Budgeting Made Easier with Excel Interface for Planning

By Tiffany Smiley, Senior Adaptive Insights Consultant

A very common struggle during the budgeting process is to gain involvement and ownership from key business process owners. These individuals can be discouraged when challenged to use a tool they are not familiar with or don’t use very often. Some Finance departments have also found that they still rely on the complex models that they have built in Excel and do not want to rebuild them in a new tool.

If either of those situations applies to you, Adaptive Insights’ “Excel Interface for Planning” may be a great option for you. This tool allows your organization to work in your browser, in Excel, or both. You can capitalize on the automation of planning software and your audiences’ familiarity with Excel.

With Excel Interface for Planning, you can:

• Quickly and easily update your models (standard, modeled, and cube sheets) in Excel and push data to the cloud
• Use Excel’s built-in formatting, formulas, and calculations to populate centralized CPM models
• Move beyond manual planning processes with automated roll-ups, reminders, account code lookups
• Have full version control with a complete audit trail down to the cell and formula level
• Centralize financial data for a single source of truth
• Combine reporting and planning in a single Excel worksheet
• Reduce training time by letting people work in an application they already know

End users can update planning templates quickly and easily. Data and formulas can entered, even if you’re offline, just as you would for any Excel sheet. You can quickly refresh the sheet to load instant updates to cells changed by other users. In addition, users are able to submit their updates to Adaptive Insights so other users can review it.

Modeled Sheet example:

Key features of “Excel Interface for Planning” are:

• Ability to view and edit data on sheets
• View cell formulas
• Launch Cell Explorer
• Add, rename, or delete splits on standard sheets
• Add, copy, and split rows for modeled sheets
• Ability to use dimensions and attributes
• Create and edit cell notes
• Honors access control

Please note that templates maintain the data integrity and security setup in Adaptive. Key columns and rows will be locked so users will be unable to change certain cells. Data availability is limited to each user’s access in the system.

Standard Sheet example:

Excel Interface for Planning is not only easy to use, but enables users to work where and how they want to work. By providing a tool that business owners are familiar with, adoption rates should prove to be higher during the budgeting process. Finance leaders can also take data from models built in Excel and easily load that data into Adaptive Insights.

If you have any questions regarding this topic or other questions about Adaptive Insights, please contact Kate McNeil, Adaptive Insights Practice Director, at or Tiffany Smiley, Senior Adaptive Insights Consultant at .

If you know of anyone interested in evaluating Adaptive Insights, please contact Gaetjens Cadet, VP of Sales, at