June 1, 2011 – A review of XLerant’s BudgetPak from a prestigious third party source. XLerant, Inc., is better suited for organizations where user knowledge drives the budget creation process, as opposed to a centralized financial model or complex equations driving it.
Link to BPM Partners White Paper on XLerant:
“Achieving Accountability in Mid-Market Budget Processes”
Excerpt from the white paper:
Formed in 2005 by financial and systems professionals Lawrence Serven and Charles Pevsner,
XLerant has developed BudgetPak, an analytic application which targets improving and
simplifying the budgeting and planning process. The founders applied their experiences
working hands‐on with budgeting processes at Fortune 500 companies and Deloitte
Consulting. From these experiences they realized that the annual budget, a core business
process for most organizations, was broken and not effectively driving a culture of budget
accountability. Moreover, they recognized that inadequate corporate planning is a
fundamental cause of companies missing their financial projections. For many organizations,
the budgeting process fails to generate sufficient foresight or actionable plans, nor does it
incorporate knowledge that rests with front line managers. The result is budgeting as a
financial exercise as opposed to a value producing business process improvement
With a focus on technology to enable an improved budgeting process, XLerant addressed the
needs of line managers with limited financial or accounting backgrounds. XLerant continues
to grow at a rapid clip with users of spreadsheets as well as users of larger enterprise
resource planning (ERP) solutions attracted to their solution. XLerant’s target market is
organizations that have 10 – 300 users, with 10 – 1,000 cost centers and up to 2,000 natural
XLerant is focused on collaboration‐oriented budget processes. If the whole process is driven
top‐down by the financial team instead iterative involvement of front line managers, then a
different model‐centric approach would be a more appropriate alternative.
It is estimated that 70% of mid‐market companies still use spreadsheets as the primary
technology tool for budgeting and planning. In addition, in the 2011 BPM Pulse Survey, the
majority of performance management professionals claim that budgeting and planning is a
business process that needs further improvement. XLerant focuses its solution on ease of
use, flexibility of deployment and accountability improvements.
This paper will discuss some of the technology alternatives to displace spreadsheets,
XLerant’s unique value proposition and additional considerations for organizations
considering technology options to improve their internal budgeting processes.