Why pre-built reporting and budgeting templates are not worth the money

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If you’re using a system like QuickBooks, prebuilt report templates are easy and a must.

But if you work for an organization that’s more complex, then asking for pre-built templates is just asking for trouble, and here is why.

I have been working we a few different companies in recent weeks, and many of them have something in common. The Income Statement is not a standard report. Rather than reporting just accounts down the page, some lines are a combination of account and department. Some line items are a combination of accounts, departments, and products!  Do systems have pre-built reporting templates that cater to your exact requirements for your specific needs? No.

Still, I get asked the same question all the time, “Do you have pre-built templates?”  The answer is “No" for two reasons,

  1. You're never going to use them and,
  2. It's faster to build new reports with CALUMO, i.e., a few minutes.

I was talking with a CALUMO reseller today about reporting tools with pre-built templates. One of these tools has over 2,000 templates! I asked how many of his customers actually use of these templates - and he said none.  That’s right, not one. Why not? Some BI tools come with pre-built templates simply because the marketing team thinks it's a good thing! BI vendors know the templates are not going to be used but rather than have that conversation, they say “Yes! We have two thousand of them!" (that you will never use). There is no way any vendor can predict the layout of the reports you want. If you don’t use the vendor's segment coding, all 2,000 reports are useless.

So here is CALUMO’s philosophy.  Why invest time building report templates you’re not going to use?  Why not invest in giving you the power and flexibility to create any report or input template you need in moments, without programming?  CALUMO doesn’t force our customers to structure their accounts in a particular way just for reporting.  In fact, many of our customers have several different account systems to consolidate for reporting.  What if you want to move from monthly to weekly reporting, or have a 13th period for a year? The 2,000 templates aren’t going to help you.

I often hear CALUMO consultants say “we don’t bother with templates and modifying them. It’s faster to build a new one, or even take your current Excel report and add CALUMO to that. Care to spend the next 10 minutes doing that with me?

For more information about CALUMO, email me at wleitch@calumo.com