PlanGuru is a budgeting software that houses intermediate and advanced features in small business budgeting. It uses trends, historical averages, and growth rates to forecast values and present them in a budget. It also generates multiyear budgets for long-term planning and pro forma financial statements for a complete financial budget.
Pricing starts at $99 per month for one user. Based on our expert PlanGuru review, we recommend it for small businesses wanting to take budgeting seriously through PlanGuru’s sophisticated forecasting and report building features.
Why We Like PlanGuru
PlanGuru offers a diverse set of tools for intermediate or advanced budgeting. Its forecasting and projection methods make budgeting faster and more approximate with the use of quantitative techniques. It also performs a three-way analysis for the income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement.
Another great feature of PlanGuru is its report builder tool. This tool doesn’t only present data in a tabular format but also creates graphs and charts that are not present in the software we reviewed in our list of the best small business budgeting software.
The PlanGuru pricing page shows two plans. Both contain all of PlanGuru’s features, but the entry-level subscription is limited in terms of the number of users and departments:
- Single Entity: $99 per month for one user and one department
- Multi-Department Consolidations: $299 per month for three users and unlimited departments
You can add more seats at $29 per user monthly. There is no free trial, but PlanGuru offers a money-back guarantee if you cancel within 30 days.
PlanGuru has a set of features that work in unison when you create a budget. Each feature discussed below contributes to the final budget and relieves manual work on your part.
Most of the forecasts are present in the income statement. PlanGuru has different forecasting methods available, and it’s up to you which method you think is best for a specific budget line item. Don’t restrict yourself to one method. You can use all kinds of methods as long as they make sense and provide an approximate forecast of future outcomes.
First, let’s discuss the basic methods: manual entry, percent of other accounts, growth rate, and historical trend or average. We’ll discuss assumptions and KPIs in the next section.
Assumptions let you create a special formula to forecast a budget line item. This feature lets you take a granular approach to budgeting in contrast to a general approach discussed previously. The first step is to enter your assumptions.
In the assumptions window, you need first to input your assumptions before you can use the formula builder. Right-click within the sheet to add an assumption. These values can be used when creating a special formula in the formula builder (see image below).
You can create complex formulas with nested parentheses in the formula builder. There is also an option to add conditions and functions. If you’re using Excel, you can do this using pivot tables, which can be confusing at times. But with PlanGuru, you can create multiple formulas for your calculations easily.
The result of budgeting is the pro forma financial statements. While these are enough for a master budget, PlanGuru makes budgeting more thorough through its report builder feature. You don’t only generate reports but also pie charts, line charts, bar charts, and gauges to provide visualization to your budget.
Aside from charts and graphs, you can conduct financial ratio analysis for setting budgeted KPIs. The image below shows all financial ratios for each month of the budgeting year. You can use these ratios as KPI benchmarks when reviewing actual performance.
PlanGuru Ease of Use
PlanGuru has a modern-looking and uncomplicated user interface (UI). We recommend that you allot some time to explore and familiarize yourself with all of its features. Although it will provide upfront training for new users, we strongly recommend that you watch the tutorials on its website to refresh your knowledge after the user training.
When making budgets, the platform will highlight the modifiable cells in yellow, making it easy for you to spot cells. Cells with no highlights can’t be modified or are functions of other cells. If you want to add more line items, you right-click and select Add New Account, and a new line item will appear.
Another boost to PlanGuru’s ease of use is its Pro Advisor program. PlanGuru trains and certifies finance and accounting professionals. PlanGuru Pro Advisors can provide professional guidance to users who require expert help. We recommend hiring a Pro Advisor if you don’t know how to use budgeting software.
PlanGuru Reviews From Users
Those who left PlanGuru reviews said that the software is value for money and is outstanding in terms of ease of use. Users appreciate how the provider is receptive to user feedback and suggestions for improvement and new features. They also like the Excel add-on feature since they can utilize Excel pivot tables for creating dashboards.
Meanwhile, those with negative reviews complained about bugs within the system. They also mentioned that PlanGuru lacks integrations to other software other than Xero, QuickBooks Online, and Excel. Overall, PlanGuru garnered the following scores on these third-party review sites:
- GetApp1: 4.2 out of 5 stars based on around 50 reviews
- G22: 4.5 out of 5 stars based on about 20 reviews
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
PlanGuru is a budgeting tool, not an accounting tool. You can create budgets and forecasts within the software, but you cannot enter invoices or bills. To use PlanGuru effectively, integrate it with accounting software like QuickBooks Online or Xero to have easy access to actual accounting data.
Budgeting software makes it easy for you to create forecasts and assumptions with ease. Since budgeting software automates most of the processes, you get to spend less time assembling the budget documents and allocate more time to brainstorming and planning.
PlanGuru is a great tool for budgeting and forecasting. It uses sophisticated techniques and provides builder tools to enable users to create their assumptions and formulas. Overall, we highly recommend PlanGuru for small businesses wanting to take budgeting seriously. It’s a good solution to get if you already have QuickBooks Online or Xero as your main accounting software.