The Silicon Review
If you still depend on manual Excel spreadsheets for budgeting and planning, it’s time to transition to a more modern approach. Moving away from spreadsheets and getting the right budgeting software will not only save you time and money but will also keep you a step ahead of your competitors, boost productivity and cut down on data speculations and guessing.
In 2001, Centage Corporation was formed to address a huge demand in the market place for automated budgeting tools – 80% of customers used Excel for budgeting, but Excel was and still is an antiquated and error prone tool. Often, financial professionals try to fit budgeting applications into Excel, but it requires manual intervention to make changes to the budget model, which is time consuming and often difficult to do.
The founders took a traditional approach by interviewing people responsible for budgeting in various organizations and asked them what they would like to have in a budgeting system. Rather than figuring out a way to improve the Excel paradigm that existed, they built an intelligent purpose-built budgeting platform to automate the creation and maintenance of a budget model.
From the CEO’s desk
Our goal is to create a Smart Budgeting platform that contains all the information a company needs to evaluate the financial performance of their business so they can most accurately project future plans. The products we provide are simple and intelligent enough to eliminate the need for users to continuously intervene in order to maintain the system. We’ve continued to execute on that mantra over the years and have built up a loyal customer base of more than 9,000 users!
When you know what lies ahead, you can prepare for it. Budget Maestro – it’s Budgeting. Redefined.
Centage’s flagship product Budget Maestro is the only platform delivering Smart Budgets for mainstream businesses. Smart Budgets are easy to build and change. They let all budget owners work together and deliver accurate, forward-looking balance sheet and cash flow statements.
Budget Maestro has evolved significantly since the early days, but still maintains much of its unique, core functionality including pre-programmed financial intelligence and business logic, in order to provide a simplified and automated budgeting and planning process for small and mid-size organizations. Over the past year, Centage has experienced significant growth, in large part due to the demand for the cloud-based version of Budget Maestro, which grew 200% year-over-year. Mid-size organizations often do not have the luxury of large IT budgets to house financial applications in-house. By delivering the benefits of Budget Maestro via the cloud, customers can capitalize on all the advantages of an automated budgeting solution without dedicating critical resources to maintain, integrate and update the system. In late June Centage rolled out Budget Maestro 9; a completely new version of the popular budgeting and planning software. Centage considers it a next generation software product as it redefines budgeting technology by delivering an intelligent budget model that can re-program itself when things change, freeing the financial team to concentrate on the numbers that drive the business, rather than programming the model.
Centage did not raise any outside capital but instead responded to customer demand. It supported its customers and has always been able to respond to the requirements of the marketplace. The biggest challenge was getting its message out to a market that was using the same tools and techniques for decades and convincing people that automation in this space would be valuable and worth changing their approach.
The success factors
Customers: It understands the needs of its customers and provides them with intuitive, intelligent solutions to achieve better financial insight which has been the biggest factor to the company’s success. Centage truly wants to help its customers succeed and long time users recognize this commitment which is why Centage has so many repeated customers.
Award-winning customer support team: Its business is heavily based on renewals which means customer satisfaction is a critical element to its success. Centage retains its support team locally and empowers them to elevate an issue and find a fix, such as bringing in development to offer a patch for example, which ensures the customer’s needs are met.
Technology: Budget Maestro truly redefines budgeting technology, in that it automates the creation and maintenance of budget models by deploying built-in financial intelligence and rules to self-program and self-maintain them. As a result, financial professionals can define and create complete and accurate budget models in a matter of days, and adjust the model structure nearly instantaneously, allowing them the freedom to focus on the numbers that drive the business, rather than programming the model.
The Luminary: Barry Clapp, President and CEO
Barry Clapp brings over 30 years of experience in sales, marketing, and business management, of technology based businesses. Beginning with IBM, he has held a succession of jobs with increasing responsibility in software and Internet related businesses. At DigitalGlobe, a satellite imagery company where he served as vice president, he was responsible for $25 million in worldwide sales and support. As vice president at Advanced Electron Beams, a venture-backed maker of electron beam generation equipment for the environmental and sterilization industries, he managed and grew worldwide sales. Barry has a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration (Summa Cum Laude) from Nichols College and an MBA (with Honors) from Babson College.