Budgeting – Comshare targets smaller firms

Financial reporting software specialist Comshare this month launched a Web-based version of its budgeting application for small and medium-sized businesses, writes Nick Huber.

Comshare international marketing director Nigel Youell claimed BudgetPlus 3.0 was the only budgeting program that could handle every aspect of a company’s budget cycle – forecasting, reporting and analysis – over the internet.

After logging on to a password-controlled intranet, budget holders can submit and review information through a standard Web browser such as Internet Explorer or Netscape.

The application runs on any of three databases: Essbase, Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server 7.

Budget information is stored centrally and updated as users enter new figures.

‘The days of installing software on PCs have gone,’ said Youell. ‘You email staff a Web page, and you only have to install the next version once.’

Comshare signalled its intention to target mid-range companies last year, moving away from its blue-chip client base.

Youell added that BudgetPlus 3.0 would appeal to SMEs because they could run it on Microsoft’s relatively inexpensive SQL Server database.

‘The barrier to the low-to-middle market has been the price of the application’s database. Essbase costs tens of thousands, but SQL Server is in the hundreds price range,’ he said.

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