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hello , They starting unique on-line working towards batches on ORACLE HYPERION ESSBASE. Kindly contact us to join.Oracle Hyperion EssbaseOracle Hyperion Essbase is probably the most superior monetary analytical processing utility in the market. Oracle Essbase is a wealthy ambiance to boost positive enterprise performance management functions and monetary customized analytic experiences. Oracle Hyperion Essbase can maneuver facts without delay within the spreadsheet, by means of pre-formatted experiences, or a powerful ad hoc graphical interface, in order that the industry clients can readily access the statistics they necessity to construct more ecocnomic decisions.Essbase is broadly regarded to be the trade main OLAP (online Analytical Processing) server. constructed on a true-time analytic infrastructure, Essbase gives BI and EPM clients the potential to without delay dissect and anatomize information via an intuitive interface. Essbase conclusion-clients occupy varied alternate options for interacting with facts together with Microsoft Excel, Hyperion monetary Reporting and Hyperion internet analysis. by using bringing Essbase in conjunction with different Oracle functions, clients will locate wide assist for demanding company requirements. Breaking down significant datasets, working with gold standard-case/worst-case eventualities, forecasting multi-line expenses, and reporting variance evaluation is now at your fingertips. Essbase in the halt makes it viable for conclusion-users to interact and anatomize true-time data via an built-in, speedy-response, and secure environment.
looking to additional extend the capabilities of its e-enterprise monetary solutions, Lawson software (St. Paul, Minnesota) introduced that it has extended its strategic relationship with Hyperion (Sunnyvale, Calif.).
Lawson will now integrate and resell Hyperion enterprise 5 as a piece of Lawson’s enterprise Consolidations solution, a monetary options that leverages superior technologies corresponding to enterprise workflow and net self-provider to allow end-to-conclusion e-business tactics. A packaged industry analysis utility, Hyperion enterprise 5 simplifies the international collection, consolidation and reporting of fiscal results from numerous techniques across the commercial enterprise.
“The addition of Hyperion industry to the Lawson financials suite offers joint consumers the scalability and web-deployable functionality vital to address gigantic and knotty fiscal and analytical requirements,” says Steve Fioretti, senior VP of advertising and marketing, Hyperion. “With its sophisticated conclusion-user reporting and evaluation tools, unparalleled ease of use, and speedy implementation, Hyperion enterprise meets the advanced fiscal consolidation and reporting necessities of these days’s gold companies.”
beneath the current relationship between both, Lawson resells Hyperion Essbase OLAP server as a piece of its Analytic suite and Hyperion Pillar as piece of its enterprise Budgeting solution.
“Hyperion and Lawson occupy had a really a success partnership for greater than three years featuring their purchasers with comprehensive analytic and budgeting solutions,” says Eric Lopez, VP, world financials and analytic options, Lawson application. “Our tense integration gives top-rated-of-breed enterprise efficiencies and analytic capabilities for high-growth to mature organizations.”
informationOLAP Wars: Hyperion Strikes again
In November, Hyperion tapped a quartet of Itanium 2-based Integrity servers from Hewlett-Packard Co.—every become populated with 4 processors—and the 64-bit edition of its Essbase OLAP server to beat Oracle’s market-main ranking in the OLAP Council’s APB-1 liberate II benchmark via 39 p.c.
For the record, Essbase carried out halt result of the 119,085 analytical queries per minute (AQM) while Oracle 9i notched eighty five,719 AQM. Oracle’s outcomes changed into additionally accomplished using a four-node cluster on HP hardware.
The benchmark results are the side Story right here, youngsters, as what’s most pleasing are the signals of lifestyles in a market that some industry watchers had given up for useless. Oracle Corp. kicked things off remaining April when it unearthed the moribund APB-1 benchmark to exhibit the capabilities of its Oracle 9i Database unlock 2—working on its actual software Clusters—as an online analytical processing (OLAP) server par excellence.
considering that the introduction of Oracle 9i unencumber 1, the database huge—which traditionally marketed a divorce OLAP device, referred to as Oracle specific Server—has built-in OLAP functionality into the database itself. Oracle says this tense integration between the 9i database and its integrated points—which comprehend OLAP, records mining, and ETL facets, amongst others—supply it a magnificent competitive knowledge. The company sought to disclose as an abominable lot when it announced an APB-1 ranking that shattered—by means of greater than 7,500 p.c—the previous performance listing, held by using Hyperion’s Essbase OLAP server.
There became just one trap: The Essbase device against which Oracle matched its 9i-primarily based OALP server changed into powered by a 4-method RS/6000 system and ran a now-historic edition 5.0.2 release of Hyperion’s Essbase OLAP server. basically, Hyperion recorded its then-industry-leading OLAP benchmark in April of 1999.
at the moment, the OLAP Council itself has interestingly dissolved—dial its closing accepted cellphone quantity, says Mike Schiff, a senior analyst with consultancy latest evaluation, and you’ll ring a retirement group in Washington—and, more importantly, Hyperion has been through several subsequent generations of Essbase. Add to that the indisputable fact that the actual utility Clusters and OLAP options are both priced at 50 % of the suffuse of the 9i database itself, and too you’ve bought a much less-than-compelling benchmark triumph.
Writing about Oracle’s benchmark triumph in can also, Schiff described it as a further case of the database tremendous’s “basic benchmark chutzpah.” provide Schiff credit score for prescience: He cautioned at the time that Oracle’s movement could presage a brand unique round of benchmark wars in an otherwise somnolent OLAP market.
just how apropos is the APB-1 benchmark, and what can the effects performed with the aid of each Oracle and Hyperion expose us in regards to the efficiency of their products in real-world settings? in line with Schiff, the APB-1 benchmark become designed to advocate quantify some key performance metrics for OLAP functions. There’s a specific emphasis on analytical processing, as an example, which—for the functions of the benchmark—is understood as the age of time required to complete an incremental update to warehouse statistics and finished a given set of queries, divided by means of the number of queries within the records set. The outcomes is the APB-1 metric, which is measured in analytical queries per minute (AQM). As for its applicability, Schiff believes that the APB-1 can nonetheless be a majestic basis for comparisons between OLAP servers, provided that they’re in response to fairly equivalent hardware and operating fairly present OLAP engines.
The OLAP market likely hasn’t viewed such an outstanding controversy considering the fact that each carriers ultimate wrangled with one another, lower back in 1998. on the time, Oracle finessed a benchmark outcome to exhibit the purported performance potential of its specific OLAP server relative to Hyperion’s Essbase. in this regard, a minute controversy can be a superb prescription for an OLAP marketplace that has seemingly been on autopilot for some time now. Schiff means that different vendors—corresponding to Applix Inc. and MicroStrategy Inc.—may quiet reliance leaping into the benchmark fray, as neatly.
“OLAP carriers now occupy a brand unique target to beat, and any that believe they could may quiet definitely try to upshot so and win their names on the board,” writes Schiff. “Applix should quiet certainly coincide with collaborating within the benchmark in order to deliver want publicity to TM1 in universal and its sixty four-bit implementation in certain.”
Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about expertise.
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HI , They starting unique online training batches on ORACLE HYPERION ESSBASE. Kindly contact us to join.Oracle Hyperion EssbaseOracle Hyperion Essbase is the most advanced fiscal analytical processing software in the market. Oracle Essbase is a affluent environment to develop efficacious enterprise performance management applications and fiscal custom analytic reports. Oracle Hyperion Essbase can maneuver data directly in the spreadsheet, via pre-formatted reports, or a powerful ad hoc graphical interface, so that the industry users can easily access the data they necessity to construct more profitable decisions.Essbase is widely considered to be the industry leading OLAP (On-Line Analytical Processing) server. Built on a real-time analytic infrastructure, Essbase provides BI and EPM users the aptitude to quickly dissect and anatomize data through an intuitive interface. Essbase end-users occupy multiple options for interacting with data including Microsoft Excel, Hyperion fiscal Reporting and Hyperion Web Analysis. By bringing Essbase together with other Oracle applications, users will find broad advocate for demanding industry requirements. Breaking down great datasets, working with best-case/worst-case scenarios, forecasting multi-line expenses, and reporting variance analysis is now at your fingertips. Essbase ultimately allows end-users to interact and anatomize real-time data through an integrated, rapid-response, and secure environment.
Exotic Newcastle Disease, one of the most infectious bird diseases in the world, kills so swiftly that many victims die before any symptoms appear. When it broke out in Southern California two years ago, it could occupy spelled cataclysm for the San Diego Zoo.
“We occupy one of the most valuable collections of birds in the world, if not the most valuable,” says Paula Brock, CFO of the Zoological Society of San Diego, which operates the zoo. As situation authorities ordered the slaughter of millions of chickens, and federal agents went door-to-door killing household parrots and other feathered pets on the spot, keeping the disease out of the zoo and its nearby Wild Animal Park became an tremendous unbudgeted expense.Recommended Stories:
Bird exhibits were shut to the public for several months (the disease, which is harmless to humans, can be carried on clothes and shoes). The tires of arriving delivery trucks were sanitized, as were the shoes of anyone visiting the zoo’s nonpublic areas. Zookeeper uniforms had to be changed and cleaned daily. And ultimately, the zoo, with $150 million in revenues, spent almost half a million dollars on quarantine measures in 2003.
It worked: no birds got sick. Better yet, the damage to the relaxation of the zoo’s budget was minimized by another protective measure: the monthly budget reforecast. “When they win a hit fondness this, they quiet occupy to find a course to construct their bottom line,” says Brock. Historically, zoo scientists would occupy been far more worried about the disease’s upshot on their budgies than their budgets. But thanks to unique planning processes Brock had introduced a year earlier, the zoo’s scientists were able to raise the fiscal tocsin as they redirected resources to ward off the disease. “Because they had timely awareness,” she says, “we were able to construct adjustments to weather the storm.”
Budget reforecasting is nothing new. (The San Diego Zoo’s annual static budget was behind the times before Brock took over as CFO in 2001.) But the reaction of the zoo’s staff shows the benefits of Brock’s immediate efforts to link strategy to the process. It’s a dart long touted by consultants as a key course to better people’s involvement in budgeting.
“To withhold your company on a path, it has to occupy some benevolent of map,” says Brock. “The budgeting-and-planning process is that map. I cannot imagine an organization sentiment in control if it didn’t occupy that sort of discipline.”
A minute Better All the Time
When CFO magazine examined the situation of corporate budgeting and planning (B&P) seven years ago, the only common ground between finance and operating units was that they All hated the process. Line managers saw B&P as an immaterial and time-consuming data-entry project. It was equally cumbersome for finance departments, which distrusted the results. And both sides despised the ensuing numbers negotiations, which tended to reward the most politically savvy hagglers.
Back in 1998, the consultants’ universal prescription for fixing B&P was threefold: simplify it, share the information widely, and link it tightly to strategy. Technology helps, but the key to success is making people accountable.
Finding a cure hasn’t been easy. But the majestic news, as the San Diego Zoo demonstrates, is that the prescription applies to companies and organizations of All sizes. Seven years ago, only a handful of great companies dared embark on what experts termed “the ultimate reengineering project.” And although the fixes vary, one thing is clear: “Companies of All kinds are doing a better job of getting line managers, whose decisions drive spending and revenue, to participate willingly in the process,” says The Buttonwood Group LLP’s Lawrence Serven, who wrote CFO’s 1998 survey and helped design the current one.
That buy-in has had a stagy effect. Today, according to CFO’s survey of 260 finance executives, almost half (47 percent) believe most employees are completely satisfied with the B&P process, compared with just 16 percent who thought so in 1998. And the number who snort the value of the B&P process clearly outweighs the cost in time and distress has too increased, from 47 percent to 65 percent.
That’s not to snort Corporate America has tamed the budgeting beast. “It’s distinguished to behold progress, though perhaps with the mountain of articles and seminars and software offerings over the years, they would anticipate to be even further ahead,” says Serven. For one thing, he warns, “this more propitious view of B&P is not necessarily the result of improved reliability.” Indeed, perceived reliability has fallen somewhat: on a scale of 1 to 4 (where 1 is “Not at all” and 4 is “Completely”), CFOs gave the process a 2.9 for reliability in 1998 versus just 2.5 today.
Moreover, politics quiet dog the process. Even today, a majority of respondents told CFO that office politics had some influence. “The politics are always going to be there,” says Serven. But as the technology has improved, he adds, it has helped companies achieve inevitable basic best practices, such as identifying the key drivers of the industry and attaching long- and short-term targets to those drivers. “Transparency [on those issues] goes a long course toward reducing the politics.”
That identical transparency has too allowed companies to successfully construct the link between process and strategy. The result? “People working on a budgeting process that is clearly guided and focused by strategic initiatives spend less time arguing about immaterial details and more time focusing on stuff that matters,” says Burke Willis, practice director of fiscal management at benchmarking hard APQC. A recent APQC study shows that the median number of days it takes to prepare the annual budget — a major source of frustration for All concerned — is lower for companies that align their blueprint with strategy numbers (63 days) than for those that upshot not (80 days).
Linking Strategy to Budgeting
A case in point is the San Diego Zoo. When Brock, a veteran of KPMG and ITT, arrived, the strategic blueprint had no input from finance whatsoever. The zoo’s goal is to become “a world leader in connecting people with wildlife and conservation.” But there was no connection between that goal and the zoo’s resources, even though the latter were improving (revenues occupy increased from $100 million to $170 million over the past 10 years). “There was a 10-year blueprint in a narrative sense, but not in terms of how they were going to construct it happen financially,” she recalls. In 2002, she revamped the strategic blueprint to incorporate a fiscal plan.
Budgeting, meanwhile, was an annual low-level department exercise, with no midyear updates. “That gap [between high-level strategy and budgeting] had to be bridged,” she says, a goal that “had to be understood at the highest levels of the organization, but too sold to the lowest levels.”
That required a sensitive palpate with the zoo’s scientists and animal keepers. “You don’t want to overload your professionals with something they perceive to be bureaucratic number-crunching,” she says. “On the other hand, nobody knows that side of the industry better than they do.” Six months into the job, Brock rolled out software by Timeline Inc. to drag data from the universal ledger, and created templates for 145 departments. She limited the number of budget items in each department’s report, however, and offered extensive training. “A keeper in a primate exhibit doesn’t occupy many things on the list — but nobody knows that list better,” says Brock. Better yet, she adds, department heads now occupy an improved understanding of the collective repercussion of their decisions. A majestic B&P process, she explains, “by its very nature creates wholesome discussions and buy-in.”
As APQC’s Willis suggests, it too speeds the process. Each department now does a near and reforecast within 7 to 10 days of the halt of each month, and Brock is now working on a 13-month rolling forecast that will near the timing gap between the budget and the 10-year strategic plan, which is refreshed annually.
Making certain budgets are linked to overall strategy is essential, whether the organization is the not-for-profit Zoological Society or the world’s largest software company. Microsoft Corp., with 60,000 employees in 99 countries, tackles B&P on a much larger scale. But Marc Chardon, CFO of the company’s Information Worker industry group, says Microsoft too has processes to ensure that the budgets of its seven businesses are based not only on their own product-development strategy, but too on corporate strategy.
At first blush, that would look to be an tremendous challenge. Indeed, Microsoft formally converted its various engineering operations into seven several businesses about two and a half years ago, in piece because centralization had proved too unwieldy. Another problem was that those engineering groups — which produced Microsoft software — had no direct responsibility for sales, and so were “more focused on product than revenue,” observes Chardon. Distributing the once-independent territory sales compel into the P&Ls of the groups “made the matrix more complex,” he says, “but made the [business group] CEOs more accountable.”
At the time of the reorganization, then-CFO John Connors too proposed that each industry group occupy its own CFO who would be amenable for that group’s strategy, industry modeling and planning, and analysis of market performance and operating expenses. (CFO duties such as treasury, tax, investor relations, and corporate compliance remain centralized.)
Yet the “paradox” of running a company of Microsoft’s size, says Chardon, is figuring out the right equilibrium between businesses that are returning cash (such as the Information Worker business) and those that are considered investments (such as Home and Entertainment). Such trade-offs even exist within each business, so that B&P “is right on the cusp” between centralization and decentralization.
To integrate the process, each industry reviews its strategy, proposed changes, and investments at the halt of every second fiscal quarter with CEO Steven A. Ballmer. The third quarter begins with a “deep midyear review” that examines operational trends by geography, industry lines, and channels. And based on this “bottom-up view of what the next 18 months might search like,” says Chardon, the corporate office begins setting targets for each group. That process, he says, “basically culminates in a conversation between [Ballmer] and each industry group CEO about the ambition for the next year. And that ambition frames the budgeting process.” Only then does the actual budgeting — roughly an eight-week distress — open at each of Microsoft’s businesses.
Less Is Always More
Of course, the simpler the budget, the easier it is to tie to strategy. Companies occupy had a surprisingly difficult time accepting that less is more, but those that upshot often behold stagy results. Such was the case at Erickson Retirement Communities. “We’d try to load the data into their ERP, and a third of the spreadsheets would win kicked out because something was wrong,” recalls Craig Erickson, vice president of fiscal planning and analysis at the private, family-controlled company.
But when new, Web-based budgeting software was introduced in 2002 (in this case, Hyperion Planning and Essbase XTD), the project manager resisted the temptation to simply replicate the existing spreadsheets. Instead, the budget itself was revamped to capture less detail.
“That was a stagy process change,” says Erickson. About 90 percent of the participants at 11 different retirement communities now employ the identical basic 15 accounts. “Before, their dining departments would probably budget 50 different accounts — amount of frozen fish, fresh fish, baked goods, and so on,” he says. “All they really reliance about is what the food cost per meal.”
Likewise, the company replaced more than 20 position types in the dining department’s labor budget with just four categories: a low-paid and high-paid category for both hourly and salaried workers. Instead of looking at 20 specific positions, says Erickson, the company now measures the number of full-time employees (FTEs) needed to advocate 100 residents. “A metrics focus is now driving the budgets: when you occupy 900 residents, you should occupy X number of FTEs,” he says.
In both cases, the result was less toil and better metrics for comparing communities. (It takes an medium of seven years for each retirement community to achieve a mature flush of 2,500 residents.) Once the unique system was in place, says Erickson, it quickly became manifest that one campus with 900 residents was paying 25 percent more per meal than another of the identical size. “Our employ of metrics allowed us to behold that this was entirely due to staffing ratios. The course they were budgeting before, they couldn’t behold that, because everyone’s head was in the details,” he says. “Our budgets were very precise. But that didn’t denote they were accurate.”
Making Managers Accountable
“Simplification too leads to greater accountability,” observes Serven, adding that “there are fewer places to hide.” Indeed, performance reviews at Erickson Retirement Communities reckon heavily on whether managers exceeded the medium performance metrics for their size facility, though equal weight is too given to resident- and employee-satisfaction surveys. “In the past, managers had a current to pad their budgets a bit so they would be likely to approach in under budget,” says Erickson. “With a metrics-based comparative approach, someone who tries to pad their budget is essentially saying, ‘I cannot fulfill at the identical medium flush as my peers.'”
Consultants occupy been suggesting for years that greater accountability can better the effectiveness of the B&P process. In 1998, only one-third of respondents told CFO that senior and mid-level managers were held visibly accountable for achieving the plan. Today, 60 percent snort that is the case.
“The immediate availability of current data drives greater accountability throughout the organization,” observes Greg Bozigian, director of fiscal planning for Carnival Corp.’s Princess Cruises and Cunard brands, referring to the company’s Web-based Cognos planning tool. “All senior executives occupy access to their managers’ data and can view their subordinates’ latest forecasts and submissions at the palpate of a button.”
During review meetings, says Bozigian, when executives and managers collect together, plans can be projected onto a screen, providing far more than just visibility. “If an operator’s [forecast] numbers are not in line with actual trends, or the operator cannot provide adequate justification for the current projection,” he says, “senior executives can change the numbers on the spot. On many occasions, we’ve changed budgets and forecasts in review meetings.”
Accountability can too be tailored to reflect corporate priorities. Two years ago, Hudson Advisors, a Dallas-based commercial mortgage servicer and real-estate asset-management firm, decided that IT expenses were so significant that each department’s IT budget and expenditures would be tracked by a special sub-budget in the firm’s Hyperion Planning system. While fiscal results are reforecast quarterly, IT spending is tracked, reforecast, and reported monthly by department, says chief information officer Janis O’Bryan. “Now everyone individually feels empowered by their forecast,” she says.
As the experiences of these companies suggest, unique software systems can advocate an improved budgeting process, particularly by sharing consistent information. For example, enterprisewide software helps ensure that every division’s budget is based on the identical assumptions. Princess Cruises uses its software to roll out standardized assumptions for interest rates, peculiar exchange, fuel costs, and so on.
But the greatest contribution of software packages is their automation capabilities — the aptitude to free up more time for fiscal analysis by speeding data-collection efforts, and affecting the management of that data out of loosely controlled spreadsheet environments (though many quiet strive to search fondness spreadsheets). According to an APQC benchmarking survey, companies that reckon heavily on spreadsheets typically engage 30 days longer to complete their budgets than those that don’t.
Nonetheless, spreadsheet employ remains widespread. Some 67 percent of respondents to CFO’s survey snort that, apart from spreadsheets, their companies upshot not employ any enterprise or budgeting software. Relying on spreadsheets, however, means that on average, CFOs spend a third of their time inputting, validating, and correcting blueprint or budget data, while those with enterprise B&P systems spend a quarter of their time on such tasks.
At AAA Life Insurance Co., the percentage was even worse. Says CFO Jay DuBose, “We were spending 80 to 85 percent of their time making certain the spreadsheets were in sync and 15 to 20 percent analyzing the data.” DuBose is set to roll out a unique Cognos system next month to fix the problem. And then you occupy to add in the wasted reconciliation time, says Clint Allen, Princess Cruises’s manager of fiscal planning. “You’d forward your files out, wait to win your data back, and then lose a week or two just to aggregate it in a shape that was useful.”
That time is now spent more productively since the company replaced spreadsheets with a unique B&P system. Says Bozigian, “What has changed is the time they can spend on analysis. Qualitative analysis has definitely increased.”
The Tie that Binds
The next goal: to increase companies’ console with their B&P improvements, says Serven. Only then will they be able to tie compensation to the process, the ultimate test of accountability. “That was the final mile seven years ago, and it quiet is,” he says. Companies want assurance that they occupy identified the right drivers, the targets they occupy set are attainable, and the projects they occupy developed to hit those targets will upshot so. minute wonder, he says, that tying B&P to compensation will engage “a pair more years.”
That’s not to snort no one has attempted it. John McMahan, who leads The Hackett Group’s Finance Executive Advisory Program, points out that some 13 percent of companies occupy tied budgeting accuracy to compensation, and another 25 percent are either in the process of doing so or are planning to upshot so. This huge increase from years past doesn’t dumbfound him. “Everyone is trying to integrate and align their goals,” he says. “Tying B&P to compensation is just the next ratiocinative step in the process.”
Still, making that link to pay or instituting any other process improvement requires firms to remain flexible. “Budgeting and planning can never be stagnant,” says McMahan. “Because of the rate of competitive and global change, the process can no longer be tied to the calendar. It has to be continuous, iterative, and externally focused.”
After all, he says, budgeting and planning “by definition is inaccurate.”
Tim intuition is a senior writer at CFO. Research was provided by CFO research editor Don Durfee.The Final Frontier Coroporate performance management appears to be affecting from buzzword to action item. Four out of five companies occupy identified nonfinancial measures that drive success, but fewer establish targets or regularly report on them. The acid test of basic CPM, says The Buttonwood Group’s Lawrence Serven, is to accomplish All of those things. Have identified nonfinancial measures that drive company’s success 81% Have established short-term targets for those measures 67% Have established long-term targets for those measures 42% Have identified specific projects to achieve those targets 62% Report on the progress of those projects at least as frequently as fiscal results 51% Percent of companies that snort they upshot All of the above 17% Source: CFO survey
Love ’em, abominate ’em, spreadsheets will never retreat away. Some 67 percent of those surveyed by CFO magazine, representing companies of All sizes, employ only spreadsheets for budgeting and planning (B&P). But in this post-Sarbanes-Oxley era, that could be considered risky behavior.
“The built-in flexibility that has made exceed a wonderful fiscal appliance is completely at odds with the Sarbanes-Oxley ‘command-and-control’ requirements,” says Jim Winett, managing director of IC Consulting Services LLC. “Change in controls causes the most havoc,” he says, noting that in theory any change in formula or even number of rows ought to be documented. So despite their affinity for them, one-third of CFO’s survey respondents snort Sarbanes-Oxley has made it harder to reckon on spreadsheets as piece of the industry planning process.
Marc Chardon, CFO of Microsoft’s Information Worker division (which is amenable for Microsoft Office and, therefore, for the exceed spreadsheet application), candidly admits that industry users struggle with consolidation and access control in Excel. He attributes their difficulty to the application’s evolution from a appliance for individuals to a appliance that is increasingly used collaboratively on top of industry applications ranging from ERP systems to universal ledgers to revenue-planning tools.
“There’s an inherent tension between the ‘power-to-the-people’ origins of exceed and the role it is increasingly called on to play,” he says. “We’re clearly watchful of that.” Microsoft, says Chardon, is working to construct exceed “a better citizen in the front-end process and a better appliance for collaborative work.”
Not surprisingly, Microsoft itself uses exceed and SQL Server for B&P, despite the fact that as many as 3,000 people are involved in the corporate budgeting process. At the Information Worker industry group, says Chardon, “we occupy the edge of having the most up-to-date version and finance people who were involved in the design of the product. That’s why I’m maybe more serene with exceed than other people are.” Indeed, the Information Worker industry group is now pre-beta testing the next version of the Office suite, which he hints will hold improvements to Excel’s collaborative and control capabilities.
In the meantime, auditors occupy identified spreadsheet controls to mitigate financial-reporting risk, including password protection, hosting on protected servers, and locking cells within spreadsheets. — T.R.The Spreadsheet Spread Companies of All sizes snort they reckon solely on spreadsheets for budgeting and planning, although this is more common among smaller companies (as measured by annual revenues). Less than $100 million 78% $100 million–$999 million 67% More than $1 billion 30% Source: CFO survey
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