into the organization’s financial health, Centage helps clients react quickly to market changes and capitalize on new opportunities.
Centage has a long history of developing and delivering exceptional software for SMB finance teams. By listening to CFOs and financial experts and gathering insights from thousands of our own users, we’ve built an intelligent solution, Planning Maestro, that truly breaks the mold for financial planning and analytics.
Key Features of Centage’s Planning Maestro
Automation. Planning Maestro automates and streamlines routine tasks, significantly reducing the time needed for ‘busy work’ and freeing up the team to focus on providing timely insights and analysis for strategic decision support
Visibility. Planning Maestro delivers a direct line-of-sight into the organization’s current and future financial health with integrated cash flow, balance sheet, and P&L forecasting and reporting all connected to meaningful data contained in ERP and back office systems.
Accuracy. Planning Maestro integrates and normalizes data from multiple sources, accuracy is ensured, and mistakes are eliminated. A single source of truth makes it easier to know-with confidence - what to do first and why.
Collaboration. Planning Maestro enables collaboration with operational stakeholders cross the business - constantly test assumptions and possible outcomes – deliver accurate forecasts and practical recommendations for course correction that are backed up by rock solid data and insights.
Agility. Planning Maestro supports connectivity with virtually any data source - on premise or in the cloud, allows for highly flexible, multidimensional data models with the power to run on-the fly calculations and organize, analyze and visualize large data to slice and dice business performance in different ways.
In addition to providing robust budgeting, forecasting and integration with their analytics tool, Analytics Maestro, Budget Maestro is a true extension of a company's general ledger into future periods. This is accomplished through the unique software architecture, where every budget item, such as revenue, expense or personnel record creates an entry into a "behind the scenes" budget GL in the right GL accounts, in the correct amounts and the proper accounting period. What this means is, the financial statements you get in this application are always synchronized to the underlying budget. The balance sheet and statement of cash flows will accurately represent the forecasted financial position of the company to the extent of the accuracy of the budget itself.
The financial statements and all other reports can be easily generated by users without relying on IT.
The software can be directly integrated to popular ERP or accounting software GLs and the Analytics module which is integrated to Budget Maestro can also be integrated to other data sources such as CRM, inventory management, warehouse management, sales reporting data and others.
Another feature I like to use is creating multiple versions of the budgets or "what-if" scenarios, each automatically generating a unique set of financial statements and reports, exactly matching that particular version of the budget. You can see how your financial position changes in future periods as you change the budget version. This helps in finalizing a budget that is reasonable and also closely aligned to company goals and plans.
The workflow process in this application lacks in capabilities expected from larger solutions. This is probably not an issue in smaller organizations which to my understanding are the primary customer of this software.
Their support team is always available to help you through any questions or difficulties you encounter. The training provided is top notch and thorough and your trainer sets up your financial report formats for you to match your current statements. My trainer is still my primary contact person for help and all I have to do is send him an email. The software itself has enough built-in power and flexibility it can handle all kinds of retail, distribution, or manufacturing scenarios, like for my company it is the need to build up inventory before a selling season and to do this for many different products and different selling seasons. Budget Maestro is capable of generating fairly accurate balance sheets and cash flow statements, in addition to income statements, as it has sections within it devoted to the balance sheet side of forecasting. Combining Link Maestro and Analytics Maestro to Budget Maestro provides the only solution one needs to not only generate a budget or forecast but to then generate all the financial reports, statements, breakdown analysis needed by management. With Budget Maestro I can drive my revenues, expenses, and inventory levels by units, not revenue dollars, which is a lot more accurate for forecasting when dealing with a wide variation of products, product costs and retail prices.
Financial statements and reports utilizing proper accounting format rules can be very hard or impossible to attain by generating them within Budget Maestro. To attain the proper formatting that I am trained in and accustomed to providing to my management team I have to export the reports out to Excel and apply the spacing, headers, underlining, and so on inside Excel. However, now with their recent addition of Analytics Maestro, this issue is gone as Analytics Maestro is an Excel add-on so that you create and format all your needed standard and custom reports inside Excel and use Analytics Maestro to drop in the numbers and data you want in each report or statement.
I do like the preview of the expense and how it will look like on the P&L. It really helps me make sure that my spread method is correct. I like analytics maestro. I can use excel to build reports. Also, it is easy to use the data to create charts and graphs and make the financial data consumable to those budget owners, who may not have a fiance background. I also like the ability to refresh and update the data quickly.
Reporting. In analytics the idea of building is great, reminds me a salesforce. But it is sooooo slow on the virtual desktop. From what I understand this will continue to be the case in BM9. Also the reporting within the software is slow as well. It takes anywhere from 1-3 minutes to run any report. Also, the inability to create a version and it to show up in all plans. For example, if we want to create version of our 3+9 Forecast
Ease of budgeting at a very detailed level. Provided us with a better understanding of what drives our business from a financial perspective and what the impact might be if we were to change any of those variables.
Ease of use and affordability. The ability to design your budget without having to pay someone to configure the software is priceless. We were also able to implement and complete our budget in less than 2 months.
This software allows us to budget continuously using the same data while just updating it for any changes. We budget annually, and re-forecast quarterly. This tool allows us to spend more time analyzing the impacts of the various variables and much less time actually creating the budgets to review. Once it is set up to forecasts into the future and all you have to do is edit for any changes. You can also perform endless 'what if' scenarios to see how potential changes would impact your forecasts.
Wow! I can't really think of any cons to this software. I am sure there are some limitations but for our company this fits the bill perfectly.
Solid business performance management software package.
1. Very powerful forecasting tool that can handle both simple and complex aspects of forecasting. Handles multiple departments, entities, and the consolidation of them with ease.
2. Very easy to import actual data in order to perform variance analysis.
3. Easy to import almost all information necessary to set up a "plan" the first time.
4. What-if analysis allows you to look at the financial impact of making changes in your business without having to change your primary "plan"
5. All reports can be exported to Excel
6. Report layouts can be customized.
7. Very easy to create a 5 year forecast that allows increase/decrease assumptions to be customized in numerous ways, and using as many timeframes as desired.
8. Handles lines of credit and term loans, both fixed and variable rate, very easily.
1. Can't run a statement of cash flows based on "actual" data, only on "plan" data.
2. Not very easy to run a "plan" balance sheet for a future year as a stand-alone report, must either start the report on a month just after you have "actual" data or create an "actual/plan" version that houses a combination of data so it can be used for beginning balances.
3. If using Desktop version, additional modules need to be purchased to handle pre-paid insurance automatically and forecast inventory.
Financial intelligence tools are transforming the way organizations think about budgets. Budget Maestro is designed for financial productivity, confidence, and insights. The scalable platform, offered as a cloud-based or client-server solution, has built-in financial logic so it is automated and formula-free for more accurate data-entry, consolidation, and financial statements. It helps small and mid-size businesses with limited IT resources make smarter operational decisions based on key financial data.
Budget Maestro eliminates the reliance on complicated spreadsheets and formulas for tracking financial metrics and instead encourages its users to focus on the performance of their businesses Forecasting financials and accurately budgeting for the future is possible through built-in finance logic that tracks profit and loss activities. Key features include self-maintaining budget modeling, powerful what-if capabilities, data integrity, collaboration and workflows, consolidation, and reporting.
Budget Maestro is a budgeting and planning solution for organizations in the manufacturing, retail, healthcare, wholesale/distribution, business services and non-profit industries. Using built-in financial logic and driver-based planning, Budget Maestro provides users with the ability to collect and consolidate profit and loss data. It also allows users to create synchronized balance sheets and cash flow reporting, with automatic updates based on actual and profit/loss activities. Budget Maestro operates in a network environment for easy collaboration in budgeting and financial reporting.
Small and medium-size businesses that need to allocate expenses by type—including financial and operational modeling, expenses and revenue budgeting, and workforce planning—are using Budget Maestro. The solution provides these users with the ability to consolidate data for more accurate forecasting, and generate detailed dashboards and analytics. And because Budget Maestro is considered an out-of-the-box solution, it can be setup without IT support.
Budget Maestro comes with built-in business and financial logic capabilities, which empowers users to quickly setup their own operating, account, and management reporting structures. Budget Maestro is designed to dynamically update, providing users with confidence in knowing that their results are always accurate. It also incorporates key performance indicators into the planning process.
To use Budget Maestro’s driver-based modeling, you’ll need to start by creating a list of drivers, which are financial or non-financial variables. Once your list of drivers is created, you can use them anywhere within your business model to generate any type of unit, monetary, or ratio calculation. When you need to make a change to your model—for example when your number of employees changes—just adjust the driver and the new information will be updated automatically in your model.
With Budget Maestro, expenses can be allocated with financial and operational modeling, expense and revenue budgeting, or workforce planning. The expense budgeting feature automates the most time-consuming activities involved in business budgeting and forecasting. Users are able to create budgets without using spreadsheets, formulas, macros, or links.
When you use Budget Maestro for expense budgeting, you’re able to add and change the accounts you would like to track on a dime. You can also make changes to your organizational structure and track your forecasts by operating area. Using driver-based planning, you’ll also be able to link specific expenses to key business variables.
Because many small and mid-size businesses struggle to understand where their cash flow positions currently stand and how those positions may change in the future, Budget Maestro has introduced a number of cash flow planning features. Specifically, the software offers built-in rules for organizations with dual-entry methodology.
Pre-define you’re A/R and A/P schedules and Budget Maestro will automatically calculate transactions for each, ensuring accurate balance sheet statements and cash flow reports.
When they’re done right, financial forecasts are constantly evolving. Forecasts with Budget Maestro can be easily modified based on real-time changes in conditions. The ability to make quick adjustments as conditions change helps keep forecasts accurate throughout the entire fiscal year. With Budget Maestro you’re able to generate variance reports on budget, actual, and re-forecasted numbers. You’re also able to centralize financial data in a single database, rather than across multiple spreadsheets, and consolidate that same data automatically to reflect changes in key business drivers or market conditions.
Budget Maestro was designed to integrate with many ERP and account systems. Using an add-on called Link Maestro, organizations are able to automate the exchange of financial information between their ERP systems and Budget Maestro.
A free trial is available for new users with no credit card required. Subscription pricing plans are available.
Below are some frequently asked questions for Planning Maestro.
Planning Maestro offers the following pricing plans:
Pricing model: Subscription
Free Trial: Not Available
We do not have any information about Planning Maestro features
Planning Maestro has the following typical customers:
Mid Size Business, Non Profit, Public Administrations, Small Business
Planning Maestro supports the following languages:
Planning Maestro has the following pricing plans:
We do not have any information about what devices Planning Maestro supports
Planning Maestro integrates with the following applications:
Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics SL, NetSuite, QuickBooks, QuickBooks Online, SYSPRO, Sage 300 Construction, Sage Intacct
Planning Maestro offers the following support options:
FAQs, Forum, Knowledge Base, Phone Support, Video Tutorials