UniPlan
 
What is UniPlan?
UniPlan is a standardised budget and forecasting tool designed for ease of use and flexibility. More than a decade of experience with budget applications formed the foundation for developing UniPlan. UniPlan can be adapted to the planning processes in any dynamic organisation. When spreadsheets and financial systems are no longer adequate as planning tools, UniPlan is the solution.
 
A wealth of opportunities
UniPlan offers a variety of methods for preparing forecasts and budgets. Instead of building up the plan by entering figures at the lowest level, you can ask the system to generate a draft, which you then refine by entering values manually. For example, UniPlan can generate an annual forecast as a function of actual figures for the year to date and the budget for the rest of the year - or just as a projection of actual figures accumulated to date.

Manual entry is possible both at the lowest and the aggregate levels. Figures can be entered at an aggregate level, such as the whole company, with an automatic breakdown by department. You can achieve this by selecting different strategies for allocating periods of time horizontally and for vertical distribution. For example, you can ask the system to show the vertically (by department) in relation to last year's figures.

You can choose from several different system methods for showing trends over time (actual figures last year, actual/forecast this year, flat, etc.) In addition, you can define your own keys for the time intervals over which forecasts and budget figures are to be distributed.

UniPlan is a multi-dimensional cube that allows various sub-models (data sets) with different numbers of dimensions. For example, a trading company can configure a contribution model that handles forecasting and budgeting of sales income and direct costs (volumes, prices, etc) by customer and product; a cost model for indirect costs by account and department; and an earnings model that transfers data from the two input models (transformation) for calculating and reporting the complete operations budget by department.
 
UniPlan's consolidation routine calculations and aggregates data in relation to all hierarchical dimensions in the data set - for example, the location and product structure. The system can also calculate an input variable at aggregated levels. Not only can you enter price and volume and get the program to calculate the sales income - you can also calculate the effective sales price achieved at all aggregated levels in the geographical and product structure.

UniPlan has its own report generator, which makes it easy to create reports with a few clicks of the mouse. The reports can be defined in three dimensions with an extra row section. You can use a dimension of your choice as columns and rows. (The time dimension cannot be defined as rows.) In UniPlan, you can also define print sequences for large printing jobs. For example, this might comprise all the main reports from the budgeting departments. Print sequences can be transferred to printer, Excel, HTML or text files.

UniPlan handles both centralised and decentralised budget processes. In large organisations, users are often located in different places and use physically different databases. To take this into accounts, UniPlan can generate budget packages that can be distributed to database platforms other than the one used at head office. UniPlan can currently be run on Oracle, Sybase, SQL Server, SQL Anywhere and Access - or a combination of the five.

UniPlan can be configured in different ways depending on the user's competence. To make the system more accessible to novice users, you can remove menus and toolbars. You can also define menu icons that make it easy to manoeuvre through the system. Individual users have access only to their own area of responsibility, along with any underlying units.

Users can write and read comments linked with each area of responsibility. Comments can be printed as attachments in a print sequence.

 

UniPlan handles multiple budget years
A range of adminstrative features is available to superusers, such as (re)definition of models/data sets and users administration.

 

UniPlan as a budget-period of year-round application
Planning should be a continual process. The forecasting functions in UniPlan are just as important as the budgeting possibilities. Forecasts can be calculated at different frequencies, such as monthly, quarterly or every four months. As a UniPlan user, you will soon discover that forecasting for the current year and budgeting for next year are very similar processes.

If you use UniPlan as a forecasting tool, you will keep employees and colleagues involved in the process throughout the year, so that forecasting and budgeting become a natural part of the organisation's overall planning activities.

 

From novice to pro in a day or two
UniPlan is a powerful but simle tool. Courses are usually based on the organisation's own configuration, and last one day. Superusers need an extra day of training, and should participate actively in introducing the system in their own organisation.

UniPlan + iCube for analysis
UniPlan has been specially designed to function together with iCube, an application for analysis, coordination and reporting of all types of information that can be structured.
 
 
 
 

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